World Bicycle Day is celebrated annually on June 3 to promote the uniqueness and versatility of bicycles as a means of transportation.

In April 2018, United Nations General Assembly dedicated June 3 as World Bicycle Day to recognize the bicycle as a simple, affordable and environmentally fit, sustainable form of transportation across the world.

In 2015, Leszek Sibilski, a U.S-based professor began a campaign to designate a day for promoting bicycles. During this time, Sibilski worked on an academic project exploring the role of bicycles in a nation’s development. This project later developed into a massive movement and was backed up by an advocacy group called “Sustainable Mobility for All." This movement eventually resulted in the UN’s decision in 2018 to dedicate a day to promote cycling.

The UN encourages all stakeholders to promote the use of bicycles as a means of “fostering sustainable development, strengthening education... promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace.”

World Bicycle Day was celebrated last few years with bicycle rallies and gatherings. Due to the ongoing pandemic and social distancing norms, such gatherings may not be possible in many parts of the world. Nevertheless, people can join the celebration by taking a ride on their bicycle instead of taking their car out today.

The bicycle, which was invented in the 19th century, still remains one of the most popular modes of transport around the world. Many people prefer bicycles not only because it is a cheap and easy but also considering the health benefits of cycling.

cycle-path-3444914_640 representational image Photo: pixabay

From promoting weight loss to improving the immune system, bike riding has several health benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Improves Mental Health: Studies have proved that cycling, like all other exercises, can boost a person’s mood by releasing hormones like adrenalin and endorphins. Since cycling involves being outdoors while doing exercise, it helps a person to explore new views, meet new people and take time to process worries and concerns.

2. Promotes Weight Loss: If you are planning to lose weight, cycling is a good exercise recommended by many experts. It helps to control or reduce weight by raising your metabolic rate, building muscle and burning body fat. Scientists suggest that a person needs to burn about 2,000 calories a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour. Research shows that thirty minutes of cycling every day will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.

3.Reduces Heart Disease And Cancer Risk: Studies have shown that regular cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. Cycling not only strengthens the heart muscles but also helps to regulate pulse and blood fat levels. The researchers have also found out that regular cycling reduces the risk of colon and breast cancer.

4.Boosts Your Brain Power: Cycling helps to improve blood flow to brain cells and helps to reduce cognitive changes that can make a person vulnerable to dementia in later life. A study conducted in 2013 shows that during cycling, the blood flow into a person’s brain increases to 28% and even up to 70% in specific areas. The study also found that the blood flow is retained up to 40% even after cycling.