7 Mental and Physical Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle

Americans have a love affair with motorcycle riding. In 2022, the country has at least 8.6 million registered motorcycle riders. That’s almost double the number of registered riders in 2002.

Motorcycle riding brings riders together. Thus, a camaraderie exists between them. As traffic in the United States has become more congested, it’s probably another reason why some individuals learned how to ride.

In 2020, the price of gas started to steadily increase and break records. While it costs over $100 to fill up a vehicle’s tank, it costs far less to fill up motorcycle tanks. Motorcycle tanks hold two to eight gallons of gas. Plus, motorcycles have a fuel efficiency of 35 to 40 miles. 

Therefore, monetary benefits of riding motorcycles exist too.

Motorcyclists know that riding is more dangerous than driving. A motorcyclist is more likely to experience injury and death than passengers in vehicles. However, many motorcyclists learn how to avoid collisions as they improve their riding skills.

Nonetheless, motorcycle riders who find themselves in a collision should call the professionals

We look at seven mental and physical benefits of riding a motorcycle.

Physical Benefits

From the outside looking in, it looks like motorcycle riders simply sit on their bikes and go. However, motorcyclists control every aspect of their ride. This leads to several physical benefits. 

1. Calorie Burn

As motorcyclists ride, they burn calories, especially since they ride in warm weather as opposed to the cold. Riding motorcycles is similar to riding horses – it’s an active action as opposed to passive.

The rider remains actively engaged in the trip as they maneuver their bike. Therefore, long rides offer additional calorie burn.

Riders benefit from exercising off their bike, too, to keep the calorie burn going. An exercise routine and riding create a positive balancing act. Riding is more enjoyable when it becomes second nature instead of a forced act.

2. Improves Posture

Motorcyclists who want to ride for several years must practice good posture. Otherwise, they risk harming their wrists, back, neck, and shoulders. Chronic pain makes riding more challenging. It can also reduce reaction time and action.

When riding correctly, the rider remains upright. If they slouch, they risk losing control of the bike. They may also feel extra sore afterward. Thus, the rider becomes accustomed to good posture that carries over into daily walking and sitting.

3. Strengthens the Muscles

Some riders report that they use their thighs and knees to grip their bikes. Then, to control the bike, riders use their entire arms. Therefore, maneuvering a bike leads to stronger muscles. 

Riders hold the bars and grip the seat. Each action requires contracting muscles in the arms and legs.

The same riders state that riding a bike replaces the need to do squats. Therefore, the small workouts seem intense enough to improve muscle strength. 

4. Strengthens the Joints

In addition to strengthening muscles, riding also strengthens the joints. As individuals age, they must pay extra attention to keeping their muscles and joints healthy. 

Otherwise, they begin to lose tone, strength, and flexibility. Each impacts the range of motion and welcomes pain.

Riding in the proper posture helps keep the joints healthy and makes rides more enjoyable.

5. Low Impact Cardio

When riders go on long rides, they engage in an activity that doubles as low-impact cardio. They maneuver their motorcycles the same way that NASCAR drivers maneuver their cars. 

It takes effort to keep the vehicles moving in the right direction. 

Mental Benefits

Although we outlined more physical benefits than mental ones, the mental benefits that motorcycle riding offers are significant. 

6. Open Road Equals Happiness

Farmers, ranchers, and cowboys who worked the open land built the United States for almost 300 years. Things changed in the mid-1900s when the labor force started working in office settings. 

Working, studying, and living within four walls have impacted mental health. When motorcyclists hit the open road, a positive change in their mental state occurs almost immediately.

In addition to the extra dopamine release, the brain also releases endorphins. Therefore, a natural state of happiness occurs. Plus, the proximity to nature has additional benefits such as relief from stress, and anxiety.

7. Improved Cognitive Function

Since motorcyclists ride in the elements, they must pay more attention to the road and their surroundings.

The necessary alertness to safely ride improves cognitive function over time. It leads to improved brain function, reflexes, and concentration.

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Individuals have taken up riding motorcycles in larger numbers for several reasons. Those who take up riding enjoy several physical and mental benefits. Plus, they save money on transportation and time.