Not-So-Speedy Pedaling Boosts Benefits

Ideal Biking Pace




Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock.com

Researchers from the United Kingdom’s University of Winchester have found that cycling improves brain function. The study tested the cognitive function of 17 physically active men in their 20s before and after two, 30-minute sessions on a stationary bike. The results showed significant cognitive improvements following each session.

Biking to work is also a good way to reduce our carbon footprint, but breathing in exhaust fumes and other pollutants is a concern for street cyclists. Alexander Bigazzi, a transportation expert in the department of civil engineering and school of community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia, has studied the relationship between average-speed bicycle travel and inhalation of potentially harmful air.

Using a U.S. Census-based computer model of 10,000 people, Bigazzi found that the ideal bicycling speed to inhale the minimum amount of pollution is between 7.5 to 12.5 miles per hour (mph), placing the lowest risk for women at nearly eight mph and for men at just over eight mph. “The faster you move, the harder you breathe and the more pollution you could potentially inhale, but you are also exposed to traffic for a shorter period of time. This analysis shows where the sweet spot is,” says Bigazzi.


This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

City Homesteading

Across the country, people in communities of all sizes are crafting ways to grow food, build eco-homes and live in harmony with the environment and each other.

Big Breakfast, Lower Body Mass

People that make breakfast their largest meal of the day have lower body mass, while those that make dinner the biggest meal are likely to weigh more, a recent study concluded.

Zinc Inhibits Throat Cancer

University of Texas researchers have found that zinc supplements can inhibit or slow the growth of esophageal cancer cells.

Moderate Exercise Guards Against Depression

A mere one hour of exercise a week reduced depression in 12 percent of Norwegian study participants.

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Linked to Autism

Children born to Swedish mothers that took antidepressants when pregnant had a slightly higher risk of autism compared to mothers with psychiatric conditions not taking the meds.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Meditation in Boston

In Boston, there are many meditation styles and teachers with a variety of training and personalities to choose from.

Shiatsu's Saviors

Helen Keller’s and Marilyn Monroe’s Places in Shiatsu History
In 1948, during the American occupation of Japan, U.S. President Harry Truman criminalized the practice of Japanese traditional medicine including shiatsu. Many traditional doctors became unemployed, including the blind shiatsu practitioners.

Reiki Meditation

The Inner Determines the Outer
The system of reiki, as developed in Japan by its founder Mikao Usui, is a complete spiritual self-development system of wisdom and compassion teachings, based in meditation and contemplation practices.

Women’s Rehab Center in Portland Takes Alternative Approach to Opiate Addiction

Greener Pastures Holisticare (GPH), in Portland, Maine, announces the grand opening of Greener Pastures Women’s Recovery Home.

New Initiative Creates Foundation for Carbon Neutrality

All are invited to attend Let’s Talk Carbon Neutrality, an upcoming event to be held from 7 to 9 p.m., February 8, at Boston University.

Inspiring Author Shares Story of Courage

Filomena Tripp, author of Invisible Courage, will be speaking from 6 to 8 p.m., February 6, at the Lakeville Public Library.