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Is Riding A Motorcycle Good Or Bad For Your Health?

Is Riding A Motorcycle Good Or Bad For Your Health? Compared to driving a car, riding a motorcycle can bring many health benefits. However, there are also health risks associated with riding a motorcycle that are worth noting too. This post delves into some of the different health benefits and health risks that come with riding a motorbike.

The endorphin rush

One of the biggest draws to riding a motorcycle is the thrill that it brings. While driving a car fast can produce the same thrills, riding a motorcycle can take it up a notch because you can feel the air passing by you and much more in tune with the movement of the vehicle. Thrilling activities release feelgood chemicals called endorphins that make us happier. In fact, numerous studies have found that motorcyclists are on average happier than other motorists. Endorphins may also help to boost our immune system and help numb chronic pain conditions.

Reduced stress

Riding a motorcycle is on average less stressful than driving a car. This is because motorcyclists don’t have to deal with many of the stresses that car drivers deal with. For one, they can filter through traffic jams. Secondly, finding a parking space is generally much easier. This reduced stress can similarly contribute to a healthier mental state. A less stressful commute to work could even improve productivity at work and result in a happier attitude in the workplace.

A core workout

Riding a motorcycle is much more physically intense than driving. While you’re not having to pedal like you are on a push bike, riding a motorcycle does still exercise your core muscles. Your core is a group of muscles that includes your abs, your glutes, your upper thighs and the lower muscles in your back. These muscles control your sense of balance and your ability to hold the right posture. Driving a car doesn’t exercise any of these muscles. In fact, you don’t really exercise any muscles at all while driving a car except those in your ankles.

Burning calories

It’s possible to burn 100 to 300 calories per hour when riding a motorcycle. While this doesn’t mean that you should ride a motorcycle
instead of going to the gym, riding a motorbike can help you to shed those extra pounds compared to driving a car (which burns no calories at all). Those who ride motocross or race motorcycles can burn even more calories per hour – up to 600 in some cases. Motorcycle passengers can even burn calories in some cases because they too are having to exercise their core muscles.

Risk of accident

Now we get into the health risks of riding a motorcycle. Perhaps the biggest health risk is the high chance of getting in a road accident and the greater risk of such an accident causing injury/being fatal. Motorcyclists that are involved in a road accident have an 80% chance of getting injured. Meanwhile drivers and passengers in a car that are involved in a road accident are only 20% likely to sustain an injury. The majority of motorcyclist injuries and fatalities are caused by collisions with cars – most of which are the fault of the car. While a motorcycle attorney can often help to gain compensation for such accidents, most of us would much rather avoid having to be involved in such accidents. Wearing the right safety gear and not riding in dangerous weather conditions can help to reduce your chance of being injured in an accident. Pay special attention when choosing your helmet – ensure that it has a good safety rating and that it fits snugly – and avoid riding when the roads are icy.

Exposure to heat and cold

Motorcyclists can be prone to heatstroke in hot weather – especially when wearing full safety gear. At the same time, riding in very cold weather or rain can come with an increased risk of hypothermia. Most motorcyclists don’t experience these health problems. However, the risk is there – and is something that most other motorists don’t have to worry about due to being sheltered from the elements. Dressing appropriately for the weather and not riding during extreme temperatures can reduce the risk of developing health problems.

Hearing damage

Motorcycle engines are very noisy. In fact, they can regularly exceed 95 decibels at high speeds. Wind noise can also exceed 100 decibels at high speeds. Considering that prolonged exposure to noises above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage, there is clearly a risk of hearing loss that comes with riding a motorcycle. Wearing earplugs and a properly fitted helmet can reduce the risk of hearing damage. There are earplugs designed for motorcyclists that you can buy that feel comfortable when worn beneath a helmet.

Hand-arm vibration syndrome

Hand-arm vibration syndrome is a feeling of numbness in the hands caused by exposure to vibrations. It is commonly caused by operating certain power tools for long periods, but can also be caused by gripping the handlebars of a motorcycle. Although physiotherapy has been known to help treat hand-arm vibration syndrome, the effects of this condition can sometimes be permanent. Fortunately, hand-arm vibration syndrome is often something that can be prevented. Wearing padded gloves and not gripping the handlebars too tightly can often reduce damage from vibrations. Newer motorbikes are also less likely to produce damage from vibrations, so carefully consider which bike you choose.

Is riding a motorcycle healthy?

Riding a motorcycle does have some clear health benefits such as exercising the core and helping relieve stress. But it can also produce some adverse health effects – preventing it from being a truly healthy activity.

Fortunately, most of the health risks of riding a motorbike can be minimised by taking certain precautions. Wearing gear like earplugs, padded gloves and a good quality helmet can protect you from injuries. Improving the way in which you drive can also have an impact – this includes not riding in treacherous weather conditions and loosening your grip on the handlebars. By taking these precautions, you should be able to prevent any damage to your health.

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