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Cycling for Brain Health

A smiling man on his bicycle on a bike trail
adamkaz/Getty Images

Want to get a great workout without pounding the pavement (and your knees)?

Biking is one of the most versatile forms of exercise: It’s suitable for all fitness levels, gentle on the joints, and you can cycle outdoors or inside on a stationary bike. Like other forms of aerobic activity, biking can strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, and research suggests it also may benefit your brain.

Ordinary bicycles and stationary bikes are a great option, but so are e-bikes — equipped with a motor that can assist with pedaling. True, e-bikes can require less effort, but that doesn’t mean you’re cheating. Some research shows that e-bike riders spend more time cycling than their regular-bike counterparts.

To get the potential brain and overall health benefits from cycling, make it a part of your weekly routine. National guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. If you’ve been inactive, talk with your doctor first, and consider starting with five or 10 minutes, working up to 30 minutes.

Learn more about the benefits of bicycling on Staying Sharp.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

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