With temperatures inching upward, today would be a great day to finally get that old bicycle out of storage and tune it up for tomorrow’s Bike to Work Day. May is National Bike Month, this week is Bike to Work Week, and tomorrow – Friday, May 18 – is Bike to Work Day. (If you’re here in the Nation’s Capital, visit the Bike to Work Day website for more information on tomorrow’s events.)

Riding your bike is a great way to enjoy this beautiful spring weather, and maintain or work toward a healthy, balanced and active lifestyle. But don’t just take our word for it – according to the Discovery Channel, bicycling is “one of the best all-around activities for improving our health” and the benefits are numerous:

1. Cycling is good for your heart: Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. Cycling is good for your muscles: Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body. It’s also a great low-impact mode of exercise for those with joint conditions or injuries to the legs or hips, which might keep them from being active.

3. Cycling is good for your waistline: You can burn a lot of calories while biking, especially when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace, and cycling has been associated with helping to prevent weight gain. It also has the added benefit of ramping up your metabolism, even after the ride is over.

4. Cycling is good for your lifespan: Bicycling is a great way to increase your longevity, as cycling regularly has been associated with increased ‘life-years’, even when adjusted for risks of injury through cycling.

5. Cycling is good for your coordination: Moving both feet around in circles while steering with both your hands and your own body weight is good practice for your coordination skills.

6. Cycling is good for your mental health: Riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health.

7. Cycling is good for your immune system: Cycling can strengthen your immune system!

[Source: Discovery Channel]

We also think bicycling is a lot of fun!

So, this week – and every week –encourage your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to ride their bikes to work. Or after work. Or on the weekend. Wherever and whenever they decide to take a ride, when it comes to their health, we know they’re only heading somewhere good.

And most importantly: don’t forget to bring a refreshing beverage with you to help stay hydrated!