Cycling is certainly good for a person’s calf and thigh muscles, but Gord Byers firmly believes the benefits go far beyond just that.
Byers has done a fair bit of reading on the benefits of cycling on the brain as well, and while the Parksville resident hasn’t conducted any studies on the matter, he does have a bit of first-hand experience.
The 60-year-old Byers has been delivering copies of The News for the past year and he firmly believes it can do wonders for riders’ gray matter.
“Cycling engages your brain in a way where you are using many facets that are specialized for certain tasks,” he said.
“These involve spacial awareness, abstract reasoning, problem solving and memory.”
This form of what he calls brain gymnastics, he said, help to keep the brain active and engaged.
“The brain is an oxygen junkie,” he said.
“The best way to get that is through physical activity. Cycling increases your heart function and your lung capacity.”
Byers said the increased level of dopamine and endorphins created by cycling fight depression, help you sleep better and build a positive attitude overall.
That’s all theory though, but Byers does have one tangible he can point to in his own life as he cycles his paper route twice a week.
“Since I have been riding I am happier,” he said. “I am more vibrant. It’s the closest thing to flying.”