For those of us who have been riding bikes for years, the benefits of cycling are not only obvious but plentiful. However, if you're new to cycling and are "sitting on the fence," then this article is for you.
Cycling has many benefits that go far beyond helping you to stay fit and maintain a healthy weight. The opportunity to spend time with family and friends while getting fit and helping the environment stay greener are just two of the important social benefits of cycling.
There's nothing better than riding your bike to work on a beautiful day with the fresh air blowing in your face and the sun gleaming down. I love cycling because it keeps me fit and healthy and helps clear my mind when I'm feeling stressed out from work. Health-wise, cycling has also been shown to help with severe physical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and arthritis.
Whether you're young or old, male or female, cycling is the perfect sport for you. Unlike running, which is a high-impact sport that can cause knee and hip pain, cycling is a low-impact sport and can be performed daily at a moderate intensity.
Cycling offers an efficient and fun mode of transport, so next time you're thinking of popping down to the shops or running an errand, do yourself and the environment a favor and take your bike.
7 Top Health Benefits Of Cycling
When the average person thinks of "cycling," it conjures up images and thoughts of super skinny men and women riding expensive bikes wearing lycra that, in many cases, is just as expensive. Still, in reality, those cyclists make up a tiny percentage of people who actually ride bikes.
Most people cycle and ride bikes for fun on the weekend or commute to work or school. The best thing about cycling is that you can perform it daily and only need two to four hours each week to see significant benefits.
Here are a few of the physical and mental health benefits of cycling you might not have been aware of.
Cycling is classified as a "low-impact" sport, putting very little stress on your bones, joints, and muscles. It's an excellent exercise for those people who have knee or joint pain or those recovering from injury or undergoing rehabilitation.
Yep, that's right; cycling doesn't just work the lower body muscles like your quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings. Cycling also requires a decent amount of core strength and provides a good workout for your arms and shoulder as you grip the handlebars.
Cycling Is Easy
Many sports, such as running, require a high level of fitness and a certain amount of technical expertise. Cycling is simple; Everyone knows how to ride a bike, and almost everyone has a bike at home.
Strength And Conditioning
Many people view cycling as an aerobic sport which it is; however, did you know that cycling is also an excellent way to strengthen and improve overall physical conditioning. Cycling regularly can dramatically improve your strength and stamina and increase your cardiovascular fitness.
Choose Your Intensity
When you jump on a bike, the intensity and duration that you want to ride at are entirely up to you. Cycling is perfect for experienced athletes who like to train at high intensity or those at the other end of the spectrum who just want to ride for fun.
Whether you're an experienced cyclist or a beginner, cycling is fun; I love cycling on the weekends with my daughter, and the best part is she loves it too. We're lucky because we live in a mountainous area with breathtaking scenery, fresh air, and no cars. My daughter and I love going downhill fast; although my wife would prefer we took it a bit slower.
Effective And Efficient
Think of all the time you waste sitting in your car on the way to work or when you go shopping on the weekends. You could be using the same amount of time to get fit and save money and the environment at the same time.
Reduced-Fat And Weight Management
Cycling is an excellent exercise that has been shown to reduce fat while helping to maintain a healthy body weight. As you ride your bike, your metabolic rate increases, which in turn promotes muscle building while simultaneously burning body fat.
You can also take advantage of the many fitness apps you can download for your iPhone to help track your fitness progress. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds, and there are several excellent bike mounts on the market to help you easily view your data as you ride along. Make sure, though, that you have an iPhone compatible charging case to keep your battery topped up during the ride. iPhone charging cases are one of the best ways to ensure you don't lose your valuable ride data halfway through your activity. Be sure to use a secure phone mount and charging case when cycling.
Many sports offer these same benefits, but cycling does so in a way that has minimal impact on your joints and muscles. Research shows that the average person should be burning close to 2000 calories each week via exercise.
Low-intensity cycling burns roughly 300 calories an hour which might not seem like much, but when you factor in the fact you can cycle every day, the calories burned adds up.
Cycling And Diabetes
Unfortunately, there has been an increase in serious diseases in recent years, one of which is type 2 diabetes. Poor diet and the lack of exercise are the two main culprits of this worrying trend. However, there is hope, and it comes in the form of cycling. Research out of Finland has shown that people who rode their bikes for 45 minutes per day reduced the chance of developing diabetes by nearly 40%.
Cycling And Stress
Cycling has also been shown to help people overcome mental illness and disorders such as stress and anxiety, and even chronic depression. When you cycle and exercise, endorphins are released, which raises our level of enjoyment and helps to clear our minds from the day's stresses.
Bonus Benefits Of Cycling
Cycling has considerable physical and mental benefits, all of which can be achieved with only 30 to 60 minutes of activity each day. Many of these benefits go far above and beyond those of other sports or exercises.
The benefits of regular cycling include:
- Improved aerobic and cardiovascular fitness
- Increased strength and conditioning
- Increased joint and muscle mobility
- Significantly helps to reduce stress and anxiety
- Helps to strengthen bones
- Reduces body fat and helps manage weight
- Helps to prevent or mitigate the risk of disease
- May help those suffering from depression
That’s A Wrap
So as you can see, apart from having fantastic physical health benefits, cycling also has a plethora of other positives, such as improving mental health, mitigating obesity, and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Cycling is an excellent way to stay fit while enjoying time outside with friends and family; so dust off your old bike and start appreciating the great outdoors