Health Benefits of Cycling
One of the main reasons I converted to a cyclist is because of the health benefits that come with its low-impact nature.
There are many reasons why cycling is a great form of exercise, but for the purpose of this article we will focus on (6) six for now.
Recent studies have shown that people who cycle regularly have about 15 percent fewer heart attacks than non-cyclists. Therefore, increased cardiovascular fitness through cycling has shown fewer cardiovascular events in active individuals.
During a cycling cardiovascular workout, people breathe deeper, sweat and increase their body temperature. This activity improves your overall fitness level, which promotes a healthy heart.
Physical activity through cycling helps reduce anxiety. It gives you a chance to fit in a low-impact workout, which helps to escape from stressful environments that contribute to anxiety.
Other common mental benefits of cycling are:
- Reduced risk of depression
- Helps you sleep better
- Improves your memory
- Helps you feel good
- Assists in boosting productivity
Cycling also improves flexibility and coordination. Being active on the bike gives you a chance to coordinate many movements at once. Balance, awareness, forward motion and strength control are just a few of the many coordinated moves orchestrated constantly to cycle safely.
Constant peddling activity stretches your muscles increasing the range of movement one has. Don’t forget to stretch before and after each ride to avoid stiffness.
Aerobic activity helps to decrease body fat levels. By hopping on a bike a few times a week and getting a good workout in, you will for sure burn calories. An increased heart rate over a consistent period of time will give you quite the burn.
Try wearing a heart rate monitor and recording your activity. Many smart watches include the heart rate monitor feature. Or you can use a separate device such as a Wahoo Tickr which will sync with an app on your phone. This will allow you to track data for review so you can make educated decisions on what areas to work on.
I tracked over 150+ rides in 2019 to understand where my normal and max heart rates were. In doing so, I better understood how many calories I could burn in an hour. By understanding my caloric burn, I could predict when I would lose weight. Therefore, assisting in weight loss.
In a nutshell, cycling in conjunction with the proper diet can easily assist in decreasing your waistline.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise. This means that riding a bike limits impact stress on weight-bearing joints, like your hips, knees and feet. Plus, the movement helps lubricate the joints, which reduces pain and stiffness.
Studies have also shown that cycling may help reduce arthritis symptoms as well. The activity will significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness, physical limitations and enhance the quality of life in middle-aged and older adults with osteoarthritis.
Those that ride their bike on a regular basis have shown they can increase their strength as well as their flexibility. To properly do so, you should create a routine that safely pushes the limits of how much you can achieve.
Cycling builds the muscular structure while targeting cardiovascular endurance. It also tones and works many muscles in the body. While the primary muscles targeted are certainly the lower body muscles, the arm muscles as well as the core also get in a great workout.
In conclusion, cycling is a great form of exercise. The benefits received by consistently riding outweigh the physical work one has to put out. This is why it became my “go to” in a time where I was struggling physically.