Cycling is a low impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. It also varies in intensity, so it’s suitable for all levels. You can cycle as a mode of transportation, for casual activity, or as an intense, competitive endeavour.
Cycling is a wonderful workout that keeps you active. It can help shape a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.
Continue reading to look at some of the ways cycling can enhance your fitness level and well-being.
- Cycling may help you lose weight
Cycling regularly can help lower your body fat levels, which in turn promotes healthy weight management. Cycling is an excellent low-impact aerobic exercise. It boosts your metabolism and therefore helps speed up weight loss as you become fitter. Even cycling at a moderate speed of around 15kmph you can burn roughly 7 calories every minute – so approximately 210 calories in an average half hour commute.
- Cycling tones your body
Cycling strengthens and tones your leg muscles without overstressing your joints. It targets your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Toning belly fat may take longer and a bit more effort, try interval training once or twice a week, warm up for 10 to 15 minutes then pick up the pace and work harder (a 9 on a scale of 1 – 10) for 30 to 60 seconds and finally go easy for one minute. Repeat for a total of 5 times and don’t forget to cool down for 2 to 3 minutes to finish.
- Cycling is good for beginners
For people that are new to fitness or bouncing back from an injury or illness, cycling at a low intensity is a great way to build fitness. As you get more fit, you can increase the intensity. E-bike riders get almost as much of workout on an electric bike as non-assisted bikes. Fitter e-bike riders can keep a pace above 25kmph with less perceived exertion.
- Cycling may lower cholesterol
Many studies have shown that people who cycle to work are less likely to have high cholesterol. Cycling boosts your cardiovascular health and lowers your chances of stroke and heart attack.
- Cycling boosts mental health and brain power
Cycling releases, the ‘feel-good’ hormones known as endorphins. These hormones help to relax your mind and make you feel happier. Cycling therefore gives you a mood boost and reduces your feelings of anxiety. Cycling has also been shown to promote new thought patterns in the brain thus improving overall brain cognitive function and well-being.
- Cycling can help people recovering from illnesses or injury
The low intensity and low impact nature of moderate cycling can be a great form of exercise to include in an illness or injury recovery plan. Cycling is less jarring to the spine than many other forms of aerobic exercise, it also limits impact stress on weight-bearing joints like hips, knees, and feet. Plus, the movement of pedalling helps lubricate the joints, which reduces pain and stiffness.
- Cycling is a positive way to start your day
Beginning your day with a healthy activity like cycling wakes you up by boosting your circulation and allows you to start your day with positivity. When you start your day on a positive note it can carry through to the rest of your day. If cycling becomes part of your daily commute, then the hard part is done, you’re getting your exercise in first thing and starting your day on a high.
- Cycling may help prevent some medical conditions
Doctors advise that riding a bike can combat a variety of health issues and ailments. Regular exercise can help prevent heart issues such as stroke, heart attack, and high blood pressure. Cycling has also been shown to help prevent and manage Type2 Diabetes. Just a few hours of pedalling per week can have a profoundly positive effect on our immune system and life expectancy.
- Cycling is environmentally friendly
In today’s world the visible effects of climate change are all around us and reducing your carbon footprint it a top priority for many. Recent research in Europe found that commuting by bike instead of by car once a day decreases your transportation carbon footprint by 67%. If you are concerned about the carbon it took to manufacture your bike, Trek Bikes recently released a study that found that if you cycle 430 miles (equivalent to approx. 2kms per day) that you would have otherwise driven, at that point you have effectively offset the carbon it took to manufacture your bike and you are then cycling carbon neutral.
- Cycling improves balance, posture, and coordination
Balance tends to decline as you age and become less active. Muscle weakness and limited joint movement increases the risk of falling Cycling is an ideal exercise for improving balance. Keeping you and your bike upright helps with balance. Strengthened muscles through cycling also improves coordination and posture, both of which help with balance
So, there you have it, our top ten reasons to cycle, but then you knew that already! Now it’s time to tell your non-cycling friends the wonderful and many benefits of cycling.