We often listen about the environmental benefits of cycling to work. However, the cyclist has a lot to gain, as cycling is good for our health in numerous ways. From prolonging our lifespan to helping us lose weight, here are the top 11 ways in which cycling improves our health.
Live long and cycle
Studies have shown that when a person adopts an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle, their cells die out faster. Since cycling is considered a physical activity, you might actually live to see 100 on your bicycle.
In order to reap the benefits of cycling, you should ride your bike regularly, at least twice a week. This way, you are lowering the risk of getting sick type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The more you pedal, the stronger will your immune system get.
Breathing in health
You know cardio has been solid when you are left gasping for air at the end of the training session. Swimming, running, and, cycling are among the activities that can increase your lung capacity the most.
Cycling is the most moderate exercise of the three listed, as it helps you regulate breathing as you accelerate and brake.
Essentially, if you find yourself catching your breath after a couple of flights of stairs, you should really consider taking up cycling as a way to increase lung capacity.
Riding through nature
We associate the color green with a pleasurable feeling and our eyesight actually gets a chance to rest when we observe a green backdrop in the distance. That’s why it’s important where you ride your bicycle.
Cycling to work is a great way to be conscious about the environment but if you wish to relax, then ride your bike through a more natural landscape. A bicycle ride through the countryside is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban settlements.
Since we don’t take cycling seriously, we fail to realize that it’s actually a form of brain food. Namely, scientists have discovered that cyclists perform better in IQ mental tests, as they are able to recognize the shape and place them in the correct order or pattern.
Quality family time
Apart from breathing fresh air, cycling is a great way to reconnect with your family. You’ll find all sorts of bikes at the local bicycle shop from tandem bicycles to kids’ bikes with training wheels. If you cannot find a model you like in the store, you can always customize it and order it online.
Going for a Sunday ride down the quay with your spouse and children is time wisely spent. On the other side, cycling can be a loner’s sport, as you unwind while making your way across hilly terrain on a mountain bike.
We have mentioned earlier that cycling is considered moderate physical activity. This makes it ideal for people with limited mobility, such as senior citizens. You are never too old to hop on a bike, as many seniors have found out. Since your grandchildren love to ride their bicycles, cycling is a great outdoor activity for bonding.
Building up stamina
A great thing about cycling is that the greater distance you cover, the more you are able to ride even farther. Building your stamina while cycling is ideal for pretty much any other sport, so professional athletes enjoy riding a bike in their leisure time.
Building up stamina isn’t exclusively a physical process. Namely, as your strength and durability grow, so does your confidence. After you stop gasping for air every time you take the stairs, you will have more confidence in your physical abilities.
Improved mental health
Even before the 2020 coronavirus pandemic hit we lead stressful lives. Instead of using antidepressants, it’s much healthier to get on a bike and clear your mind on the road. Cycling has the power to relieve constant stress by helping us focus on keeping the wheel straight instead of thinking about a row at work, for example.
Cyclists, both amateur and professional ones, live in the present moment. This way, their mind isn’t burdened by past and future events, as your only worry is to stay safe while navigating through traffic. The therapeutic effects if further enhanced if you decide to ride your bike through a natural landscape.
Amassing muscle mass
You may not regard of cycling as a sport suitable for bodybuilding but it really is great for building muscle mass. Lower body muscles will get a great workout every time you pedal for more than an hour. Turn this into a regular practice and your calves will grow in size, as you strengthen both legs.
Strong at heart
Having mentioned good cardio, we feel obliged to mention that cardiovascular diseases have been marked by the World Health Organization as extremely dangerous. Rising your bike for under half an hour per day has the potential to reduce the chances of a heart attack by as much as 50%!
In this sense, cycling is similar to other physical activates but definitely more fun than jogging or weightlifting, for example. Since there is no discomfort or pain associated with cycling, it’s mentally easier to pedal away somber thoughts.
Aiding weight loss
If you are trying to lose weight, then you should really take up cycling in addition to jogging and a sport of your choice. Once you cross the threshold of obesity, it becomes hard both mentally and physically to hit the gym, for instance.
Hopping on your bike, on the other side, isn’t strenuous because most folks actually like to cycle. In terms of social interaction, no one will judge your weight when you sweep past them on your beloved two-wheeler.
Moreover, running puts a lot of stress on the ankles, while that stress is non-existent when cycling. When you get on a bike, your lower body musculature will be relieved from the stress it’s under when you walk or run.
The full list of health benefits of cycling is endless. There isn’t an organ or a bodily function that isn’t affected in a positive way by pedaling. From a strong heart to beefy calves, riding a bicycle is among the best workout you can get.
Related: What Size Bike Do I Need?
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