Cycling is mainly a low-impact aerobic activity, and this means that your lungs, heart, and blood vessels all get a workout. With this aerobic exercise, you get to perspire, breathe deeper and experience increased body temperature. This will generally help improve your overall fitness level. In addition, cycling is a wonderful exercise that keeps you active and in good shape of health. It can also be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to old adults. It’s equally fun and cheap to practice. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults perform at least 200minutes of active aerobic exercise such as cycling every week. One of the time-efficient ways of combining cycling with your daily activities or routine is riding to your workplace or school. With this, you equally get all the health benefits of cycling while doing your regular life routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles daily for sport, competitive endeavor, transport, and recreation.
Benefits of cycling
Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that offers many benefits, and it’s almost as endless as the sea crossword clue. If you ever consider taking up cycling, you may weigh it up against other potential activities, then you can tell that cycling is hands down one of the best options.
Below are some of the health benefits of cycling;
It is a low impact exercise
Cycling is an easy and low-impact exercise making it a great and safe option for people(especially adults with health problems). Anyone who wants intense exercise without stressing their joints or muscles can opt for cycling. It’s also great for people who have joint concerns, especially in their lower body region. Orthopedic doctors often recommend cycling on level surfaces or indoors after surgeries such as knee arthroplasty.
Helps with weight control and management
Cycling regularly, especially at a high intensity, is a good way to control or reduce weight. It helps lower body fat levels and promotes healthy weight management as it raises your metabolic rate and builds your muscles even while you’re at rest. Cycling is very comfortable and easy due to its flexibility. You can easily change the time and intensity of the exercise to suit you personally. In addition, consistency in cycling will help burn at least 300 calories per hour. And if you cycle twice per day, the calories burnt add up. In addition, it’s advised to combine cycling with a healthy dieting plan if you’re trying to lose weight.
It helps build muscle
Cycling is an aerobic exercise, not resistance training. However, the effort you put in staying upright and keeping the bicycle/bike in position or in motion engages your muscles throughout your body, including the upper body and core. This will help improve the overall function of your lower body and build your muscles. In addition, cycling also works your core muscles, back, and abdominals.
It helps prevent arthritis or bone injuries
Cycling targets your low quads, glutes, hamstring, and calves (your lower body ). It also strengthens your leg without overstressing them. It generally improves your strength, balance, and coordination and may prevent fractures or falls. Cycling as a low impact is an ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis because this exercise places little effort on your joints.
It boosts mental health
The effects and enjoyment of riding a bike help with mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or stress. Sports generally help relieve stress or boost your mood due to the release of hormones such as endorphins or adrenaline. However, cycling is on another level when it comes to relieving stress, depression, or anxiety. That is because it helps develop concentration and awareness at that particular period. Besides that, it also gives you time to process your worries or concerns, especially when you ride alone. When you ride in a group, it can also help broaden your social circle.
It helps improve cardiovascular health
A lot of research has proven that cycling can help improve heart health. People who cycle regularly tend to have improved cardiovascular functioning and are safe from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, or high blood pressure. Whenever you ride a bike or bicycle, your heart rate increases. As a result, your heart pumps more blood around your body, which helps burn calories, strengthen your heart muscles, lowers the resting pulse, and helps reduce blood fat levels. In addition, recent research shows that people who cycle regularly have a 52% lower risk of having cardiovascular diseases. This result also indicates that cycling may as well reduce the risk of developing cancer.
It can help with cancer
Some research shows the relationship between exercise and cancer(especially breast or colon cancer). It is one of the selected exercises recommended by the NHS as a healthy way of lowering the risk of developing some major illnesses such as cancer. In addition, it was found after a series of researches that cycling can help cut the risk of developing cancer in half. Furthermore, cycling is also an excellent addition to your care plan if you’re recovering from cancer. It helps keep you fit and may reduce your risk of other diseases.