Regular exercise is essential for good physical and mental health. It keeps you fit. Physical activity prevents many different illnesses, in particular heart disease, mental disorders, cancer, diabetes, joint diseases, and obesity. Regular cycling is a great solution for sedentary people wanting to spice up their routine.
Keep reading to learn about the most important 15 benefits by which cycling benefits can improve your fitness and well-being.
- 1 #1 Cycling May Help You Lose Weight
- 2 #2 Weight Management
- 3 #3 Cycling Will Help Strengthen Your Legs – Build Muscle
- 4 #4 Cycling may lower cholesterol
- 5 #5 Boost Immune System
- 6 #6 Slow Down the Ageing Process
- 7 #7 Meet New People & Socialise More
- 8 #8 Cycling Boosts Mental Health And Brain Power
- 9 #9 Cycling Improves Balance, Posture, And Coordination
- 10 #10 Cycling May Help Prevent And Manage Medical Conditions
- 11 #11 Cycling May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
- 12 #12 Lung Health Benefits Of Cycling
- 13 #13 Save Your Knees
- 14 #14 Look Younger
- 15 #15 Easy to Pick Up
- 16 #16 Cycling Every Day
- 17 Risks And Safety
- 18 Who Shouldn’t Cycle
- 19 Conclusion On Cycling Benefits
#1 Cycling May Help You Lose Weight
Regular cycling, mainly intensive riding, helps to burn body fat, which is important if you want to lose weight.
Additional research showed that a combination of habitual cycling, racing, and strength training can temporarily stimulate your metabolism and help to gain muscle mass, which lets you burn calories, even when you have rest.
#2 Weight Management
A systematic review published in 2019 states that cycling is an effective way to lower body weight and fat levels. In case if you want to reduce body mass, a healthy diet also should not be overlooked. Appropriate training if coupled with diet may help you to achieve desired results.
Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. Another benefit is that speed and length of activity depend on you. The intensity of exercise may vary according to your needs, goals, and preferences.
A study shows that depending on your body type, even riding at a medium speed you can burn as many as 300 calories for an hour. Riding at a higher intensity you can burn more calories for a shorter period.
#3 Cycling Will Help Strengthen Your Legs – Build Muscle
Cycling is a great workout for your legs. While riding a bike, your hamstrings, quads, lower leg muscles, thighs, and glutes get perfect training. As a result, your leg muscles grow and get adapted to the activity. Since the results of your training depend on its intensity, riding at high resistance can help you to build up muscle faster. To increase the efficiency of the training, include sprint intervals in your activity as well as cycling in higher gears and riding uphill.
#4 Cycling may lower cholesterol
One of the health benefits is a positive influence on cholesterol levels. This, in turn, improves the health of your cardiovascular system and reduces the likelihood of such serious conditions as heart attack and stroke.
A review of 300 studies indicated that indoor cycling affects positively total cholesterol. It may improve HDL or “good” cholesterol levels and reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
#5 Boost Immune System
Cycling can support your immune system in its fight against harmful microorganisms. The thymus is a small organ producing special immune cells called T Cells. After the age of 20, it starts getting smaller by 2-3% each year and the immune sensitive becomes weaker. By medium age, the thymus comes down to 15% of its maximum size. The body, therefore, is forced to rely on antibodies it has gained from struggling microorganisms over past years.
Research involving 125 long-distance cyclists aged 80 years showed that their immune systems were as strong as the immune sensitives of people in their 20s. Their thymuses were providing the same amount of T Cells as thymuses of young people do. Active exercise like cycling also helps the body to get rid of harmful bacteria in the lungs and airways which decreases the chance of getting a cold or flu. In addition, when you ride a bike, the body temperature rises which doesn’t allow germs to grow and helps the body resists infection.
#6 Slow Down the Ageing Process
As the years pass by, it gets difficult to keep fit and maintain muscle mass. When a person, especially an elderly one, gives up on exercise, muscle mass lowers and the aging process speeds up.
Researchers compared the health of seniors between the ages of 55 and 79. Participants of one group were cyclists, while participants of another group were healthy non-cyclists of the same age. As the study showed, cyclists were healthier. They preserved their muscle mass and strength in comparison with those who didn’t cycle. They also had stable fat levels and better cholesterol rates. Men who rode a bike had higher testosterone levels as well.
Cycling also can increase your life expectancy as it lowers the risk of chronic disease. A study conducted in the UK with the participation of 260 000 adults indicated those who cycled reduced their risk of death from all causes by 40% and reduced the risk of cancer and heart disease by 45%.
Cycling is also an active training that preserves telomere length. The shortening of telomere leads provokes aging and cell death. Regular exercise can preserve up to 9 years of reduced cellular deterioration.
However, Continuing cycling can become difficult with age. If a person has joint and muscle disease or problems with coordination and balance, it’s a sign to stop cycling practices.
#7 Meet New People & Socialise More
Riding a bike can be performed as a group activity. You can cycle regularly with your friends, family, or cycling club members. With cycling, you get an opportunity to spend more time outside with real people having the same interests and goals.
Many cities have local cycling clubs where people of different levels of training. Cycling helps you to make friends with people who have the same hobby, are ready to communicate, and spend time together, set targets, and cooperate to achieve them together.
#8 Cycling Boosts Mental Health And Brain Power
Regular exercise such as cycling may relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. Riding a bike makes you focus on the road and the views you see around. It helps to divert your attention from myriad problems and concerns you may face during the day.
A study has confirmed that cycling outside enhanced mental health and well-being for older adults. Mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced by regular bike riding. This is due to the effects of the exercise itself and because of the enjoyment that riding a bike can bring.
When you face such feelings as apathy, emptiness, and inability to concentrate, take a nice bike trip, at least for 10 minutes.
The activity provokes the production of endorphins in your brain. This, in turn, eases stress and makes you feel better. If cycling becomes a part of your routine, it also contributes to your confidence and satisfaction with life.
#9 Cycling Improves Balance, Posture, And Coordination
Balance gets worse due to aging and sedentary lifestyle. Problems with balance can cause falls and fractures.
Cycling is a perfect way to improve balance. Riding a bike requires keeping your body straight and working on your balance. It also improves your coordination and even the way you walk.
#10 Cycling May Help Prevent And Manage Medical Conditions
Cycling helps avoid health problems or cope with ones you already have. In addition, using a bicycle you can avoid health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Riding a bike habitually has health benefits, cause it helps avoid and manage type 2 diabetes.
According to a recent study cycling can reduce mortality levels for people with diabetes by 24%, and if they continue cycling for more than 5 years, can lower mortality by 35%.
#11 Cycling May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
If you want to improve the function of your heart and vessels, raise your heart rate and get fitter, cycling is a perfect solution.
Improved cardiovascular health. A review of 2019 suggests that cycling regularly lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cycling is also associated with lower mortality rates and lower rates of risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and physical inactivity.
Riding a bike habitually can protect you from serious heart problems like stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack.
Another nine-year study from Harvard Medical School found those with the most friends cut the risk of an early death by more than 60 per cent, reducing blood pressure and strengthening their immune system.
Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.
#12 Lung Health Benefits Of Cycling
Cycling has health benefits for your lungs, as it enhances cardiorespiratory health. A study published in 2011 showed that cycling for about 170-250 minutes a week can have a great impact on lung health.
An article indicates that an activity such as cycling is vital to keep lungs in good condition if even if you have or don’t have problems with the lungs.
Research also made it clear that exercise can boost the immune responses so it can protect from respiratory diseases like SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Regular pedaling also can improve lung function in people having a lung disease. For instance, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can add cycling to their pulmonary rehabilitation plan.
#13 Save Your Knees
Many kinds of sports, especially those involving running, have a high impact on knee joints. Cycling, however, is very gentle to your knees. That’s why this kind of activity suits elderly people too. The comfortable position of your bike seat also helps to protect your knees.
#14 Look Younger
Research by Stanford University showed that regular cycling protects your skin from UV rays. The activity, therefore, decreases signs of aging. Fast blood circulation while cycling makes cells get nutrients and remove toxins. So all you need is to use suntan lotion before a trip.
#15 Easy to Pick Up
Compared with other activities, cycling seems to be quite easy and available exercise even for beginners. You don’t need any special skills to start cycling. Such a mix of usability and exercise makes cycling attractive to many people.
Cycling can become a part of your routine as an exercise, as a transport to get to your work, as a hobby, and as an entertainment.
#16 Cycling Every Day
Riding a bike can be your daily activity, especially if you cycle to the office or enjoy bike trips at a low intensity.
Of course, pain, fatigue, or muscle soreness are signs to take a break from cycling.
If cycling is a kind of sport exercise for you need to have rest at least a day per week. Rest and recovery are vital for avoiding injury and better results. This is especially relevant if you cycle at a high intensity or you feel any pain in the body.
Risks And Safety
People who are looking for a proper activity may consider outdoor cycling unsafe. Here are some hints that can help you reduce the risks of getting an injury:
Consult Your doctor
If you have questions and concerns regarding your health, pre-existing injuries, accidents, or falling off a bicycle, discuss them with your doctor. Discussing the pros and cons of cycling with a doctor may help you to make an informed decision. You can also consider indoor cycling as a safer variant.
Wear a Helmet
A study suggests that wearing a helmet reduces the chance of suffering a serious head injury in case of a bicycle crash by around 50%
Wear Cycling Clothes
Special clothes for cycling usually are made of reflective materials and have bright colors. It makes cyclists visible to drivers. The special fabric also helps control sweating and protects skin from chafing. Bicycle shorts often have a thick pad to provide cushioning and prevent chafing.
Choose a Suitable Bicycle
There are many variants of bicycles available in stores. Try to find one, which doesn’t cause excessive strain on the body. Look for one that puts less stress on your body, such as a beach cruiser or comfort bike. An experienced consultant at a bike store can help you to find a bike right for you.
Ensuring a Correct Position
Adopting a comfortable bike position is also vital. A correct position can prevent injury and improve the results of your training.
Use a Padded Saddle
Pressure-relieving saddles can properly support the body and prevent any numbness, tingling, or discomfort.
Minimizing Pollution Exposure
Although cycle benefits prevail over its risks of exposure to air pollution, you can lower the risks and protect yourself. As a variant, you can choose less polluted areas for your bike trips and cycle when traffic is not very busy.
Who Shouldn’t Cycle
If you have any injuries that cycling can affect, it’s better to wait for your complete recovery.
Consult your physician if you have any medical condition that cycling can affect. People having problems with balance, hearing or vision may choose an exercise bike for cycling indoor.
If you don’t like cycling but are looking for any kind of aerobic exercise to perform, you may prefer running hills, swimming, or walking. Other options are rowing, stair-climbing, and elliptical machine.
Conclusion On Cycling Benefits
As you could notice, cycling has multiple advantages. It can help you avoid many serious medical conditions and prolong your lifespan. It can improve both physical and mental health. So it’s an available exercise for most people. Consider safety measures and then cycling can become a part of your day.