If you like the sound of keeping fit, exploring new places, and being in the open air, why not take up cycling? For those who already cycle, you’ll already be aware of the benefits it can bring, both for your mental and physical health.
Eight Awesome Health Benefits of Cycling
Whether you cycle around your neighborhood or go on a long-distance journey, here are some of the advantages you’ll gain from getting on the saddle and going for a ride.
1. Safe Activity
Cycling is essentially a safe activity. However, this will depend on your experience and how confident you feel on the road. The biggest risk attached to cycling is theft or damage. Therefore, it’s always recommended to take out insurance to cover you. If you have a specialized bike, you can check out Velosurance who provide specialized bikes insurance. Each policy of their specialized bikes insurance can be customized and provide additional coverage including liability protection. Because cycling is generally safe, there are no excuses not to get outdoors and reap the health benefits below.
2. Boosts Mental Wellbeing
No one goes through life without some stress. While many can manage their stress levels, others find it difficult to unwind. If you’re under constant pressure and feel anxious, grabbing your bike helmet and going out for a ride can relieve anxiety and eradicate any worries and fears you have. Getting some fresh air in your lungs can boost your mood, give you a sharper mind, and help you return home feeling more positive. Cycling releases endorphins in the brain, which are hormones that make you feel happier.
3. Strengthens Immune System
We know of certain things to do to boost our immune system. From not smoking to eating a diet high in fruit and veg, you may not be aware of how great cycling is for your physical wellbeing. Going for regular bike rides can boost your immune system by enabling immune cells to perform effectively. This can increase blood flow, reduce stress and inflammation, and strengthen antibodies. Try to go on a 20-to-30-minute bike ride each day to get the best results.
4. Helps You Lose Weight
If you’re always trying the latest fad diet and aren’t getting the results you want, it may be worth looking at cycling. 30 minutes of cycling can help you shift the pounds, especially if you go hard. While cycling can help you lose weight, it won’t happen overnight. But, as you get into the habit of going for a bike ride, you should notice a benefit to your waistline. If you dread the idea of going to the gym and want an activity that stimulates you, there are effective strategies you can try when cycling to lose weight.
5. Builds Muscle
The resistance element of bike rides doesn’t just burn fat; it builds muscle too! When you cycle, you’ll notice muscle building around your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. One of the great things about cycling is it targets many muscles in your body. However, if you aspire to have quads like a track sprinter, cycling alone won’t achieve it. Instead, you’ll need to spend a large chunk of time at the squat rack.
6. May Lower Cholesterol
It’s estimated that over 40% the U.S adult population aged 20 and above have high cholesterol. If you’re in this bracket, this increases your risk of having a stroke or getting heart disease. While your doctor may have advised you to eat less fatty food or cut down on alcohol to lower cholesterol, activities like cycling can be beneficial too. Research indicates that riding a bike is an effective and safe aerobic exercise for burning calories and lowering cholesterol. This is because cycling is repetitive and works multiple muscle groups.
7. Improves Joint Mobility
A common part of getting older is losing mobility. Although we all have to go through the aging process, to keep hold of your independence and staying on your feet, cycling is an excellent way to improve joint mobility. Some people find cycling easier than walking. If this sounds like you, getting on your bike and going for a long ride can help maintain strength and mobility.
8. Enhances Posture
While cycling doesn’t involve having your shoulders back and standing up straight, this exercise is an effective way to enhance your posture. This is because when you’re riding, you’re forced to keep your back straight, which prevents any slouching. Unlike an aerobic class or jogging, cycling is less jarring to the spine too. To maintain proper cycling posture, there are certain things you must do. These include keeping your shoulders relaxed, bending your elbows, and maintaining a neutral spine.
Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that varies in intensity, meaning it’s suitable for all age groups and abilities. Whether you cycle to perform errands or competitively, this exercise offers a plethora of benefits that you’ll reap from the moment you get on the road.