5 Proven Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is one of the most popular and versatile forms of exercise and transportation.
According to the European Cyclists’ Federation, the popularity of cycling is global and benefits communities economically and environmentally. The ECF’s research also celebrates the health benefits of cycling.
“An adult who cycles regularly will typically have a level of fitness equivalent to being 10 years younger,” their report notes, “Cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15% fewer days off work through illness.”
1. Cycling improves your balance, Proprioception, and Posture
Cycling is a unique form of exercise because it targets almost every aspect of physical fitness. Engaging in activities that strengthen your balance and proprioception, or understanding where you are about the world around you helps prevent falls and other serious injuries.
This aspect of cycling is of importance especially for middle aged and older cyclists, as balance can worsen as we age and become more susceptible to injuries.
Proper posture is important for people of all ages. Good posture prevents muscle strain and fatigue, while also reducing stress on your spine.
Make sure your bike fits your frame. Finding a bike which fits your body type is imperative for ensuring your cycling techniques are effective and safe.
2. Cycling assists in maintaining a healthy body weight
Cycling, like all exercises, burns calories. As a result, those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight should consider adding cycling to their routines.
According to Allicia Austin, an exercise physiologist at MD Anderson’s Cancer Prevention Center, cycling as a form of cardio helps reduce the weight around your waistline, which is one of the most dangerous areas for overall health.
“Patients ask me all the time, ‘What’s the best way I can reduce my waist line?’ I always say cardio. Brisk walking, running, and cycling,” says Austin.
Cycling as a form of weight management is beneficial for people of all ages and fitness levels. Cycling at a moderate level is an effective option for beginners or those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Start slowly and at a moderate pace to build your fitness level. Riding on a flat terrain for a shorter amount of time for a while helps build your stamina and strength. After a while, you can increase your time and switch up your routines.
3. Cycling can help prevent diseases and cancer
Regular exercise and cycling are one of the most effective ways to prevent disease and the risk of many forms of cancer, such as breast and colon cancers.
Adding cycling to your day can help you get your physical activity in your daily routine. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive fitness plan.
According to the University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Prevention Center, physical activity such as cycling can also lower the recurrence risk for cancer survivors.
Use proper caution and consideration of your environment when cycling. If you want to ride cycle, you don't choose in the evening and rainy day, because it would be a danger. Whether if you decide to ride at night, wear reflective clothing and ensure your bike is equipped with lights or reflective material.
4. Cycling relieves stress and improves mental health
Exercising releases endorphins, which reduce stress and improve overall mental health. Those suffering from common mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress can add cycling to their treatment routines in order to boost their recoveries. Cycling is outside releases serotonin in addition to endorphins, which also helps reduce your stress levels.
Your dress should be comfortable when cycling to prevent annoying issues with your clothes, skin irritation, or even injuries. Visit your local sports equipment store for a good idea of what sort of clothes can best fit your body type and personal taste.
5. Cycling improves joint mobility and builds muscle
Cycling is a versatile aerobic exercise that targets your lower body, upper body, and core. Peddling the bike targets your lower body while balancing and managing the bike targets your upper body and core. Challenging your muscle builds your muscle.
In addition, cycling strengthens your cardiovascular health. Strengthening heart muscles lowers resting pulse and reduces your blood fat levels, which reduces the risk of stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
Cycling is easy on your joints so that the low-impact exercise can strengthen the muscles around your knees. If you have any back pain problems or common issues, consult your doctor before adding a cycling regimen to your routine.
Change your position often. The angle changes help strengthen different muscle areas and prevent cramps.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor or medical service provider before starting a new exercise regimen if you have a pre-existing condition or concerns.*
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