Cycling is an excellent way to stay active whilst saving the environment and also having fun. If you don’t have time to exercise, cycling to work or school is a great way to get in your daily activity without having to take time out of your day and dedicate it to exercise. Especially if your job requires you to be sitting down all day, cycling will get your heart pumping and give you a good muscle workout.
Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling has an endless amount of health benefits that can prevent serious health issues down the line if practiced regularly. The health benefits of cycling regularly include:
1. Increased Cardiovascular Fitness
Cardiovascular exercise increases the heart rate therefore strengthening your heart muscles and lowering your resting pulse. Regular cycling can prevent many cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. As well as help manage weight by reducing blood fat levels and promote lung health.
2. Decreased Body Fat Levels
Losing weight involves burning more calories than you consume, ultimately maintaining a caloric deficit. On average, cycling burns around 400 to 1000 calories an hour depending on the intensity and the riders weight. This form of exercise raises your metabolic rate, burns fat and can be built up slowly and suited to your ability. Even 30 minutes of cycling can help you lose weight, especially if you incorporate an intense interval workout.
Other factors also come into play such as the makeup of your calories, quality of sleep, etc. For example, there are clean calories that keep you energised for longer and help your body refuel. However, there are also dirty calories that do your body no good. So as a result, you can consume the same amount of calories but your performance when working out will have a big difference.
3. Increased Lung Health
When cycling, your lungs need to pump harder to transport more oxygen into the bloodstream to deliver oxygen to the working muscles. When exercising, your lung volume can increase up to 15%, so the combination of breathing more deeply and rapidly means you are able to meet the metabolic demands of your body during your bike ride.
In the long term, your maximum lung capacity can improve by 5-15% and as a result, increase the efficiency of your lungs. This is why the more you cycle, the easier it will become and the more you can push yourself.
Additionally, a recent study suggests that cyclists are actually exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. A study in London showed that drivers experienced pollution levels five times higher than cyclists! (one of the many health benefits of cycling)
4. Prevention/Management of Illness
Mild exercise can improve the immune system by increasing production of essential proteins and stimulating white blood cells. This will in turn, reduce the number of sick days you have as well as receive a ton of other exercise-related health benefits. White blood cells destroy pathogens and fight off infection, so the more active white blood cells you have, the less likely you are to get ill – boosting your immune system.
5. Improved Coordination and Posture
Cyclists pedal with their feet, steer with their arms and swivel their heads to keep a lookout for hazards such as cars and pedestrians. This can lead to improved arm-to-leg and body-to-eye coordination.
In addition, many of the muscle groups used in cycling are the same ones that improve posture. Cyclists require strong abdominal muscles combined with back muscles to ride smoothly – especially for longer bike rides.
6. Reduced Anxiety and Depression
Neurologists have found that a spike in endorphins occurs after bike rides, leading to a ‘cyclists high’, similar to what joggers feel like after a run. There are many other ways cycling can boost your mood due to the release of adrenaline and improved confidence that comes from achieving new goals. The health benefits of cycling go beyond just the physical body.
Cycling is an outdoor sport, so along with the basic release of ‘feel-good’ chemicals, you also get to experience nature and fresh air. This time alone in nature can allow you to take your mind off a current stressful situation and have a mental break.
Fitness Benefits of Cycling
There are not only health benefits of cycling, but there are also a ton of fitness benefits too. Cycling involves a resistance element that doesn’t just burn fat, but also builds muscles particularly around the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. The more intense the resistance element is, such as cycling uphill, the more muscle you will build. Here is a set workout you can follow to tone your lower body while also including rest days to recover.
This is great for toning your lower body, whilst also burning calories. Due to the low-impact nature of cycling, you will build muscle gradually without risking a muscle strain/tear. You will also simultaneously strengthen your muscles and increase your flexibility.
How To Include Cycling in Your Daily Life
One amazing way to include cycling in your daily life is to ride to work/school. Not only will you avoid traffic, but you will also be exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. This is especially great if your job requires you to be sitting down for long periods of time plus your boss will love you – cycling boosts brain power as a study showed that blood flow in the brain rose by 28% after cycling (one of the health benefits of cycling).
You can also go cycling with friends/family and have a blast. Not only will you spend quality time with your loved ones, but you are also collectively bettering your health and improving your mental well-being.
Top 3 Accessories For Your Bike
To make your cycling experience the greatest it can be and reap all the health benefits of cycling, we have listed our top 3 accessories for your bike. These accessories will enhance your bike rides and make cycling fun and practical.
This waterproof bicycle saddle bag can carry up to 556g and adjust to any type of bicycle seat. The reflective material on the waterproof bicycle saddle bag secures your bike at night, increasing your visibility to any cars and ensuring you have a safe journey.
Ideal for long journeys or commutes as you can store your personal belongings and ensure they are kept secure and dry throughout your journey.
These half-finger cycling gloves consist of breathable, anti-sweat/anti-slip materials. Ultimately, ensuring you experience minimal discomfort and premium grip when cycling.
This multi-purpose front frame waterproof handlebar bag with touchscreen capability will enhance your cycling experience and provide excellent convenience. The use of high-quality nylon material forms the hard shell exterior with additional waterproof zippers, making the bag rainproof and protecting the contents inside. Additionally, a reflective logo allows for high brightness and visibility for a more secure journey at night.
This bag has a strap design for quick release and installation – suitable for a variety of bicycles. A strong Velcro surface attaches the phone compartment to the cycling bag allowing you to access your phone easily when cycling. It also has a waterproof layer to protect your phone from water.
Please Note: The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only. We do not take any responsibility and how you choose to follow this information is at your own risk.
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