Today I am going to share 6 health benefits of cycling. There are endless benefits to cycling, however I wanted to share the 6 best reasons why you should take up cycling. Of course, me being a cyclist, I am biased towards cycling and will always choose cycling as my mode of exercise
1. Heart health
Cycling is known to improve cardiovascular health. Your heart gets stronger the fitter you get and this reduces your risk for coronary artery disease. A study by the University of Glasgow has determined that by just cycling to work, you can cut the risk of developing heart diseases or cancer in half. They also compared the results to walking, however cycling has greater benefits due to longer distances covered and greater training intensities
2. Weight loss
It’s simple, cycling burns calories, and a lot of it. This leads to greater calorie deficits and contributes to weight loss. By doing a variety of intensities or following a structured program you can significantly reduce your belly fat. Reducing belly fat reduces a number of health risks, like obesity, diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
3. Muscle building
Ever seen a cyclist’s legs, chiseled like a statue. Hours of cycling and pushing down on your pedals, really gives your legs a great workout and increases strength in your quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves. More muscle also means more calories burned during rest which contributes to fat burning.
4. Mental well being
Cycling being a physical activity, helps release adrenaline and endorphins. Endorphins is an essential hormone in the wellbeing of a person. These endorphins act as natural painkillers and also brings about feelings of euphoria. Cycling is also an outdoor sport, which gives you change of scenery and exploring new places. Cycling alone can help clear your mind of worries and stress you might have and riding in groups can broaden your social circle. Cycling can also bring about greater confidence as you achieve many goals while cycling
5. Low impact
Cycling is a very low impact sport, which reduces the stress you place on your joints. This keeps your joints healthy and reduces your risk for arthritis and degenerative conditions. This is why we see people cycling well into their 70s, even 80s. It is still recommended that you add strength training to increase bone density and reduce risk for osteoperosis
6. Strengthens immune system
Cycling being an endurance sport, works your aerobic energy system. As your aerobic system gets better, more blood and oxygen is carried throughout the body and more white blood cells (body’s fighting mechanism against viruses etc) are being produced, which strengthens our response to viral infections. With the Coronavirus epidemic at the moment, this shows it is a good idea to do some low intensity cycling during coronavirus. High intensity training does show to lower immune response just after exercise, however, with proper nutrition and recovery this lowered immune response is short lived.