6 Health Benefits of Cycling : Are you seeking low-impact aerobic activity to improve your health and fitness? If yes, read on!
To stay healthy and fit, you must remain physically active. It not only helps you protect yourself from serious diseases like heart issues, obesity, mental illness, cancer, etc., but is also one of the best ways to reduce adverse health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. So, what is the most effortless way to stay physically active? Well, you can do so by practicing cycling regularly.
Cycling is a low-impact healthy exercise. Moreover, it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from older adults to young children. It is not only a fun activity but also cheap and good for the environment. If this is not all, let’s look at the six great health benefits of cycling in this article.
Boost Brain Power and Mental Health
Cycling plays a significant role in easing feelings of depression, stress, or anxiety. Also, focusing on your cadence or road during cycling helps you develop an awareness of the present moment and concentration, let alone drifting your mind from the mental chatter of your day. According to one study, biking outside helps improve older adults’ well-being and cognitive functioning.
Thus, if you find yourself lethargic, your best bet is to get on your bike for at least 10 minutes daily. Also, regardless of whether you’re passionate about road cycling, mountain biking, or touring, ensure a smooth drive and prevent falls by opting for an electric folding bike, which offers superior performance, and rest assured, you have the most comfortable ride across whichever terrain you choose.
Improve Cardiovascular Fitness
Cycling impacts every muscle in your body, including the heart. Thus, when you cycle fast, uphill, and at a quicker pace than you would on a relaxed Sunday bike ride, you can easily lower your blood pressure and reduce heart strain, which, in turn, helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
It is a form of aerobic exercise that increases good cholesterol in the body and, thus, transports fat away from your arteries. Also, it helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which often cause fatty deposits in the arteries and lead to heart disease.
Balance and Coordination
Another great benefit of cycling is that it stimulates motor regions in your central nervous system, activating the cerebral cortex and helping improve motor learning and balance. This is exactly why many health experts recommend cycling to people facing walking and balance problems as part of their effective rehabilitation program.
Also, as you stabilize your body and keep the bike upright, it even helps you improve your gait. Since balance tends to decline with inactivity and age, it is better to stay on top by including cycling in your daily routine. Lastly, improved balance also helps prevent fractures and falls, let alone keep you off the sidelines and decrease your injury risk.
Compared to running, a high-impact exercise form, cycling is highly gentle on your joints. This is particularly true for people who suffer from severe osteoarthritis of their knees and hips and find other high-impact exercises painful and difficult. Since cycling doesn’t aggravate arthritic joints, it is the safest way for them and others to stay physically active.
Also, by ensuring regular cycling, many patients notice a great improvement in their arthritis symptoms as the exercise increases strength and tone in the muscles surrounding the arthritic joint. This is exactly why cycling is often used as part of rehabilitation in sports injury clinics, let alone in physiotherapy programs to build muscle strength.
It is a no-brainer that cycling also helps improve our cardiorespiratory health incredibly. One study shows that just cycling for about 150 – 250 minutes each week can significantly improve lung health. Another study emphasizes that low-impact exercise like cycling is highly important to ensure healthy lungs for everyone, regardless of lung condition.
Moreover, just like any other physical activity, it helps the immune system protect us from different respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Also, people suffering from a lung condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease should incorporate regular cycling as part of their pulmonary rehabilitation program to help promote lung function.
Cycling shows promising results in reducing or controlling obesity or weight by increasing your metabolic rate, burning body fat, and building muscles. Thus, to ensure healthy weight management, combine your eating plan with regular cycling. The good part is you can always change the intensity and time of this comfortable exercise considering what suits you.
Research suggests that you should burn a minimum of 8,400 kilojoules or about 2,000 calories per week through exercise. So, one way to ensure this is to opt for steady cycling that burns around 1200 kilojoules or around 300 calories per hour. Similarly, if you cycle twice a day, the burnt kilojoules soon add up, as evident from British research, which states that a half-hour bike ride per day can burn around five kilograms of fat over a year.
Cycling is a low-impact and healthy form of exercise for all ages that offers numerous health benefits, as discussed in this article. It is a form of exercise that is easy to fit into your daily routine and is an enjoyable way to stay healthy, let alone in touch with the world around you. However, if you opt for high-intensity cycling or longer rides to stay fit, don’t forget to give yourself at least a full day of rest every week to recover and enhance performance in the long run. Good luck!
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