Health Benefits of Cycling

Cellgevity will help baby boomers enjoy the health benefits of regular cycling.

Cycling - Health Benefits

To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.

Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport.

Health benefits of regular cycling

Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.

Enjoy Cycling for Health and Fun

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular for both its health benefits and as a leisure activity. Not only does this exercise offer mental and physical health benefits - for many people, it can also function as a form of transportation. This allows commuters to prioritize physical activity without sacrificing their valuable time. As a physical activity, cycling has a few key features that makes it a superior exercise compared to other options.

Like most cardiovascular exercise, cycling can improve muscle tone, endurance, and heart health. However, unlike some exercises, cycling does not require specialized equipment or clothing outside of a helmet. With this low threshold to involvement, cycling is highly accessible for almost anyone. In addition, cycling is a low impact exercise, making it an ideal exercise for anyone who may have previous injuries or may not be fully conditioned for activities that put more stress on the body. Regardless of your current activity level though, there are many physical benefits cycling can offer.

Weight Management

One of the physical health benefits cycling provides is burning fat. As cycling is an aerobic exercise, it is a great way to control weight and improve metabolic rates. A single hour of cycling can burn up to 300 calories. Leisure cycling in your free time or cycling during your morning commute can easily increase the amount of time spent cycling.

Improved Strength

In addition to promoting weight loss, cycling engages multiple muscles. This leads to improved physical appearance and strength. Although cycling is primarily a lower body exercise, cycling also utilizes core strength and nearly every muscle in the legs. More difficult cycling often requires full body engagement.

Improved Endurance

While performing aerobic exercise such as cycling, muscles and systems including the heart and respiratory system are also being engaged. This leads to increased cardiovascular health, improved endurance, and decreased risk of cardiovascular related illnesses.

Although the benefit of cycling on your heart and endurance is subtler than other physical benefits, it is an important one. Cycling often has other health effects that are also less apparent to some.

The changes that cycling can bring to your mood and overall mental health is not frequently discussed. Despite this, cycling has many mental health benefits. There are multiple ways in which cycling can do this.

Better Moods

Multiple studies have shown that individuals who engage in regular, casual physical activity are typically both more physically healthy and report better moods. This improvement in overall mood occurs with just 30 minutes of exercise daily. An additional way that exercise can improve mental health and mood is by improving self-image. However, the primary way exercise improves mood is by combating depression. Exercise often releases chemicals similar to many antidepressants, resulting in a mood boost after exercising.

Natural Light

Cycling offers all of these mental health benefits and also provides opportunities that other exercises may not. Studies have found that exercising outside leads to increased feelings of revitalization and positive emotions. This is in part due to sunlight. While cycling outside, you are also exposed to increased light levels. This is important for several reasons. Natural light can help you regulate your sleep cycle and circadian rhythm. It can also help combat depression through vitamin D.

Decreased Stress

Many individuals who cycle regularly find that they are less stressed than their non-cycling friends. Although exercise has been linked to decreased stress levels, cycling also provides you the opportunity to avoid morning commute traffic and functions as alternate transportation. The ability to avoid long lines of traffic during commutes decreases overall stress while creating a more enjoyable morning route.

Cycling is easy to get started with - odds are, you already know how to ride a bike - and can be customized to your fitness level and goals. The ability of cycling to be adapted allows you to choose between a relaxing and leisurely ride or a more rigorous and focused workout. Nearly every aspect of cycling can be tailored, including the location, distance, gear carried, and intensity. Because of this and the functional nature of a bicycle, cycling is a hobby that avoids becoming stale. Not only does cycling engage your body- it also engages your mind.

The US National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health published an article in June 2010 about the health benefits of cycling.