Taking up cycling can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in life. Whether you choose to hop on a bike for health reasons, to help the environment, try a new activity, or even to supplement another sport, cycling is a ton of fun.
After some time on the bike, you may find that the only downside to cycling is that it can be addictive!
And you won’t be riding alone. Globally, more people own bikes than own cars – about 42% of the world’s population – and that number is growing every year.
If you’re still on the fence about joining the global community of cyclists, Here Are 101 Amazing Benefits to cycling that span all aspects of life.
The best part is, you only need to choose one to start cycling – but as soon as you start, all the other benefits will follow!
Exercise Is A Critical Component Of Staying Healthy. But The Type Of Exercise You Do – Strength Or Cardio, Sprinting Or Endurance – Also Matters. Cycling Is A Great Way To Capture The Health Benefits Of These Different Styles Of Fitness Since It Blends The Line Between Lower Body Strength, Aerobic Training, Intervals, And Long Rides In The Saddle.
Cycle Regularly And Mix Up Workouts For Maximum Benefits
Of course, health benefits don’t come for free. While you might see some benefits after your first few times on the bike, many of these benefits require cycling regularly to develop and maintain. Mixing up your cycling workouts, for example by doing intervals one day a week and a long ride later in the week, can help you to hit on different aspects of fitness.
Cycling is a serious leg workout, and your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are sure to respond by building new muscle fibers to adapt. Although cycling at low resistance will slowly build muscles, you can maximize the gains and build muscle faster by riding uphill, riding in higher gears, or including sprint intervals in your workout.
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. Cycling for an hour or so each day is plenty to begin losing fat, and you can maximize the loss by heading into a training section after fasting for a few hours – but be careful not to overeat at the end of the ride.
Low Intensity, Aerobic, And Consistent Exercise Is One Of The Most Effective Ways To Lose Body Fat.
3.Strengthen Your Legs
Cycling is far more fun than lifting weights in the basement, but it can help you achieve similar strength gains in your lower body. The best way to build brute strength, particularly in your quads, is to grind away in your highest gear – but if you drop below 60 pedal strokes per minute, drop a gear so that you don’t crush your knee joints.
4.Decrease Your Stress
Many athletes point to the “runner’s high” as a zen mental state that comes from exercise, but the same stress-free feeling can be found through cycling. Cycling forces you to regulate your breathing, breathe more deeply, and focus on the task at hand rather than the stress of other parts of your life.
5.Save Your Knees
Running, and most team sports that involves running, slowly breaks down your knee joints over time. Cycling, on the other hand, has a low impact on your knee joints and as a result is a sport you can participate even in old age. Be sure to fit your bike properly, since a seat that is too high or low can cause grinding or over extension.
Just as you can train the muscles in your legs, you can train the muscles that expand and contract your lungs. Cycling is a great way for this because there are ample opportunities to include intervals in your workouts, or to practice cresting a hill and then keeping up the hard effort. This type of training can help to expand your lung capacity and teach you to move air more effectively.
Even 30 minutes of cycling or other aerobic exercise per day has been demonstrated to improve your subjective mood. In addition, according to one study, people who exercise routinely have a decreased chance of falling into depression as they age.
Cycling has been shown to reduce stress levels by up to 40%, and as a result can keep feelings of anxiety at bay. By keeping your mind on the road in front of you rather than aspects of work or life that are bothering you, cycling can provided a much-needed mental break.
The motion of cycling forces you to extend specific muscles in your lower body that don’t often get stretched, like your glutes and hip flexors. This stretching can increase your overall range of motion and flexibility. However, it’s also important to remember to stretch these muscles after rides so they don’t tighten up after expanding.
Decreases in fitness have been found to correlate with levels of insomnia in both men and women, so it’s important to stay in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of a good night’s sleep. Cycling in particular is a great way to reap exercise-induced sleep benefits since it reduces anxiety and keeps weight down, both of which are thought to contribute to insomnia.
11.Boost Your Libido
Building your cardiovascular system is a great way to increase your sex drive and counteract aging. In men, athletes can have the sex drive of non-athletes up to five years younger and one study found that men over 50 who cycle at least three hours a week are 30% less likely to experience impotence. In women, cardiovascular exercise can delay menopause by up to several years.
Hopping on a bike can drastically cut your risk of heart disease. One study found that cycling regularly can decrease your chance of developing heart problems by 50%, while another study found that those who ride just 20 miles per week have half the heart disease risk as people who don’t exercise.
13.Work Those Lungs
Regular cardiovascular exercise can help to keep your lungs healthy by teaching them to move air more efficiently. Breathing hard actually forces the muscles that expand and contract your lungs to work harder, which can decrease your risk of losing lung function as your age.
14.Improve Your Cholesterol
Aerobic exercise, like cycling, is one of the best ways to boost your HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol – and decrease your LDL cholesterol – the bad cholesterol. Just two months of regular cycling at an intensity that raises your heart rate, but doesn’t leave you breathless, is enough to raise your HDL cholesterol by 5%.
Exercise in general can reduce your risk of cancer, but studies have honed in on cycling in particular as one of the best sports to reduce cancer risk. One study in particular looked at bike commuters, and found that cycling to work can reduce your chances of developing cancer by 45%.
Cycling To Work Can Reduce Your Chances Of Developing Cancer By 45%.
People with Type II diabetes often experience poor circulation in their lower body, which can lead to swollen feet. Cycling is a great way to help enhance blood return from the lower body, reducing swelling and foot pain. Because cycling uses up glucose in your muscle cells as well, it can also help people with diabetes regulate their blood sugar.
17.Boost Your Brain Power
Cycling doesn’t just build blood vessels in your leg muscles – it also builds them in your brain. As a result, hopping on a bike regularly can improve blood flow through your brain which can help replenish the neurons involved in thought processing and memory.
Cycling can burn through your body’s fat and sugar reserves quickly, requiring you to eat small portions frequently to replenish your energy during long rides. That same habit of eating small portions frequently, rather than stomach ache-inducing large portions all at once, can help your digestive tract function more smoothly off the bike, too.
19.Improve Your Blood Pressure
Any physician will tell you that high blood pressure is a risk factor for having a heart attack. They’ll also tell you that cycling is one of the best exercises for lowering your blood pressure since it helps your body circulate blood from your legs back to your heart.
For some people, cycling is more than just a fun sport – it’s an addiction. But cycling is a positive addiction, one that can help to replace or stave off developing other, less benevolent addictions and that can add significant satisfaction to your daily life.
21.Be In Tune With Your Body
Cycling, especially at a competitive level, requires you to understand all of the nuanced signals your body gives you about mood, fatigue, stress, and exertion. Tuning yourself to recognize these signals can be helpful in assessing and adapting your daily life, for example to stress at work or illness.
A study from Stanford University found that cycling regularly can reduce signs of aging by protecting your skin from harmful UV rays. The secret is that increased circulation allows your skin cells to gain nutrients and flush out toxins – just remember to lather on the sun tan lotion when you go out for a ride.
23.Regulate Your Digestion
Cycling also works the muscles inside your body – the ones surrounding your digestive tract. Cyclists have more frequent bowel movements. That may not seem like a benefit, but it actually reduces feelings of being bloated, can result in softer stools that are easier to pass, and can reduce your risk of digestive tract cancers.
24.Keep Disease At Bay
Aerobic exercise can be a significant boost to your immune system thanks to the boost in circulation it provides. One study found that people who exercised five days a week were more than 40% less likely to get the common cold compared to people who didn’t exercise, and when they did get sick they reported symptoms as being 30% less severe compared to non-athletes.
25.Improve Bone Structure
Resistance exercises are one of the best ways to improve bone density and fight osteoporosis as you age. Pushing and pulling on the pedals on the bike works the muscles in your legs, which in turn work the bones and signal your body to keep up bone structure.
By reducing your risk of some of the most common killers – car accidents, heart and lung disease, and cancer, cycling can actually help to stretch your lifespan. Numerous studies looking directly at lifespan have found that cyclists tend to live longer than non-athletes, by an average of an extra five years for men and four years for women.
The list goes on (there really are 101!) to read the rest click here https://www.rydoze.com/cycling-benefits/