Health and Fitness

Health Benefits of Cycling

Cycling: Health benefits, Drawbacks and Safety

If you are someone looking for low-impact exercises, cycling is just the right thing for you. It varies in intensity and is suitable for all levels. Where you want to enjoy cycling as a means of commuting or you want to start a new type of exercise, cycling has numerous health benefits. Cycling is a wonderful exercise which not only changes your lifestyle physically but mentally as well. It also keeps you active and increases your agility. 

The benefits of cycling are numerous and if you are considering taking up cycling as your hobby or just another means of working out, then here are some additional benefits you need to know. 

1. Weight Management 

Regular cycling, at high intensity, can lower your body fat levels significantly. This in turn promotes healthy weight management and increases the metabolism of your body. It also helps build your muscle, burns your calories, even while you rest. Cycling alone can burn around 400 to 1000 calories depending on the intensity and the rider’s weight. Of course, other factors come into play as well. 

2. Improves Leg Strength 

Cycling also improves your overall health, especially your leg. It increases the leg strength of your muscles. Cycling also improves the overall functioning of the lower body without overstressing them. Cycling targets your quads, glutes, hamstring, and calves. To improve your leg strength, even more, you can include weightlifting leg exercises such as squats, leg presses, and lunges, a few times a week. 

3. Beginner-friendly 

It is very simple to ride a bike. Unless you find it difficult to balance the bicycle or if you have no formal training riding a bicycle can be challenging for you. But if you are someone who enjoys riding a bicycle, it shouldn’t be much of a hassle. Start with low intensity and then slowly build your intensity and the distance you travel. 

If you are not used to the standard bicycle, then you can even try your hand at stationary cycling. If you are someone bouncing back from any major injuries or any illness, you can cycle at low intensity. With time, increase your intensity and the distance you travel. 

4. Works well on your core 

Cycling works on your core muscles including your back and abdominal areas. It also helps maintain your body in an upright position. Maintaining your body in a certain position requires a certain strength hence cycling also works on your core muscles. 

5. Boosts mental health 

Mental health in such unprecedented times is at a toss and so it is important to keep your mental health in check. Do you know cycling also helps keep your mental health in check? Cycling eases the feeling of stress, anxiety, and depression which is so important in these tough times. Also, focusing on the road helps develop concentration and diverts the mind from the continuous chatter. 

If you find yourself feeling lethargic or just out of the place, then a quick 10 min cycling can help you fix this. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel better while lowering your stress levels. 

6. Kick start your day with a boost of positivity 

Starting your day with exercise in the heart of nature allows you to start your day with a sense of accomplishment. You will feel more inclined to get more work done throughout the day. Cycling before breakfast boosts your energy and metabolism. Exercise releases endorphins which calm your mind and relax the mental chatter. 

7. Prevent and Manage other health conditions 

Improving and building our immune system helps us fight diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, stroke to name a few. Regular cycling is also an easy way to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and kickstart your day with a daily dose of workout. 

Cardiovascular diseases consist of heart stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Cycling regularly stimulates and improves your heart, lungs, and blood circulation. Cycling also strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your pulse, and reduces fat levels. 

8. Eco-friendly 

Think about this, you take your car out, go to the gym and come back home. Now think about this, you cycle in the heart of nature without affecting the environment in any way. You reduce your carbon footprint every time you take your bike for a ride. Cycling is an excellent replacement to avoid traffic. You can navigate your way through the crowd without waiting for an extended time. Take your bike for a ride especially when you have to go to places that are far to walk and you don’t want to take your car out. 

9. Improves posture, balance, and coordination

Keeping the posture upright while you cycle stabilizes your body and helps maintain an upright posture. With age, our balance tends to decline. So it is important to keep our balance in check. 

Drawbacks and Safety 

A serious disadvantage is the risk of accidents, whether in urban or rural areas. You must always be cautious while you cycle. Always follow traffic rules. Use caution while crossing, or when you come across an intersection. Invest in protective types of equipment such as helmets, knee caps to protect your head and your joints in case of any mishap. If you wear glasses while you cycle, here how you can avoid fogging your glasses while wearing a mask. 

It is important you practice all the safety regulations. The virus is developing at an unprecedented rate and hence we must be extra cautious. Consider looking at the types of personal protective equipment you need and use them accordingly. 

Should you cycle every day?

It is possible to cycle every day. If you are someone who enjoys cycling while you commute, keep an extra pair of clothes handy. Another tip: cycle on low intensity if you are cycling as a means of transportation. 

If you are cycling at high intensity, take a full day’s rest every week. Your body can get sore at many places if you don’t do so. 

Who shouldn’t cycle?

In case you have any injuries from previous accidents, then take full rest and cycle once you recover. Consult your doctor to be on the safer side and prevent yourself from injuring yourself. If you have issues with vision, balance or hearing consider sticking to stationary cycling instead of standard cycling. You can also try other activities to gain a similar experience as cycling. 

Cycling is an enjoyable way to exercise and keep yourself fit. Hop on your bike and enjoy the ride if the weather is favorable. It is also a wonderful low-impact activity that keeps you in touch with your local areas and can turn you into an explorer. 

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