Being physically active is one of the requirements of a fit and healthy body. Exercising and engaging in sports can help prevent diseases such as heart disease, joint problems, obesity, and diabetes.
Cycling is one of the easiest and simplest physical activities you can integrate into your lifestyle to improve your well-being. Making it a habit to ride your bicycle to work or when doing errands lets you hit two birds with one stone: mobility and health. Regular cycling is good for the heart and muscles and can significantly improve your joints and balance.
My mind has an internal dialogue that runs along at the pace of my pedal strokes. I know that I can force myself to do physical work that is past my breaking point, but that it will probably leave me lying on the ground, breathless and unable to move. —
Physical Benefits Of Cycling
As an aerobic activity, cycling works out the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Releasing dirt and toxins of the body through perspiring can improve your fitness level. Regular cycling benefits various parts of the body. Unlike intense exercises, cycling is low-impact and causes less strain and injuries.
With that, here is a guide on the physical benefits of regular cycling.
For Building Muscles
Regular cycling increases muscle strength and flexibility. Cycling uses most of the major muscles in the body.
When pedaling down, you use the buttocks muscle, the muscles in the calves, and the quadriceps in the thighs. In contrast, pedaling up or backstroking uses the hamstrings in the back of the thighs while the front hips use the flexor muscles. It also works out the abdominal muscles for balance and staying upright, as well as the arm and shoulder muscles for steering. Hence, cycling can also decrease excess fat on these body parts.
Cycling also improves joint mobility and improves posture and joint coordination. When walking, you put your weight on the legs. When you sit and ride a bike, however, you put your weight on the pelvis, which lessens the joint pains and stiffness of the legs.
For The Bones
Pedaling increases bone density, which results in strengthened and sturdier bones. Pushing the pedals stretches the muscles, and this, in turn, pulls on the bone. Cycling is a good resistance activity to strengthen the bones.
Cycling is one of the best aerobic workouts that improve cardiovascular fitness. It increases stamina and strength. As it is good for the heart, lungs, brain, and blood vessels, it helps prevent and manage different diseases.
An hour on my bike gives me the same aerobic high I used to get from running. And I’ve even lost some of the weight I put on after my knee injury. — David Ludden Ph.D.
Mental Health And Cycling
Studies and researches have shown that regular cycling can help improve mental health conditions such as depression, stress, and anxiety. When biking, you can explore different routes and different places, meet new people, and encounter new experiences. As such, it can significantly affect the mood positively. Hopping on your bike and pedaling can help ease the worries that you have in your mind.
Additionally, the act of cycling, like most aerobic exercises, releases the feel-good chemicals of the body, the endorphins.
Improving Health Conditions Through Cycling
Cycling can not only improve physical and mental health, but it can also prevent and improve many health problems.
A lot of people turn to bikes to control and take off some weight. Along with a healthy diet, cycling is an excellent physical activity for weight loss as it increases metabolism, burns body fat, and builds muscle.
These include diseases such as heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, or asthma. Regular cycling controls your blood fat levels and strengthens your heart muscles.
If not genetics, the lack of physical activity can be the reason why people develop diabetes type 2. Cycling is a good start for people who rarely do any physical activity since it’s easy and convenient.
I would argue that biking is more than just a great physical, easy-on-the-joints, exercise, as it is much more than that. It is an opportunity to awaken your sense of adventure and freedom. — Mirsad Serdarevic Ph.D.
What are you waiting for? Hop on your bike and live a healthy life!