If you already cycle then you probably know some of these benefits but if you don’t you’ll be excited to find out how beneficial cycling is not just for your physical but also your mental health and overall wellbeing. Here are 7 benefits of cycling.
By Mariam Elhamy
1. Cycling is Good for Beginners
Seeing as riding a bike is fairly simple. If you’re new to fitness or bouncing back from an injury or illness, you can cycle at a low intensity. As you get more fit, you can increase the intensity or continue to cycle at a chill pace.
If you don’t enjoy riding standard bicycles, stationary bikes and spinning classes are a great alternative.
2. It’s Gentle on the Joints, Tendons, and Ligaments
This could make it a good option for people who want an intense workout that’s easy on their skeletal system. So whether you are rehabbing an injury, or just looking to introduce more low-impact activities into your routine, cycling could be your solution.
3. It Strengthens the Lower Body and Torso
Your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, back and core are all activated when you pedal, cycling can build muscle, strength and can help build a good posture.
4. It Improves Your Mood
Cycling – especially outdoors – combines physical exercise with exploring new views. You can ride solo, giving you time to process worries or concerns, or you can ride with a group and broaden your social circle.
5. It Can Improve Your Immune System
Cycling increases the production of essential proteins and waking up lazy white blood cells.
6. It Can Help with Weight Loss
Cycling burns calories: between 400 and 1000 an hour, depending on the intensity, rider weight and age so it helps decrease body fat levels.
7. It Improves Sleep
Cycling has proved to improve sleep and brain health. It also reduces cognitive changes that can lead to dementia later in life.
Here are more physical health benefits:
- Cuts heart disease, cancer risk and keeps lungs healthy
- Improves joint mobility and coordination
- Decreases stress, anxiety levels and depression
- Lowers risk of developing diabetes
- Improves cardiovascular health
Safety measures to take when cycling outdoors:
- When possible, ride in lanes reserved for cyclists or on neighborhood streets.
- Always follow traffic laws. Use caution while going through intersections and busy areas, even if you have the right of way.
- Invest in a quality helmet and any other protective gear you may need.
- Avoid wearing any loose clothing that could get caught in your bike chains.
- Use bike lights and reflective gear for nighttime cycling.
- For extended daytime rides, use sunscreen on all exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, especially if you’re sweating. Wear UV-protective sunglasses and a hat.
- Air pollution can be a concern if you’re cycling in the city so try to pick less congested roads.