There are plenty of health benefits of cycling, in this article, we highlight 10 of the best. Cycling is becoming more and more popular, and you’ve probably started to see more cycling events on the TV. Professional cyclists are some of the fittest athletes on the planet. Whilst not all of us can win the yellow jersey, we can take advantage of the health benefits of cycling.
1. Benefits of Cycling – Weight Loss
Most of us feel we could do to loose a few pounds. Exercise and a healthy diet is the best way to shed fat. Cycling is a supported activity in that your bodyweight is supported by your saddle, this means that your skeleton and joints aren’t taking a battering like they would be if you’re jogging. Cycling is more efficient than running, meaning you will be able to cycle for longer and cover more ground. One of the best benefits of cycling is being able to see more of the countryside and the surrounding area. Heading out to find and explore new places is a really rewarding aspect of cycling.
2. Cycling Can Burn More Fat
When you exercise, the rate at which your body burns calories (your metabolic rate) increases. But, sports physiologists have now found that an increase in your metabolic rate continues for a few hours even after you have finished exercising. To turbo charge fat loss, you can also do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), where you repeat short intense periods of cycling effort. One study showed that cyclists who do HIIT during their ride, burned three-and-a-half times more body fat than those who cycled constantly but at a slower pace.
3. Cycling is Low Impact Exercise
As mentioned above, cycling is a low-impact activity so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact sport.
4. Cycling Strengthens and Tones Muscles
Most people think that because pedalling is a leg exercise, that cycling will only tone up your calves and thighs. In reality, cycling is a whole body activity, your arms will be strengthened from pulling on the handlebars and your core will be strengthened from balancing your bike and so when you ride all of your muscles get a workout and get toned up.
5. Cycling is Really Good for Your Heart
Regular exercise like cycling helps to lower your resting heart rate and strengthens the heart muscles and lowers the fat levels in your blood. All these factors reduce you’re at risk of heart disease. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise, according to the British Heart Foundation.
6. Cycling Helps You Sleep
Whilst a good few miles on your bike in the morning might fatigue you in the short term. But once you’ve got your breath you’ll feel energised for the rest of the day and help you sleep better at night. Medical research has shown that people who cycle for 20-30 minutes each day can fall asleep twice as quickly as those who don’t.
7. Cycling Gives Your Lungs a Boost
Cycling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, as it forces your lungs and your heart to work harder. But whats more important is the benefits consistent cycling can bring to your health. All the work you put your heart and lungs through on your bike really strengthens your cardiovascular system and makes it more efficient. So over time, you’ll be able to cycle further, for longer with less effort.
8. The Feel Good Factor Benefits of Cycling
Even if your feeling lazy and unmotivated, pushing yourself to get on your bike can really lift your mood. Whilst you exercise your body releases natural endorphins which make you feel happy and less stressed. Studies have shown that that bike commuters arrive at work less stressed than their colleagues who commute by car or public transport.