Cycling is a great hobby to get into. There are countless benefits for fitness and mental wellbeing and it’s an awesome way to explore hidden gems. Your bike is a perfect transport, it’s an eco-friendly way to get to school or work, and the cheapest way to travel. Cycling works your legs, is great cardio, and aids weight loss. With your gym closed this summer, get outside and on your bike. Go on trips with your friends and discover the amazing countryside just around the corner. Here are fourteen benefits of cycling, proving why you should take it up this summer.
1. Cycling is great for mental wellbeing
One of the main benefits is how cycling can improve your mental health. It’s proven to reduce stress and anxiety and can boost your mood. Cycling combines exercise with being outdoors in the fresh air exploring new views. If you prefer cycling solo, this gives you the time to get away from it all, otherwise, cycling can be a fun social activity.
Any exercise is a good way to get your mental wellbeing in check. You can set your own personal goals and feel satisfaction when you achieve them. With cycling, you could try long-distance rides or go somewhere you’ve always dreamed of seeing by bike
2. Cycling aids weight loss
Cycling is great cardio, so combined with your back and bi workout and resistance exercises you can really get into shape. Cycling burns a lot of calories, between 400-1000 an hour. It’s a great option for those of you who find running a little tedious and don’t enjoy working out in the gym. You can vary the intensity and work out in intervals. Inclines and hills will also help you burn more calories. All in all, it’s a pretty intense workout, but at the same time, you have fun.
3. Cycling builds muscle
Cycling is not only a good cardio option, it always works as a resistance exercise. Cycling engages the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. You can really feel the heat after a long or fast ride. You’ll develop toned muscles in these areas, and burn fat at the same time. Combine cycling with some core strengthening exercises, these will help to build up muscle to support your spine and give you more power when you pedal. Cycling works well with a lot of other types of resistance exercises, for a complete workout.
4. Calorie burn
The great thing about cycling is that it burns a lot of calories. This means you can have a carbo-load before you go on a long ride. A cyclist’s diet really depends on the person and their own healthy eating regime. Fill up on protein and fat as well for those longer rides, as they will give you energy. If you’re going out for a while, remember to stay well hydrated and carry some snacks with you. You’ll need to refuel after all that pedaling, and it will be a long trip otherwise.
5. Cycling improves respiration
Cycling is better for your lung health and improves respiration. Your lungs continually receive fresh oxygen, particularly if you’re cycling in the countryside, and the increased breathing rate helps to strengthen the surrounding muscles. Your general fitness will improve and this also helps to boost your respiration.
6. Cycling reduces the risk of heart disease
By raising your heart rate and getting your blood pumping, you are more likely to stay in shape and be less at risk of health conditions that could lead to heart disease. Studies have shown that regular cyclists are less prone to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or pre-diabetes. Even as little as half an hour per week has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
7. Cycling is low impact
Seen as it’s not weight-bearing, at least compared to running for example. You can work up a sweat without putting too much pressure on your bones and joints. You can even add other low-impact exercises to your workout to complement cycling and enhance your performance. Add some strength-building exercises to your training as being non-weight-bearing, cycling doesn’t do much to increase bone density.
8. A great mode of transport
Cycling is quick and gets you to work on time. You can skip the traffic, you won’t have to wait for unreliable buses and you’ll save money. You’ll also be able to reduce your carbon footprint, and it’s a much more eco-friendly way to get around. By cycling to work, you’ll get your exercise fix that day, and feel refreshed and energized by the time you get to work. All you need to do is find a safe place to lock your bike and you’re ready to go. You won’t have all the stress of parking, not to mention the cost.
9. Cycling improves your sense of direction
There are many portable GPS systems designed for cyclists that work great, but often it’s easier to find your own way. Cycling is a great way to get out there and explore nearby routes and discover places in your local area. This also helps to improve your navigational skills. You’ll be more equipped at finding your way around than any driver. There are plenty of routes online that you can follow to help you get around. Bikemap is a great resource with cycling paths all around the world.
10. Cycling helps you sleep
Getting proper exercise helps to improve your sleep regime. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which are linked to poor sleep. Due to the mental health benefits of cycling, your sleep pattern can greatly improve. It also prevents weight gain and promotes and overall health which is linked to a good night’s sleep. Cycling requires and burns a lot of energy. It pretty much tires you out! If you’re having trouble counting sheep at night, then cycling might just be the sleep aid you need.
11. Cycling boosts your brain health
As you exercise, more blood flows to your brain. Improved blood flow to the brain increases brain health, lowering the risk of dementia and similar problems in later life. Studies have shown that cycling has a positive effect on cognitive function. Cognitive changes are what lead to dementia in later life, and cycling can reduce the risk of these.
12. Improves movement and skills
As well as getting fit, cycling also trains you for other skills. The technical elements of cycling improve your skills in climbing, cornering, and teaching you to maneuver your body weight. You’ll improve your reaction time, spatial awareness, and ability to move more quickly. This will also help you develop more confidence, and soon you’ll be whizzing down meandering roads like a pro. Cycling really helps you to develop a lot of different skills.
13. Cycling boost your immune system
Cycling keeps your immune system young, according to studies. Older cyclists have been shown to produce as many T-cells in their bodies as they did when they were younger, helping to prove the anti-aging effects of cycling, at least in the immune system. Exercise, in general, can improve your immune system by increasing the production of essential protein and stimulating white blood cells. At the moment, cycling is also a great choice as you can maintain social distancing. You can avoid going on packed public transport. This is a better option for commute if you’re headed back to work. Cycling is a much healthier and safer choice from this respect.
14. Cycling is social
If you’re looking to grow your social circle and meet fellow cyclists, there are plenty of apps and online groups you can join. It’s also a great idea for a day out with your partner, friends, or family. Cross-country cycling is a fantastic sport to do with a buddy. You can really motivate each other to pursue your goals. Even if you ould rather going on a short, safe ride to the local park, it’s still a fun day out.
Check out some of the best cycling apps on the market at the moment. You can record your ride, monitor your training, and share experiences with your pals. Many apps are free and include GPS mapping. You can plan your routes and tick off any goals you achieve. Some apps have advanced features that tell the rider about the road conditions and where it is safer to ride.
Cycling is great. It’s low impact which means it causes fewer strains and injuries than other forms of exercise. Cycling uses all the major muscle groups as you pedal, making it an intense strengthening exercise. It’s also perfect for improving stamina and is a form of aerobic fitness.
Riding a bike is a cheap and convenient form of transport that allows you to explore the world. You can ride a bike at any age, and as far as you like. Why not think about down-sizing to two wheels this summer? It’s the perfect season to start a new hobby outdoors.