Nine Health Benefits of Cycling

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

By Fitness TeamFriday, August 30, 2013.One
of the best ways to explore the outdoors and get a bit of exercise is
by getting on your bike and enjoying the benefits of cycling. So saddle
up and read our advice to pedal you on.An accessible way to exerciseYou
can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and
without spending a fortune. Many people are intimidated by certain
sports due to the high level of skill required, or perhaps because they
can’t commit to team sports due to time pressures. Most of us know how
to cycle and once you have learnt you don’t forget. All you need is a
bike, a half hour here or there, and a bit of confidence.Promotes weight lossSteady
cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30
minutes every day you can burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it
helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long
after you’ve hopped off the saddle.Increases muscle toneCycling
gradually improves general muscle-function, with little risk of
over-exercise or strain. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is
great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will begin to see an
improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, bum and hips.Improves cardiovascular fitnessCycling
is a fantastic aerobic exercise to improve fitness. Studies have shown
that cycling to work can increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%.
Cycling uses the larger muscle groups (i.e. the legs), raising your
heart rate, which benefits stamina and fitness.Improves heart healthAccording
to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can
reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of
10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the
period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their
non-cycling colleagues. These findings were independent of other factors
such as smoking, obesity, high blood cholesterol and blood pressure.Enhances lung functionRegular cycling improves lung function, which is extremely beneficial to anyone suffering from bronchitis or asthma.Safe for jointsSince
it is low impact, cycling is suitable for all age groups from 6-60.
Many people can’t do certain sports because of the pressure it puts on
their joints (like running or aerobics). A bicycle takes the weight off
the body so you put much less pressure on the joints whilst cycling.Reduces stressAny
regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve
well-being and self-esteem; cycling can add the benefit of beautiful
surroundings.Fits into a busy lifestyleLittle
or no time has to be lost. Bike travel can be integrated into your
daily routine if you travel to work, perform errands, or simply get
outside for some fresh air and exercise.Safety measuresIf you haven’t been active for some time, consult with your doctor before you start.Always wear a well-fitted cycle helmet; off-road as well as on-road. It may save your life.Wear bright colours and use lights after dark.Always follow the rules of the road.Maintain your bike. You should learn simple repairs; carry a basic tool kit, and a spare inner tube.After a few months of cycling regularly, it may be the only spare tyre you carry.

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