You may have frequently heard how beneficial cycling is for your health. What you may have missed is what the specific health benefits of cycling are. If you already do cycle daily, you may have experienced some of them without even noticing it. Here is a list of some of the benefits of cycling for your health.
Improved mental health
The first thing you improve once you take up some new physical activity is your mental health. You may have already noticed how beneficial any exercise is for your mental well-being. Once you start exercising, your body releases adrenalin and endorphins. These are the hormones that affect your mood and instantly lift it. Besides the release of hormones, you’ll notice that your confidence is improved as well. This is always the case when you try new things and be successful at them.
Cycling is a particularly beneficial activity for your mental health because it combines both exercise and spending time outside. Being outside is very beneficial for mental health on its own. If you add physical activity to the mix, you win in every way. If you ride alone, you have the time to process your concerns and really enjoy the views you are exploring. On the other hand, if you ride with someone else or in a group, you can broaden your social circle. You can significantly decrease levels of anxiety or depression once you hop on a bike.
Since cycling includes a lot of physical activity, the chances are that you will lose many more calories than you take in once you start cycling. Since this is the key strategy for losing weight, you are bound to get thinner while cycling regularly. If you have the time to count some calories, you’ll be able to develop a perfect strategy for losing weight effectively.
Cycling burns up to 1000 calories per hour. Depending on the intensity and rider weight, the number could be smaller. In any case, calories are rapidly burnt. The intensity and your current weight aren’t the only factors that can affect this weight loss process. For instance, the quality of your sleep is also very important. Whether you enjoy the quality or not is also a fairly important factor. You shouldn’t eat less even if you do want to lose weight. Cycling requires fuelling your body and going out on an empty stomach is not a good idea.
Next to losing weight, cycling is also great for building muscle. Not only will you burn fat on a bike, but you will also work on your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. The best thing is that you won’t spend time in an inside gym, but you will enjoy nature instead.
Of course, this activity won’t be able to fully replace the gym for you. If you want really defined muscles, you’ll have to include some other activities as well. It is, though, great for starting to work on your body since it combines all of the fun that being outside has and the efforts you need to invest for a better-looking body.
If you are someone who likes food and enjoys having many meals, but you always end up feeling guilty because of all of the extra calories that you’ve consumed, cycling is the number one activity for you. For instance, if you decide to cycle to work every day, it means that you’ll have an excuse to have a couple of snacks daily.
Depending on the distance you cover on your bike daily, you might burn between 200 and 500 calories. That means that you can easily have a snack before lunch and even after lunch. The best thing is that all of these snacks will be entirely guilt-free which will just make them more enjoyable.
Better lung health
Cycling isn’t just good for your body and your mental health; it can also improve your physical health in many ways. Just one instance of that is that cycling can improve your lung health. Even though this may not seem logical to you, it actually is. This is especially true if you commute regularly on your bike, instead of a car or public transport.
Namely, people who do commute daily on their bikes are exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who use other means of transport. Because of that, their lung health is in a better state. To be more specific, drivers experience up to five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist. If you don’t feel like being exposed to such high levels of pollution, cycling is the activity for you.
Heart disease and cancer risk reduced
Besides being great for your well-being in general, cycling is also great for more specific potential problems. For instance, it can reduce the chances of heart disease or even cancer. Since cycling raises your heart rate and it gets the blood pumping, it burns a lot of calories. You already know that cycling burns fat and limits your chances of being overweight, but what you may not know is beneficial this actually is for your health.
Also, this kind of exercise has a very important effect on your body. Namely, it reduces the risk of serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer. These are major illnesses that can cause severe consequences. The good news is that you can always visit the nearest bike shop and talk to a professional who can give you advice on which bike fits you best. That way you can start cycling to work as soon as possible.
It saves time
No matter how time-saving commuting by car can be, commuting by bike will be way more successful in that. If you consider all of the details when it comes to commuting by car as an example and compare it to commuting on a bike, you’ll see that this is true. When you go to work by car, you get in the car, sit in traffic, find the parking, park, pay for it, and then arrive.
On the other hand, if you go to work by bike, you can avoid the traffic and all of the trouble related to parking. Even if you go by bus too, you’ll also go through a lot of trouble to get to work. You’ll have to walk to the bus stop, and then wait for the bus, get on the bus, and, walk to the office before you actually get to work. Cycling really does save you time the most. You won’t just save time when commuting by bike; you will also save the planet. Namely, you’ll reduce the levels of pollution and lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Improved navigational skills
Cycling is great for other practical reasons too. Namely, cycling can improve your navigational skills. You may be used to using the Internet for these reasons, which will decrease your skills when it comes to navigation. Cycling, on the other hand, can sharpen your natural sense of direction. If you think that your internal mapping capabilities aren’t on a high level enough, you can always improve it with this exercise.
You could also improve your handling and spatial awareness when cycling. Cycling includes climbing, descending, and cornering that will improve your skills immensely. They are great because they teach you to use your body weight to get the bike to move the way you want it to move. This will all be important for your confidence. Your confidence will be significantly boosted once you start to see an improvement.
When you spend a couple of hours a day riding a bike, you’ll find that the quality of your sleep has improved. The more tired you get during the day, the better your sleep at night will be. This may be a great solution for you if you have trouble sleeping. Not only will you improve the quality of your sleep, but you will also develop other useful skills, as well as improve your health.
The lack of fitness can result in sleep problems. If you don’t have the time to hit the gym or go running, cycling may be ideal for you. It’s so great because you can multitask and still be physically active. For instance, you could go shopping or to pick up your kid from school on a bike. You are simultaneously doing your errands and exercising. It’s a perfect combo!
Boosting your brainpower
Since exercise is linked to brain health, cycling is able to boost your brainpower efficiently. This means that regular cycling can reduce the risk of dementia in years to come. That will mean a lot if you lead a life full of stress and anxiety which both need to be decreased if that’s the case.
Your blood flow is boosted as well. Improved blood flow is very important for your health. Thanks to the good blood flow, your muscles, heart, and lung are able to work perfectly. This will be great for your overall health.
Strengthening your immune system
Finally, to be sure that cycling improves your general well-being; you can consider just this benefit. Namely, biking is great for your immune system. To be more specific, cycling has a great impact on the health of the upper respiratory system. This will help you fight any cold that comes your way.
Just a mild exercise can improve and strengthen your immune system. This happens due to protein production and blood cells that start working again once you start exercising. Cycling is perfect for this because you can do it while running some other errands and save time, your immune system and planet at the same time. To make sure that this actually works, you mustn’t neglect eating regularly and sleeping well. Otherways, your immune system will be weakened, which is the scenario you want to avoid.
Cycling is, first of all, a fun activity. If that’s not enough for you to take up this interesting activity, there are plenty of other reasons why you’ll grow to like it.