It is a vastly acknowledged fact that for a healthy body one needs to be physically active. Cycling is a great physical activity that helps you stay fit and in shape. Studies reveal that people with a sedentary lifestyle are at a higher risk of diseases like obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis. Cycling regularly lowers the risk of you getting hand-in-hand with any of these diseases. Cycling is a healthy, environment-friendly, low-impact and all-age exercise. It can be easily done by people of all ages. You can ride to your offices, schools, colleges, and nearby stores to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine.
Why Prefer Cycling Over Other Physical Activities?
- It is a low-impact exercise. Cycling causes much less strain, making it a great way of exercise for people of all ages. It also decreases the risk of injury. It provides you with a proper muscle workout. Cycling effectively strengthens both your upper and lower body muscles. Almost all the major muscle groups are used during cycling.
- It is an easy-to-do physical activity. Even people with no previous experience with sports learn cycling quickly. From young children to elder citizens all can learn to cycle quite easily. Learning cycling does not even require a lot of practice and hard work like other sports.
- It builds strength and stamina. By cycling regularly you can significantly increase your stamina. One way is to keep increasing the total period for a workout with time. The intensity also matters in this regard. As discussed before, cycling uses all of your muscles which in return makes you stronger. Many healthcare specialists recommend cycling exercises to their patients. Primary health care centers sometimes provide an exercise facility for patients as well.
- You can make the exercise more or less intense depending on your health and physical condition. Riding uphill is yet another way to intensify your cycling sessions.
- Cycling is an adventure in itself. By cycling, you would not get bored or feel as if the workout is a burden on you. Unlike other physical exercises, it is not bound to time and place, so you can also visit different places while cycling.
- It saves your time. Instead of using other means of transport, you can use your bicycle. This would help you stay fit and save time at the same time. This is one of the biggest advantages of cycling; your workout blends in with your daily life. Thus, you do not need to take out much time for cycling.
- It is an affordable way of staying fit. Unlike gyms which can cost a pretty penny nowadays, cycling is much cheaper and affordable. So whether you are a professional or a student, you can quite easily stay fit without running out of budget.
Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is an aerobic activity. Your heart, lungs, blood vessels, and body muscles all get involved in this exercise. Breathing deeply, sweating, increasing body temperature, and stretching of muscles, all contribute to making you fitter and healthier. It also helps you stay mentally sound. Some of the health benefits of cycling are as follows.
Cycling improves your heart condition, blood circulation, and breathing, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack are some of the most common cardiovascular diseases. Cycling not only strengthens your heart but also reduces blood fat levels. This is highly helpful in the prevention of these diseases.
Cycling is a highly effective way of losing or controlling weight. Cycling helps you get rid of extra body fat. To make it more efficient, you can design a healthy diet plan alongside your cycling routine. Through steady cycling, you can burn about 300 calories per hour, making it a great exercise to lose weight.
Increased Muscle Strength and Flexibility
The calf, thigh, glutes, arms, shoulders, and foot muscles are targeted. Using all these muscles at once, not just increases muscle strength but also muscle memory. Paddling the cycle is also a good stretching exercise.
Prevention from Diabetes
The number of reported cases of diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate. Many cases of diabetes were reported in New York last year. Lack of physical activity and proper exercise is thought to be among the basic reasons for diabetes. Cycling provides you with great daily exercise and greatly reduces your risk of getting diabetes. According to a study in Manhattan, people who cycle for at least 30 minutes per day have a 40% lower chance of developing diabetes.
Improved Mental Health
Staying outdoors is mentally more beneficial than staying indoors. Cycling can help you tackle mental conditions like stress, depression, anxiety, and tension. This is because cycling is a fun way of exercising and cheers you up. It also allows you to observe the world around you which helps in lightening your mood.
You read it right! Cycling does help to boost your brain. Several types of research show that cycling regularly is a great way to get increased brainpower. According to research done at the University of Illinois, regular cycling led to a 15% improvement in mental tests. The reason behind this is that cycling builds new brain cells in the region responsible for memory.
Other Reasons to Cycle
Save the Planet!
Vehicles release carbon dioxide and other harmful gases into the atmosphere. Our planet suffers badly due to this mass release of toxic gases. Global warming and air pollution have already become global threats. Several respiratory diseases are also caused by these gases, which put human lives at risk. Cycling is an environmentally friendly mode of transport. It helps to save the planet, improves your mental and physical health and saves time and money, all at the same time.
Stay Fit without Many Effort
When you start cycling regularly, it becomes a habit and you don’t see it as a burden anymore. In fact, it’s a fun activity that fascinates people of all age groups. Thus, you can easily stick to your fitness routine without making much effort.
– Disclaimer –
This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.
About The AuthorDr. Syra Hanif M.D.
Board Certified Primary Care Physician
Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.Read More