The health benefits of cycling
Whether you’re trying to avoid public transport or seeking some much needed fresh air, you’re not alone in bringing your two wheels out of retirement. Cycling has seen a surge in popularity recently. More than just getting you from A to B, there are a number of health benefits of cycling too.
Dust down your wheels and discover the joy of cycling again!
Tone your muscles
That familiar burn in your legs will tell you that cycling is great for the muscles in your thighs, but it’s actually a full body workout too! It’s great for toning your gluteus muscles, working them in union with your hips, and also makes your abs stronger as you pedal.
Surprisingly, cycling can also help with your upper body as well. The more you move about on your bike, moving forward and standing up, the more of a workout you’ll get for your biceps and triceps.
Mobilise your joints
Cycling can greatly improve your balance and coordination. It’s perfect for strengthening your joints and bones as, unlike running, it’s low impact and can build strength without causing damage.
For sufferers of osteoporosis and arthritis, a gentle cycle can be one of the best activities to alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Make sure your saddle is at the right height to avoid your hips moving too much and unnecessary knee strain – many bike shops can do this for you.
It’s good for your heart
Cycling regularly has been proven to lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases like strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Getting your heart rate up, even on a gentle ride, can strengthen your heart muscles, get you fitter and prevent health problems further down the line.
Lose those pesky pounds
Getting your heart pumping and toning your muscles will, of course, help you burn fat too. You don’t even have to go for an intense ride to feel the difference either. Longer, slower rides are shown to help with your endurance and burn fat without putting too much strain on your body. Using your whole body will help you stay lean and supple.
Decrease your stress levels
Not only are there a number of health benefits of cycling for your body, it has proven benefits for your mind too. Like all cardio exercise, cycling boosts your mood. Studies show that cycling to work can start your day on the right foot, helping you perform better. Those who commute on two wheels reported less stress and improved performance at work than those who drove or used public transport.
Even during leisure time, cycling will boost your serotonin, leaving you feeling happy and healthy.
Seeing new places
This one’s another stress buster and one of the best things about cycling. New routes and travelling further than you might be able to on foot brings a fresh perspective to your surroundings. Finding friends and family members to join you on your rides can be great for bonding and improving your wellbeing. Next time you have a free afternoon, find a new route to cycle. It’s a fun way to see new places and will give you a wonderful sense of achievement once you’re home.