Health Benefits of Cycling

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Remember how fun riding your bike was as a kid? If it’s something you’ve abandoned since leaving childhood you may want to think about taking it up again. Besides being a fun pastime, there are many reasons why cycling is a great way to get fit even though you may never have thought about it that way.

If you’re looking some good cardio training, then cycling is where it’s at. Don’t be fooled by the fact that because you’re sitting you’re not getting a worthwhile workout. Cycling burns fat which is great for weight loss. It builds your endurance and muscle strength. The leg movement builds lower back muscles. It improves breathing, blood circulation and reduces stress. What more can you ask for?

  

If you’ve seen the Tour de France and taken a look at the cyclists’ legs you know they have killer calves and thighs. Cycling is definitely an obvious way to strengthen and build leg muscles. However, your legs aren’t the only part of your body that’s getting the best workout. Cycling strengthens your heart, one of the body’s muscles that’s can’t get a workout by pumping iron. A strong heart lowers your heart rate, which means it works less hard at pumping blood throughout your body when at rest. The less your heart beats per minute, the better it is. If you have a high resting heart rate, it means your heart is working too hard and the risk of a heart attack increases. A heart rate of 100 beats per minute is dangerous, but cycling on a regular basis can lower the rate to that of below the average person, which is even better for you in the long run.

Cycling is a high impact exercise without the impact. Unlike other workouts or even sports, cycling isn’t hard on your knees, ankles, feet and legs. Over time, high impact on your joints can cause tissues and cartilage to wear out and may cause problems later in life. We often don’t think about that because we don’t feel it when we’re young. With cycling, you can get the full benefit of a workout like jogging or squash, except it’s less harsh on your joints. It’s also great for those who suffer from arthritis or other mobility issues that may hinder high impact movement.

 
Signing up for spin class is not a bad idea, but cycling is also a great way to explore the outdoors and is environmentally friendly. Instead of driving to work, ride your bike. Cycling reduces your carbon footprint. Take a ride through your neighbourhood and you may discover a whole different side that you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed while driving. There are countless of parks and trails that you can explore. For the more daring and adventurous, mountain-biking and off-roading are also some options to consider. Cycling outside is definitely much more pleasant than peddling in a hot and stuffy room and a great way to enjoy spring and summer weather. The fresh air doesn’t hurt either.

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