A low-impact aerobic exercise with a wealth of health benefits, cycling gained a lot of attention during the COVID-19 pandemic when mobility in public transport was restricted to contain the spread of the virus. It was not uncommon to find people riding bicycles to their workplace.
Even otherwise, cycling is a wonderful way to keep yourself fit and going. Read on to know the multiple health benefits that cycling has on offer.
If you want to strengthen your hamstrings and quads, then look no further than cycling. This is because cycling is an intensive leg workout that will help add muscles to these parts of your body. To add muscles faster, make sure to ride faster uphill or in high gears.
Cycling not only helps to build muscles faster but also gives them the much-needed flexibility. It improves joint mobility, thus helping in the easy movement of bones.
This is another significant health benefit of cycling. Cardiovascular diseases include stroke and high blood pressure, among others. However, if you do regular cycling, then it reduces the risk of these diseases to a great extent.
This is because cycling strengthens your heart muscles, reduces fat levels in the blood, and lowers resting pulse. Several research studies have found that those cycling regularly are at a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular ailments, with the entire exercise helping in improving heart health. Regular cycling also helps lower blood pressure that increases the chances of a heart attack.
If you are obese and are looking forward to reducing your weight, cycling is a healthy option. During cycling, your metabolic rate increases, and body fats are burnt. If you cycle regularly for at least an hour or so, it helps your body shed the fats you don’t need.
To reduce weight, you don’t need to do intensive cycling. Even a moderate one can do the job for you and help you burn a significant amount of calories. On the other hand, if you want to burn more calories in a short period of time, then you can increase the intensity of cycling and get the desired results.
However, it’s important to note that you must also have a nutritious diet to go along with cycling to cut the extra flab.
For those finding it hard to pass stool, cycling can be an effective solution. Note that cycling is a physical exercise. When you do it, the food takes less time to move through the large intestine. This limits the amount of water absorbed back into your body, thus leaving you with softer stools.
Cycling also accelerates heart rate that helps in stimulating the contraction of intestinal muscles. This prevents you from feeling bloated and also brings down chances of bowel cancer to a great extent.
Pedalling your cycle can improve your brain power significantly. This is because cycling can help build new muscles in the region, known as the hippocampus, that’s responsible for memory. It begins to deteriorate as you age.
However, when you cycle, the same boosts the flow of blood and oxygen in the brain. This helps in building new muscles and also aids in fighting diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical professionals have been focussing on the need to strengthen immunity to keep the threat of the virus at bay. Those with a healthy immune system can combat the novel coronavirus more effectively than those with a weak one.
Cycling helps in strengthening your immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins. That’s not all. When you cycle to commute to work, you can easily maintain social distancing norms, which go a long way in protecting you from COVID-19.
Many studies have shown cycling to reduce anxiety levels to a great extent. In current times, stress levels of people have gone up by several notches. However, cycling helps bring down stress levels as your mind concentrates on the road and this removes the focus from the ongoing events to a great degree.
It helps in the release of endorphin, a hormone that makes you feel good, and in the long run, cycling improves your mental health significantly.
Anxiety and stress can rob you of a good night’s sleep. But with cycling reducing your stress levels significantly, the same can help you sleep better.
Also, after intensive cycling, the body becomes tired and seeks rest. In such a scenario, you can easily have a good sleep which in turn boosts your immune system and helps in the healthy functioning of vital organs.
Our body has both good and bad cholesterol. The objective should be to increase good cholesterol and bring down the bad one. It has been found that regular cycling can enhance good cholesterol levels by a significant margin, and this helps in lowering the risk of heart disease.
To improve good cholesterol levels, make sure to do regular cycling at an intensity that raises your heart rate but doesn’t leave you breathless.
Lack of physical activity is cited as one of the major reasons as to why people suffer from diabetes. Cycling helps enhance physical activity and thus combat the threat of diabetes. As it uses glucose present in the muscle cells, it helps regulate blood sugar levels and combat diabetes.
Also, those who have type II diabetes, more often than not, find themselves with swollen feet. This is because of the lack of poor blood circulation in the lower end of the body. With the help of cycling, you can increase blood circulation in the body’s lower end, thus getting rid of swollen feet and pain.
Cycling requires you to balance your body to make sure you and your bicycle are in a stable position. In the long run, it helps in maintaining the body’s overall balance and posture. Note that this deteriorates with age, and cycling helps you remain on top of it.
Also, when you have improved balance and posture, there are fewer chances of falling, hurting yourself, and suffering from fractures. At the same time, if you are experiencing problems with walking or coordination, then cycling is an effective way to deal with the situation as it helps stimulate motor regions in your brains.
Research has found that high-intensity cycling can have major anti-aging benefits, right down to the cellular levels. Studies have shown that when you cycle at an intense rate, the same results in an increased mitochondrial capacity.
Note that if there’s a decline in mitochondria, the same could lead to a physical decline. However, the better your mitochondria functions, the more rejuvenated you will feel. And this will help in adding some more years to your life.
When you use cycle to commute, you are less likely to get exposed to toxic fumes. In the long run, this significantly improves lung health that deteriorates each time you breathe in toxic air released from cars, buses, etc.
When your lungs are strong, you are better equipped to perform daily tasks, and your body and mind feel better. This helps you stay in a positive frame of mind and do your tasks more efficiently.
An easy to pick-up exercise, cycling not only offers multiple health benefits but is also environment-friendly. If you are using a bicycle to commute often, you are contributing to the well-being of the environment as well.
In a nutshell, cycling not only helps you to maintain good health but also contribute to the betterment of the environment for our future generations.
Cycling is one of good excuse