To gain benefits from cycling you don’t have to be super fit, an athlete or anything of the sort.
The advantages of cycling are great and it is a fun way to get that much-needed exercise.
Keep on reading to find out the positive effect of cycling in losing weight, health benefits of cycling, and some cycling tips for starters.
Weight Loss and Cycling
If you are trying to shed a few pounds, dieting alone very rarely works out in the long term.
However, doing more exercise on a regular basis works wonders. And one alternative exercise that you could do is through cycling.
If you cycle regularly, then it will not only help you burn a large number of calories during your workout but it will also raise your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day.
Cycling along a flat road or path at 12 mph will help you burn off roughly 450 calories an hour. And even when you stop, your metabolism is still speeding ahead, helping you burn calories quicker. Isn’t that great?
Not only can cycling help you lose weight and keep it off, it is also advantageous health-wise.
By cycling at least 20 miles per week, it can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by half, compared to those who don’t cycle or do other form of exercise
Cycling burns the calories in a chocolate bar or a couple of alcoholic drinks in one hour, which is around 300 calories.
Translated into modern lifestyle terms, a fifteen-minute bike ride, five times a week, burns off 11 pounds of fat a year and meets the requirements for reducing health risks.
In other words, you might burn extra 75 – 670 calories within 30 minutes through cycling.
The Department of Transport reports that ‘even a small amount of cycling can lead to significant gains in fitness’.
The study reveals that aerobic fitness was boosted by 11% after six weeks of cycling ‘short distances’ four times a week. Through cycling 4 miles a day, the aerobic benefit increased to 17%.
Health Benefits of Cycling
The Fentem PH ABC of sports medicine report, Benefits of Exercise in Health and Disease, 1994, concludes that cycling is ‘one of the few physical activities which can be undertaken by the majority of the population as part of a daily routine’.
Cycling is categorized as an aerobic form of exercise. This is a type of exercise that is particularly favorable to the lungs and heart.
Your lungs expand with the effort of pedaling, which allows you to get more oxygen into your body.
This, in turn, makes your heart beat faster to send the oxygen throughout your body.
If you develop powerful lungs and a strong heart then you are well and truly on your way to fitness.
Therefore, this definitely improves your cardiovascular fitness.
Just by cycling a few miles per day you will soon begin to feel fitter and healthier, you will see your muscles beginning to tone.
Your thigh, backside, and calf muscles will gain the biggest benefit from cycling since these are the muscles that you will use the most. But overall, you will find yourself in much better shape.
Perhaps, you will find that you no longer get gasping walking up a flight of stairs.
However, the best part – the more you bicycle, the more you will enjoy it and look forward to your next outing.
In addition, cycling can also be helpful when you are feeling down or if you suffer from stress, anxiety or depression.
When you exercise, you release what are known as endorphins into your bloodstream.
Endorphins bring about a feeling of happiness and contentment and are a great way to combat stress and depression.
Cycling can be done almost anywhere by anyone. If you live in towns or the countryside there is always somewhere to bicycle.
It doesn’t have to be expensive and it is a relatively safe sport when you follow the few simple guidelines and can be enjoyed as a family, too.
Many people choose to drive to work, while others may take a train or bus. However, few choose to cycle.
But cycling could be the best choice of all, and here’s why:
1) Improve Your Health
With many people doing little more than sitting at a computer all day while at work, exercise is becoming more and more important to living well.
It’s your body that keeps you going day in and day out, and therefore, it’s important to keep it in decent shape.
Cycling to work is a fantastic way to help keep your body healthy.
By cycling, you will also eliminate the need to spend so many hours in the gym before and after work, saving you money and also your time.
The effectiveness of this on the feet is also improved along with riding a bike regularly.
Because your own strength connected with feet is greater, it is more unlikely for getting traumas or fractures after having a tumble.
2) Clear your Mind
Those who exercise regularly know how good it can feel for the body. But, they also know it feels good for the mind.
Exercise can help clear your mind, distracting you from your worries and concerns.
It’s also a known fact that cardiovascular exercise can help with mental health, reducing both anxiety and depression.
Cycling is absolutely therapeutic for the mind and spirit.
3) Incredible for Heart, Well-being, and Wellness
Riding a bike isn’t only advantageous to your general well-being aside from your own particular heart.
A decent heart is somehow important to a blissful living.
With riding a bicycle, the blood in the veins supply towards the body is more prominent and in addition, your heartbeat rate will increase.
For this reason, heart disease has a tendency to be lessened hugely or danger of acquiring pretty much any has unquestionably stayed away to a higher degree.
Cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes according to a report by Kelley GA, 1995, Effects of Aerobic Exercise in Normotensive Adults.
It can reduce your ‘real age’, dropping it more than a decade lesser than your chronological age.
Optimum results are achieved when cyclists are breathing heavily, but are not out of breath.
Exercise has been shown to increase HDL or “good” cholesterol and reduce the amount of triglycerides in the blood.
Again, this means improved cardiovascular health. This leads to a reduced chance of heart blockage and reduces the risk of stroke.
There are some reports that link exercise to a lowered risk of developing some cancer, like colon cancer.
4) Decreased Disease Risk
Overall, you will also have excellent health, illness, and disease free. Cycling helps heart health, so the risk of cardiovascular disease is decreased by a significant margin.
Statistics show that cyclists, even those who only travel short distances can reduce the risk of death by 22%.
5) Sleep Well
Due to the extensive physical activity, you experienced during the day, you’re likely to be able to spend better quality time with your pillow and bed sheets.
Scientific studies showed that insomniacs who cycled more than 30 minutes per day went to sleep in half the time of those who didn’t.
6) Reduce Stress
Almost any and every physical activity is a proven stress-reliever and cycling is no exception.
The constant exercise, the muscle fatigue, the calorie-burning all contribute to reducing overall stress levels.
7) Change Inside Disposition
Riding a bike, the same as different structures joined with physical activity, could soothe endorphin that could prompt fulfillment inside you.
With riding a bicycle you can truly feel great, modifying your inside demeanor.
Additionally, riding a bicycle is perceived for soothing stress. It also helps the inside increasing self-esteem.
8) Motivation Boost
Approximately, any physical activity you engage in will increase your overall energy and motivation levels.
Especially when you’re a prolific cyclist, you feel more confident and able because you were able to cycle for longer periods of time than you could before starting out as a new cyclist.
9) Positive Hobby
Instead of booze, gambling or nights at the pub, you now have a more productive hobby that you can engage in over and over again without hangovers or any other negative effects.
Although the bicycle is used more as a recreational device rather than as a primary way to transport yourself around, there is evidence that people all over the world are seeing health benefits from using them.
They help burn fat, reduce blood pressure, increase your own body’s protection against infections and diseases, and help you stay healthy.
Other Benefits of Cycling
Aside from the given benefits of cycling in your health and fitness, here are other benefits that go beyond that.
1) Save Money
Choosing to cycle to work is pretty much guaranteed to save you money. And who isn’t looking to save money?
First, you don’t have to pay for a car in the first place.
Second, you don’t have to pay any tax for your car.
Third, you don’t have to pay for fuel and, well, you get the picture.
If you’re using any kind of transport other than your own two feet to get to work every day, then you will almost certainly save money by going on a bicycle instead.
2) Save Time
Although cycling isn’t usually thought of as the fastest way to travel, it clearly beats walking.
However, on commutes where there’s a lot of traffic, cycling can also be quicker than travelling by bus or car if you don’t live too far away.
Even if it’s slower than your car journey, you’ll still get to work pretty quickly, and can enjoy the many other benefits listed above by doing so.
3) Help the Environment
Global warming scientists suggest that bigger problems ahead if no action is taken right now.
And the best place to start is with your carbon emissions.
One of the biggest sources of these emissions is car travel.
By using your car less, you can directly contribute to reduce carbon emissions.
Of course, there are still more reasons why you should include cycling but these are enough to get you started.
Some Cycling Tips
If you are just starting out, here are some tips to help you in your cycling activity.
Here are a few simple tips to help you get the most out of cycling:
Always carry a puncture repair kit
Make sure you take a water bottle with you especially on long rides in the countryside
Keep your tires pumped up to the required level to make cycling easier
For safety always make sure you wear a bicycle helmet
Always have lights and reflectors on your bike to make sure you are seen
When cycling at night wear bright colors or preferably some sort of reflective material
The choice of bike is a personal thing.
Most people never cycle more than five miles, so choosing an expensive bike designed to challenge the most adventurous daredevils.
Instead, choose a bike that will manage the local terrain, comfortably.
Equipment needs will also vary. Older people should consider elbow and knee guards.
These will help prevent debilitating joint injuries that can seriously limit your mobility. A helmet is not optional.
Do not buy a helmet from a local hardware store. Get one from a bicycle specialty store. The selection is larger, and the quality better. Shopping at an online store can also save money.
Once introduced into the bicycle riding community, you’ll soon set out on your daily cycle for the joy of it. Health benefits will be secondary
Get your bike ready and gear on for cycling today!
If you are still in a debate whether to go for cycling or not, hopefully, this article will help you balance and weigh on the more positive side of it.
Further than for your health and fitness, your lifestyle, your activity or your hobby to consider.
Somehow, it gives you an independence to be on your own, to cycle the road, to reach destinations and to journey with yourself.
On the other hand, it can also be a social activity, if done with family, friends or if you are part of a bike club. And that means enjoying their company while cycling on the road.
As what they say, it’s the journey that matters more than the destination. Thus, enjoy your cycling journey while striving to live fit and healthy.
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