While one hardly needs a reason to head out on a bike, after reading about these scientifically-proven benefits of cycling you can pat yourself on the back for remaining healthy while indulging in this favourite activity of yours. And well if you haven't yet started cycling more frequently here are more reasons why you should.
Increased Cardiovascular Fitness
Cycling is an amazing aerobic workout which will boost the health of your heart, blood vessels, and lungs. Cyclists can pick their level of difficulty based on their current health status and mood. If you add hills or distance to your ride, you will burn more calories, by engaging a whole host of muscles and thus substantially improve your overall cardiovascular fitness.
During any cardiovascular workout, people breathe deeper, sweat, and increase body temperature, which improves their overall fitness level.
Some studies have shown that people who cycled regularly had about fifteen percent fewer heart attacks than those who don’t. Even a little bit of time linked to cycling leads to lower rates of heart disease with those who cycle on a regular basis experiencing fewer cardiovascular issues. With heart disease being one of the biggest health problems for most it makes sense to invest a little time to prevent and mitigate it. People could develop heart disease later in life if they have high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels, or use tobacco products among a host of other reasons which can be combated with aerobic exercise such as cycling.
Increased Muscle and Bone Strength and flexibility
Cycling is a fantastic whole body workout and your lower body in particular which means your calves, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps are working the hardest during this period. While the lower body muscles are always engaged when riding a bike, certain groups get a greater focus during the different pedaling phases or pushing a harder gear. To explain this if we look at someone going up a hill, they’ll be using more quad and glute muscles for the pushing phase and hamstring and calf strength for the pulling phase.
Certain studies suggested that cycling as an activity can possibly prevent bone strength losses in older people and that since sports are known to exert a beneficial effect on bone growth maximizing bone mineral mass during growth may help to prevent fractures during both adolescence and at an older age.
Bike Riding Improves Cognitive Functioning
It is well known that making an effort to partake in regular physical activity is important for overall health, but this holds true particularly in older adults as exercise like cycling contributes not just to your weekly exercise time but may also be able to boost your cognitive functioning.
A study has shown that adults aged between 50 to 83 who rode a bike for at least thirty minutes thrice a week for more than eight weeks showed an improvement in both their cognitive function and overall health. While there was not much difference between those riding a regular pedal or an e-bike there are those that believe that being outdoors and fostering independence and mobility can boost cognitive function especially later in life.
Improved Posture and Coordination
Cycling improves balance, posture, and coordination because to cycle outdoor you must stabilize your body and keep your bike upright, thus improving your overall balance, while focusing on coordination also your gait The ability to balance tends to decline with age and inactivity, which is why it’s vital to stay mobile keep on top of it. A better balance is beneficial in the prevention of falls and fractures and can help decrease the risk of injury.
Improved Joint Mobility
For those who are wondering exercise is not going to make your joints feel worse and yes, you can still go cycling even with arthritis and some studies have shown that riding a bike may help reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Going cycling may significantly reduce joint pain, stiffness, and physical limitations, and enhance the quality of life in middle-aged and older adults with osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis. Since cycling is a low-impact exercise which causes very limited stress on weight-bearing joints, like your hips, knees, and feet it is one of the best exercises for those looking for a simpler workout. Movement helps lubricate the joints, which increases flexibility and reduces pain and stiffness. As a bonus, it helps manage weight and as we all know being overweight can exacerbate inflammatory arthritis, and put increased pressure on your joints, in particular your knees.
Cycling is an excellent form of exercise for those at any fitness level. Whether you choose to ride a bike indoors with a spin cycle or outdoors traversing nature trails, you’ll find this a low-impact cardiovascular workout that improves heart and lung health, strengthens your body, help mental health, and boosts your overall sense of wellbeing. However, it is important to keep in mind that if you are recovering from an injury or have a medical condition, you should make sure to get clearance from your doctor before going cycling. If you’re new to outdoor cycling then you should consider working with a biking coach or specialist who can help you pick the right bike and show you how to utilise it properly.