Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that keeps people of all ages active and in great shape.
It’s a popular physical activity that can be used as a mode of transportation, casual activity, competitive sport, and workout.
Without further ado, here are the benefits of riding a bicycle.
- Improves brain capacity and mental health
Cycling helps the body and mind, especially in old adults. It also reduces cognitive changes that can lead to mental diseases like dementia.
According to a study, regular cycling can lead to improvement in cognitive functions and wellbeing.
Cycling also promotes the release of endorphins — the hormone which helps ease stress, depression, and anxiety — in the body.
So when next you’re mentally clouded or stressed, you should try cycling.
- Promotes weight loss
It can be used to manage one’s weight as it helps to reduce body fat and body mass.
Cycling at a high intensity helps you burn calories and also reduces the risk of obesity.
According to Harvard Health, a 70kg person burns around 252 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace and 288 calories on a bicycle at a moderate pace.
Burning more calories than you consume is also the key to weight loss.
- Builds muscles and strengthens legs
Cycling helps strengthen the lower part of the body, especially muscles and legs.
As you pedal, the muscles around your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves are being built and strengthened.
- Improves balance, posture, and coordination.
Your balance, coordination, and walking ability tend to improve when you stabilize your body and keep your bike upright while cycling.
Since one’s walking ability and balance decline due to aging, a study proved cycling can address issues regarding gait.
Through cycling, an aged person can improve his/her balance and walking ability. It also helps people with stroke gain their walking ability.
- Environment friendly
Cycling is the only mode of road transportation that causes no environmental damage/pollution.
Unlike other means of transportation that cause the emission of carbon dioxide which further leads to lung diseases. Cycling, however, leads to better lung health.
- Boosts energy
If you need enough energy for the day’s business, you should consider cycling for a few minutes.
Cycling before starting your day enhances endurance performance and boosts your energy and metabolism levels all day.
- Reduces risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer
During cycling, the heart beats faster than usual and gets the blood pumping around your body; which helps improve heart health.
Cycling has been proven to be linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
It also reduces mortality rates and lower rates of physiological risk factors such as diabetes, physical inactivity, and high blood pressure.
A 2017 study also showed that commuting by bike to work can cut the risk of developing heart disease and cancer nearly in half.
“Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes. Those who cycled the full length of their commute had an over 40 percent lower risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality over the five years of follow-up,” said Dr. Jason Gill of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences.
- Helps with conditions like arthritis
Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise, which is suitable for older adults and people with weak or damaged joints.
It’s an ideal form of exercise to help people with arthritis or osteoarthritis. Cycling helps lubricate the joints and reduce pain.
- Improves sex life
Regular cycling helps keep adrenaline and cortisol in check. The release of these hormones is linked to easier sexual arousal.
On whether cycling improves sex life, Matthew Forsyth, the urologist from Portland, Oregon, said: “All these muscles [worked on the bike] are used during intercourse. The better developed these muscles, the longer and more athletic intercourse will be.”
When you feel less stressed, you’ll be more likely to be in the mood and enjoy sex more often.
Photo credit: Black Girls Do Bike/Facebook
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