15 reasons why cycling is good for your fitness, legs, and mind
The advantages of cycling will be obvious to those already involved in the sport, but for those who aren’t convinced, here’s a list of some of the most compelling reasons to hop on a bike. The benefits of cycling are as numerous as the beautiful roads you can find, including physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and an almost guaranteed broadening of your social circle.
But, when it comes to picking a new hobby, there are a lot of options to consider, so here are some of the reasons why we think cycling is the best:
1. CYCLING BENEFITS MENTAL HEALTH
According to a YMCA study, people who live a physically active lifestyle have a wellbeing score that is 32% higher than those who do not.
Exercise can improve your mood in a variety of ways, including the release of adrenalin and endorphins, as well as the increased confidence that comes with accomplishing new goals (such such as completing a sporting event or getting closer to achieving a specific goal).
Cycling combines physical activity with being outside and taking in new sights. You can ride alone to process your worries or concerns, or you can ride with a group to expand your social circle.
Graeme Obree, the former Hour Record holder, has battled depression for much of his life and told us, “Getting out and riding will help [people suffering from depression]… I’m not sure where I’d be if it weren’t for cycling.”
2. CYCLING STRENGTHENS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
During the global Covid-19 pandemic, this is especially important. Appalachian State University’s Dr. David Nieman and colleagues studied 1000 adults up to the age of 85. They discovered that exercise had a significant impact on the health of the upper respiratory system, resulting in fewer cases of the common cold.
“People can reduce sick days by about 40% by exercising aerobically on most days of the week while also receiving many other exercise-related benefits,” Nieman said.
Mild exercise, according to Professor Tim Noakes of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, can improve our immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins and reawakening dormant white blood cells.
What makes you want to ride a bike? Cycling to work can cut your commute time in half while also keeping you away from germ-ridden buses and trains.
But there’s a catch. Evidence suggests that your immune system is lowered immediately after intense exercise, such as an interval training session, but that proper recovery, such as eating and sleeping well, can help to reverse this.
3. CYCLING CAN ASSIST YOU IN WEIGHT LOSS
When it comes to weight loss, the simple equation is ‘calories out must exceed calories in.’ To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Cycling burns calories at a rate of 400 to 1000 calories per hour, depending on the intensity and weight of the rider.
Of course, there are other considerations: the composition of the calories you consume, as well as the quality of your sleep, influence the frequency with which you refuel, and the amount of time you spend burning calories is influenced by how much you enjoy your chosen activity.
You’ll be burning calories if you enjoy cycling. And you should lose weight if you eat a healthy diet that creates a calorie deficit (one that is controlled and does not put you at risk of long-term health problems, we emphasize).
4. CYCLING STRENGTHENS MUSCLE
Cycling’s resistance component means it not only burns fat but also builds muscle, especially in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Muscle is leaner than fat, and people with more muscle burn more calories even when they are sedentary.
To be clear, unless you spend a lot of time at the squat rack, you won’t end up with quads like a track sprinter. However, you will develop a well-toned derriere.
5. AFTER CYCLING, YOU CAN ENJOY SECOND BREAKFASTS
6. CYCLISTS HAVE BETTER LUNG HEALTH THAN NON-CYCLISTS.
7. CYCLING REDUCES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE AND CANCER
8. CYCLING HAS MINIMAL IMPACT
Many of the side effects we discuss when discussing the advantages of cycling are exercise-related. Isn’t it more convenient to just go for a run?
Because running is a weight-bearing activity, injury rates are higher. Cycling, unlike running, is not a weight-bearing activity. When scientists compared long-distance runners and cyclists, they discovered that runners had 133-144 percent more muscle damage, 256 percent more inflammation, and 87 percent more DOMS.
Overuse injuries are less likely to occur when cycling, but they can still occur. Skimping on a professional bike fit is a false economy if you end up spending more money on physiotherapy.
Cycling does not increase bone density as much as other sports due to the lack of weight bearing, so it’s a good idea to incorporate some strength training into your routine.
9. TIME IS SAVED BY CYCLING
Get in the car, sit in traffic, wait in line to get into a parking lot, park, pay for parking, and arrive’ Walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus, complain about the bus being late, board the bus (pay), watch as it circles the neighborhood, and arrive about a half mile from your destination.
Get on your bike, navigate through traffic, lock your bike, and arrive.
Short journeys contribute significantly to global pollution levels, and they frequently involve a lot of idling while staring at the bumper in front of you. Getting on your bike will save you money on gas and money on public transportation, as well as time.
NAVIGATIONAL SKILLS ARE IMPROVED BY CYCLING.
In the age of car navigation systems and Google maps, there’s not always much incentive to hone your natural sense of direction (however superior or otherwise it may be).
Unless you’ve invested in a GPS cycling computer with mapping capabilities, getting out and exploring the lanes can be beneficial to your internal mapping capabilities, giving you a better idea of which way is West (with practice).
11. CYCLING CAN HELP YOU WITH YOUR SEX LIFE
We all know that sex is good for you, but not everyone realizes that it is also good for your overall health. Regular sex, in fact, may help you live longer.
“The average man who has 350 orgasms a year lives about four years longer than the national average of around a quarter of that,” says Dr. Michael Roizen, chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. The findings of women were similar to those of men.
So, can cycling help you have a better sex life? It does, however, build some very important muscle groups. “All of these muscles [worked on the bike] are used during intercourse,” said Dr. Matthew Forsyth, a urologist and avid cyclist from Portland, Oregon. The more these muscles are developed, the longer and more athletic the intercourse will be.”
12. CYCLISTS GET BETTER SLEEP
It’s probably not rocket science that riding a bike will help you sleep better, but it’s now been proven. Over a 35-year period, researchers at the University of Georgia studied men and women aged 20 to 85 and discovered that a 2% drop in fitness for men and 4% for women resulted in sleep problems.
Dr. Rodney Dishman, one of the study’s lead authors, said: “Between the ages of 40 and 60, cardiorespiratory fitness begins to decline rapidly. This is also when issues with sleep duration and quality become more prevalent.”
In search of a cause for the link, scientists hypothesized that exercise-induced anxiety reduction improves sleep quality. Exercise also helps to prevent weight gain as people get older, which is another cause of sleep problems.
13. CYCLING INCREASES BRAIN POWER
Exercise has been linked to improved brain health and a reduction in cognitive changes that can lead to dementia later in life. Cycling increased blood flow in the brain by 28% during exercise, and up to 70% in specific areas, according to a 2013 study. Not only that, but after exercise, blood flow in some areas increased by 40%.
Improved blood flow is beneficial because red blood cells deliver a variety of nutrients that keep us healthy – and the study concluded that we should cycle for 45-60 minutes four times a week at 75-85% of our maximum ‘heart rate reserve’ (max heart rate minus resting heart rate). Nothing is preventing you from riding any longer.
14. SPACIAL AWARENESS IS IMPROVED BY CYCLING
Unless you’re cycling on Zwift, cycling isn’t just about raising your heart rate and getting you out of breath. Climbing, descending, and cornering are all technical elements that teach you to use your body weight to get the bike to go where you want it to go.
Gaining the ability to manage these technical elements can give you a huge boost in confidence, especially once you start to see results. Plus, you might find that your ability to maneuver that shaky shopping cart with the wonky wheels improves dramatically.
15. CYCLING CAN HELP YOU GROW YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLE.
Cycling is a sport that is extremely social. Grassroots cycling is centered on cycling club culture, which is centered on the Saturday or Sunday club run: several hours of riding at a moderate intensity that allows for easy conversation, interrupted only by a cafe stop (or the occasional puncture).
Joining a cycling club or group is a great way to expand your social circle, and if you’re new to riding, you’ll likely find all of the maintenance and training advice you need there as well.
will cycling reduce belly fat
Cycling can assist in the loss of abdominal fat, but it will take time. According to a recent study, frequent cycling can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, such as cycling (either indoor or outdoor), are useful in reducing overall belly fat.