Manish Menda 13 Dec 2022

Have you considered riding your bike to work, going for a ride in a park, or using one of the nearby trails? Cycling, besides being an enjoyable exercise, has many health benefits. There are many things to love about cycling. It is a healthy, low-impact and enjoyable exercise for people of all age groups It is fun, economical, and good for the environment. It is also one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Riding a bicycle regularly can help to keep obesity, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis at bay. Cycling can be done for recreation, as a mode of transportation, or as a strenuous, competitive activity. It is a great exercise that keeps you moving and can help establish a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.

Going for a bike ride or cycling is an excellent workout because it has multiple health benefits. Below are some good reasons to pick up cycling this year.

Benefits Of Cycling On Health

The advantages of cycling are apparent to those who engage in it, but for those who may need more motivation to start riding, here are some of the most significant benefits.

Weight Control

According to a systematic review published in 2019, cycling is a good exercise for reducing body mass and body fat. A healthy diet and adequate exercise are both essential for weight loss.

Cycling can aid in weight management because it boosts metabolism, tones muscles, and burns body fat. Additionally, the duration and intensity of workouts can be easily customized.

According to research, a person's body type may allow them to burn up to 300 calories per hour while cycling at a moderate intensity. A person can burn even more calories in a shorter time by increasing the intensity.

Improved Aerobic Fitness (Without Stressing Your Joints)

Everyone over 18 years of age is advised to engage in at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio each week, according to the Physical activity guidelines for Americans issued by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Increased physical activity is associated with more significant long-term health benefits, and cycling is one way to achieve this.

Cycling is an excellent exercise if you currently have knee, hip, ankle, or joint problems or if you simply want to avoid them in the future. It is regarded as low impact, which means that the joints in the lower extremities are not subjected to as much strain. As a result, cycling can challenge a person's entire system without placing undue pressure on their joints.

Improvement Of Executive Function

According to some research, cycling may enhance executive function, a test of our capacity for functional behavior. Executive functioning is not a comprehensive measure of a person’s abilities, however, it indicates their capacity to carry out essential daily tasks that require coordination, memory, and balance.

Some people have difficulty with executive function, particularly as they get older. But according to studies, exercising regularly and cycling can help with executive functioning. It might even improve memory and processing speed, two additional components of cognitive function.

Supports Mental Health

Studies have established long-term links between mental illness and poor general health. In addition, many symptoms, including insulin resistance, hypertension, and high cholesterol, are directly correlated with the stress of battling mental health conditions. Therefore, it is critical to look after your mental and physical health.

Cycling is one means of achieving that. In addition, cycling can enhance your mental health and general well-being through exercise, social interaction, and sun exposure.

Studies support the beneficial effects of cycling on both mind and body. For example, in one study, researchers found that those who participated in an outdoor cycling program with mental health conditions reported feelings of equality, personal mastery, community, solidarity, and healing.

Cycling Strengthens The Core

You might think of cycling as more a cardio than a strength exercise. However, since biking outdoors necessitates dynamic maintenance of balance, it can pose a significant challenge to the abdominal muscles, which develops core stability. This is especially true when traveling over rougher terrain, where you frequently need to change your course to avoid obstacles.

It takes a lot of abdominal, lower back, and hip muscle control to balance the body's center of mass over moving wheels. So as you ride, even small shifts can activate those muscles.

Environment Friendly

Cycling has no adverse environmental effects and is the most eco-friendly form of urban transportation. A single car space in a parking lot can accommodate twenty bicycles. Bike production takes only 5% of the resources and energy required to make a car, and it emits no pollution.

Bikes are also economical and an effective means of communication. For the same amount of energy, you move about three times as quickly as when you're walking, and when you factor in the "fuel" you put in your "engine," you get the equivalent of 2,924 miles per gallon.

Recent European studies have found that using a cycle to commute once daily reduces your carbon footprint by as much as 67%. It can be conducive when you need to go someplace that is a bit too far to walk, but you do not want to take a car.

Due to this, it is sustainable in terms of the environment, society, and economy.

Improves Bone Health

Higher-impact exercises such as running and jumping put the body under stress, which can increase bone density, an essential component of healthy aging. However, your preference for cycling does not mean you are missing out on anything.

For instance, a study discovered that mountain biking could produce sufficient ground impact to be favorable for bone strength. In addition, the authors report in the study that maintaining stability also necessitates the use of upper-body muscles, and the interaction of these two elements may enhance bone structure in general.

Enhances Gait And Balance

Walking and performing daily tasks require balance and gait. As you get older, it is critical to keep up these skills. Some people may find these abilities challenging, particularly those who have experienced a stroke.

Fortunately, research has shown that regular cycling, even when using a stationary bike, can enhance your balance and gait in general. In addition, an indoor or outdoor bike helps train your body to maintain better posture because it requires you to be in a particular position while riding.

In addition, repetitive motor training can aid in the recovery of motor function in stroke patients. Furthermore, cycling on a stationary bike can be a low-impact exercise for people recovering from an injury.

You Can Eat A Second Serving

If you choose to bike to work, you have an excellent excuse for including a few more snacks in your day. You can even indulge in your favorite comfort food because a 30-minute commute should burn between 200 and 500 calories.

If you are serious about losing weight, you could ride without eating in the morning. However, this is a habit reserved for the most committed riders, and it is best used carefully and moderately to avoid negative health effects.

It helps You Sleep Better

Being sedentary can impact your health and ability to sleep if you are not active for most of the day. Students who frequently sit down and study served as the subjects of one study. Research shows that learning while riding a stationary bike helps students sleep better. Another investigation involving disabled athletes and veterans discovered that participating in a significant cycling competition enhanced both sleep quality and quality of life.

Lowers The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Cycling for transportation and recreation has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. You would need to cycle frequently to reduce your risk, especially since your risk declines noticeably when cycling becomes a part of your routine. It is rarely too late to start cycling because doing so will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes as you age.

May Benefit Cancer Patients

If you are battling cancer, cycling is a great addition to your treatment regimen. However, you should work with your care team, pay attention to your body, and only exercise if you are up for it. These are all important considerations because many cancer patients experience pain and low energy during treatment.

Cycling helps you with weight loss which may lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer. For instance, one research found that maintaining an active lifestyle while receiving treatment for breast cancer may help minimize side effects, such as fatigue, and enhance your overall quality of life.

Easy To Pick Up

Cycling is a relatively simple form of exercise, to begin with. It combines physical activity with mobility without requiring any special skills. This makes it more accessible to the majority of people.

You can cycle at low intensity if you are just starting out or recovering from an illness or injury. Stationary bikes are an excellent substitute if you have trouble with a regular bicycle. You can cycle at a leisurely pace or up the intensity as you get fitter.

Cycling can be incorporated into a person's life in various ways, including as a mode of transportation, a recreational activity, or even at home on an indoor cycle. In addition, it can be a great introduction for people new to exercise because studies have shown that even sedentary people benefit from it.

Improves Lung Health

Cycling can help to enhance cardiorespiratory health. Cycling for roughly 170-250 minutes per week can significantly improve lung health, according to a study.

Likewise, the result of a study has shown that physical activity can support the immune system's defenses against respiratory infections like COVID-19-causing SARS-CoV-2.

Yet another study supports this observation. Researchers say exercise such as cycling is crucial to maintaining lung health in both people with and without lung conditions.

In people with lung conditions, regular cycling can also help to promote lung function. In addition, cycling is a pulmonary rehabilitation exercise that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease might benefit from.

Cycling May Help Lower Cholesterol

Cycling might help lower cholesterol levels, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Indoor cycling lowers total cholesterol, according to one review. While reducing triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, this exercise may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Who Should Take Up Cycling?

Cycling around the neighborhood or in a nearby park may be preferred by people who like the outdoors or to work out with friends. While some people may prefer a stationary exercise bike to reduce the risk of falling or avoid the expense of purchasing a bicycle, others might instead cycle to work, which is more environment-friendly.

Biking is a great activity, no matter your motivations. It is a flexible, affordable, low-impact exercise that most people of all ages and fitness levels can do. However, it may not be effective for everyone.

It is best to avoid riding a bicycle until you are completely healed if you have any injuries that cycling could aggravate. An adaptive bicycle might be more suitable for people with vision, balance, or hearing issues. If you do not like cycling but still want a similar cardio workout, consider rowing or using an elliptical or stair-climbing machine. You can also swim, walk, or run uphill.

For this reason, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional before beginning. They can assess your level of fitness and medical history. You might also find it helpful to discuss starting points with a cycling coach or a personal trainer.

Should You Cycle Every Day?

Cycling can be done every day. This is especially true if you use your bike as a means of transportation or if you ride at an easy pace. But make sure to stop if you feel pain, exhaustion, or muscle soreness.

Take at least an entire day’s rest every week if you cycle for fitness. Adequate rest is especially important if your rides are longer or more strenuous. According to exercise scientists, prioritizing recovery is vital for performance improvement and injury prevention.

This is crucial if you ride hard or notice that certain body parts hurt in particular ways.

The Bottom Line

Starting cycling could be one of the smartest moves you ever make, whether to improve your health or to help the environment. Not only does it benefit heart and lung health, but cycling can also enhance mental well-being while being easy on the pocket.

But it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional first if you have any underlying medical issues, are prone to accidents or slips, or are new to exercise. They can evaluate your fitness level and medical history to decide if cycling suits you.

To search for the best doctors and healthcare providers worldwide, please use the Mya Care search engine.

About the Author:

Manish Menda is one of the Co-Founders of Mya Care. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Manish is an avid entrepreneur and pioneered patient financing in India. Manish and his family founded Mya Care with the intention to empower patients and give them the tools they need to find health and wellness services for their specific needs around the world. Manish leads an active lifestyle, and his hobbies include cycling, hiking, padel tennis, swimming, weight training and yoga.


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