If you want to be fit and healthy, you must be physically active. When you exercise regularly, you build your body immune system against serious diseases such as cancer, obesity, heart disease, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis.
Cycling is one of the best ways to protect yourself against health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It is a low-impact exercise anyone can enjoy – regardless of their age. It is also fun, low-cost exercise, and is great for the environment.
Below are some proven benefits of cycling:
It’s a fun and fast way to commute to your destination
Cycling to work or just as a form of social activity is a smart and effective way to combine exercise with your daily routine. It is estimated that about one billion people worldwide ride a bike to work or do it as a sport or form of recreation.
Cycling is fun and gets you to your destination at half the time of cars. And there are no traffic jams and toxic fumes to inhale.
It will help you sleep well and you’ll look younger
Some recent scientific studies show that cycling can help protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation. Plus it can slow down the ageing process.
And while you may briefly get tired after an early morning ride, cycling will improve the quality of your sleep when you slump into your bed.
Cycling improves your mental well-being
It is an open secret that people who live active lives are healthier than inactive individuals. There are several ways exercise not only boosts your mental health, but also your mood as it triggers the release of adrenalin and endorphins in your body. This will shoot up your confidence, which comes from the feeling of achieving a new goal such as covering a set cycling distance.
When you ride a bike, you are actually doing several positive things at once: getting closer to people and nature, exploring new views and just working out.
You may choose to cycle alone – which can help you process your thoughts more clearly –, or you can ride in a group with other cycling buddies – which expands your social cycle.
Cycling lets you shed weight
Cycling is a good way to reduce and control weight. This is because as you pedal with focus and a goal, it increases your metabolic rate, build your muscles and burns calories.
If you are trying to shed some pounds, note that it is important you combine the exercise with healthy eating plan. Cycling is a less rigorous form of workout and you can alternative the time and intensity to suit your body needs at any point.
Fitness coaches advise that you should burn about 2000 calories every week through exercise. Regular cycling can help you burn about 300 calories every hour. What this means is that if you cycle at least twice a day, you can hit that target sooner than you imagined.
Cycling helps protect you against the risks of cardiovascular diseases
Cardiovascular diseases include heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. Regular cycling gets your heart pumping at a healthy rate, improves your lung and circulation, and reduces your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Cycling toughens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulses and reduces the fat in your blood. And because this form of exercise is eco-friendly, you are less exposed to the dangers of pollution – unlike regular car commuters. This improves your lung functions.
It reduces the risk of diabetes
An increasing number of people are suffering from type 2 diabetes, which makes it a matter of serious public health concern. It is believed that a sedentary lifestyle is the major factor why people develop this condition.
A large-scale research carried out in Finland showed that people who put in more than 30 minutes of cycling everyday had a 40 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
Cycling and bone health
Cycling strengthens your brain and muscles, as well as your bones and joints. It improves your balance and coordination, which can help prevent against falls and fractures.
If you have osteoarthritis, joint pains and injuries, cycling is recommended for you as it is a light but effective form of exercise that exerts little stress on your joints.