Cycling is one of the best low-impact exercises that can deliver a wealth of physical and mental health benefits. It is not only good for you, but it is also good for the environment. Not to mention, it can even be therapeutic and relaxing!
Whether you are having a stroll on your road bike or tackling rough terrains in a hardtail mountain bike, there is a long list of cycling benefits. This guide will give you a quick rundown of some compelling reasons to try cycling today!
The Best Cycling Benefits
Need more compelling reasons to bike? Below are some of the most notable biking benefits!
1. Lose Weight
To get fitter and slimmer, you need to be more physically active. While there are many things that you can do, one of the best is cycling. It is a great way to burn calories and shed extra pounds.
Cycling to lose weight will be more effective if you start with a realistic goal and stay committed. You should also ride at a moderate pace. Do not assume that cycling harder and longer is the best way to go. The latter can make you more prone to injuries and result in excruciating pain, making you swear to never get on a bike again.
2. Build Muscles
If you want to get bigger or leaner muscles, cycling is a great activity to try. Even with indoor cycling workouts, you can effectively build better muscles, especially when you combine it with other exercises beyond the bike.
Calf, thigh, glutes, arms, and shoulder muscles are some of the muscle groups that are targeted when you are cycling. The focus would be on your leg muscles, specifically soleus and gastrocnemius. Hamstrings and quadriceps are also heavily targeted.
3. Reduce Risks of Cancer
While there are inconclusive studies linking cycling and cancer, it is believed that biking is a great way to become healthier, and hence, your body will have a better defense against cancer cells.
Weight loss is one of the main biking benefits. More so, being overweight is one of the most common risk factors for certain types of cancer. With this, when you are cycling, you are not only losing weight, but you are also preventing cancer in a way.
4. Improve Cardiovascular Health
One of the benefits of biking to work or anywhere else is that it can improve your cardiovascular health. You can build a stronger heart through regular cycling, which can also improve blood circulation, reduce blood fat levels, and lower resting pulse.
Some of the most common cardiovascular diseases that can be prevented through cycling are high-blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. To add, when you have a healthier heart, you will be stronger physically.
5. Develop Better Lungs
Cycling, like other exercises, will be beneficial for the lungs, and in turn, will improve respiratory function. It increases your lung capacity, making it a good low-impact exercise for people who have asthma and similar health conditions.
As you pedal, you will be at an increased breathing rate. You will be performing a rhythmic and cyclical activity, which will affect your breathing patterns. It also strengthens the muscles surrounding the lungs. To maximize this benefit, cycle in places where there is fresh air instead of polluted urban streets.
6. Fight Depression
Aside from physical cycling benefits, it is also good for your mental health. Among other brain-boosting advantages, it is known for effectively fighting depression. It will help in fighting the chemical imbalance that is responsible for the symptoms of depression.
Through cycling, you will be in a meditative state. It is an opportunity to reconnect with nature, spend time with yourself, or have fun with your friends. All of these things can help in releasing endorphins and make you happier.
7. Manage Stress
This is a benefit similar to how cycling is effective for depression. Biking, like other exercises, is crucial when it comes to stress management.
Cycling will help in regulating and balancing your hormones. When you are suffering from stress, your cortisol hormones will elevate. In turn, it will deplete the happy chemicals in your brain. Through cycling, you can manage the stress hormones better and be more relaxed.
8. Sleep Better
If you are looking for natural sleep aid, then you have another good reason to make cycling a part of your routine. It is one of the best exercises that can calm anxiety and treat insomnia, making sure that you will sleep better.
From chronic insomnia to sleep apnea, cycling can be effective in addressing several sleep disorders. To add, it is also a physical activity that is easy on the body. It is relaxing, and hence, can make you sleep quicker.
9. Boost Self-Esteem
If you have always been suffering from low self-confidence, cycling can help. First, examine why you have low self-esteem. For some people, obesity can be the culprit. They are overweight, and hence, they feel bad about themselves. With cycling, you can lose weight and become more confident.
To increase your self-esteem when biking, take the time to learn the proper techniques, such as bike climbing, so that you can be better in no time.
10. Do It Anywhere
One of the best biking benefits is that you can do it anywhere – both indoors and outdoors. If the weather is fine, it is best to go outdoors and enjoy cycling.
On the other hand, if it is raining or when it is too cold for a ride, you can cycle indoors instead. With equipment like turbo trainers or bike rollers, there is no excuse to not get on your bike and be active.
11. Save Money
A high-quality bike is a life-long investment. In the long-run, it can provide the best value for every dollar as it will let you save money. For instance, you do not need to spend on gas. You can also enjoy lower parking fees.
If you commute regularly, using your bike will also be beneficial. On your way to work or the grocery, among other places, use your bike and save money! The savings might seem small at first, but when they accumulate, it will be a significant amount.
12. Go Green
By riding a bike, you are doing something to save the environment and future generations. It is a small step that can create a ripple effect, especially when done by a lot of people.
Leaving your car at home and opting to cycle instead will help in cutting your carbon emissions. This will reduce your contributions to air pollution. It is also a great way to lessen noise pollution and congestion.
13. Improve Balance
Especially for kids, cycling is a great way to improve balance. Even for adults, improving balance is necessary. It will help in injury prevention and will let you carry yourself better when you are moving.
However, balance itself can be a challenge for cyclists. For the little ones, choose the right balance bike to make it easier to improve their stability. For adult riders, on the other hand, engage in exercises that can improve balance, such as single-leg squats and planks with leg lifts.
14. Improve Posture
Cycling is also a great way to practice proper posture. You can adapt the latter and do it even when you are outside of the bike, such as when you are sitting in the office.
To maximize this cycling benefit, make sure to practice proper mountain bike posture in every ride. Do not slouch your back. Keep your arms relaxed and your shoulders open. Your head should be looking straight.
15. Enjoy a Low-Impact Workout
Another good thing about cycling is that it is a low-impact exercise. Despite this, it can deliver a plethora of physical and mental health benefits.
As a low-impact exercise cycling is one of the most recommended activities for those who are trying to recover from an injury. Especially when done indoors, it can be a part of a rehabilitation program. It is gentle on the joints and muscles, making it ideal even for people who suffer from arthritis and similar conditions.
16. Improve Sex Life
If your sex life is suffering from a sub-par performance, let cycling be your savior! Biking regularly will make you fit and healthy, which will also positively impact how you perform on the bed.
Because cycling is energizing, it pumps your heart and your blood. This is a great way to increase your libido. Especially among middle-aged men, cycling is positively linked to preventing sexual dysfunction.
17. Train for Other Sports
Cycling is a great choice for cross-training. Whether you are a swimmer, basketball player, or runner, among others, incorporating cycling in your training routine is one of the best ways to improve your athletic performance.
While it is a low-impact exercise, cycling is a great way to lose weight, build muscles, and improve balance. All these things are important for being better in a wide array of sports. This is why whether it is indoors or outdoors, many athletes consider biking a must-have in their training plan.
18. Fight Aging
Like other exercises, one of the best cycling benefits is that it will help delay the signs of aging, especially from a physical perspective. As you get older, your muscles and body become weaker. If you cycle often, however, you can be stronger even as you grow older.
Nonetheless, while cycling is great for aging, take it slow. Know the limits that your body can handle. Seniors are more prone to cycling injuries, which is why they need to be more careful.
19. Bond with Your Family
Biking is a great way to bond with your family, especially among kids. Teaching kids to ride a bike is one of the milestones in the life of parents. Nothing beats the joy of seeing your kid learning how to balance because of your perseverance.
Going on a bike trip as a family is also a great way to get to know each other better while enjoying a healthy activity. The best thing is that it is suitable for all ages.
20. Build a Better Social Life
Last but not the least, one of the best cycling benefits is that it is a great way to build your social life. Especially when you are participating in a group ride, you will meet other people and expand your network. You can make new friends. In turn, this is also a great stress relief.
Even if you are riding indoors, there is still a way by which you can be social. This is possible by using the Zwift app, which will let you connect to riders all over the world. You can join races and challenge your friends.
Q: What happens if you cycle every day?
If you cycle every day, you can lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, minimize stress, and lift your mood, among other benefits. However, it can do more harm than good, especially if you push yourself to the limit. Your muscles can suffer from unnecessary strain. Your body may end up painful and you will be unproductive.
Q: Is cycling better than running?
Cycling is better than running if you are after a low-impact exercise. While running burns more calories, it is also going to put more stress on your joints and muscles. At the end of the day, your fitness goals and physical health will dictate which is better between the two.
Q: Can you lose belly fat by cycling?
Yes, cycling can help you lose belly fat. However, this does not happen overnight and through biking alone. For the best outcomes, make sure to complement your cycling routine with other exercises, and more importantly, a healthy diet.
Globo Surf Overview
With the cycling benefits mentioned above, you will have a long list of reasons to bike more often! From losing weight to building a better social life, those biking benefits prove that cycling is a great way to stay healthy and happy!