We all have heard about health benefits of riding a bike. Whether you do it in the gym or outdoors the amount of spent calories and benefits to muscles are the same. When riding a bike outdoors, additionally you may also enjoy the sun, wind and fresh air. Which way to choose is up to your preference. Now let’s see how exactly your body can get benefits from regular cycling.
Benefits of regular cycling
Cycling is one of the workout types that doesn’t demand much money, special outfit and is good for people of all ages, from children to seniors.
1. Improved heart work
When you ride a bicycle all muscles, including your heart will start working. According to study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, high level exercising has the same effect in lowering blood pressure as medications.
Cycling to the uphill or riding in a higher speed than usual helps to lower your blood pressure. In turn, lower blood pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Burning fat
When we talk about benefits of cycling, of course, the spotlight gets weight loss. By cycling regularly in a normal pace you can burn out about 300 calories in 1 hour. If you like intense workout and extreme cycling you may burn about 1000 calories in an hour.
Moreover, cycling improves metabolism, so you’ll keep losing weight even after getting of your bicycle.
Riding a bike is a great exercise if your target is not losing but maintaining your weight. Cycling every day for half an hour will help you to keep fit and healthy.
3. Strong immune system
If you want to be healthy, be friends with sports. Physical exercise enhances immune system, so the body can be strong enough to fight against infection and viruses.
During cycling your body releases proteins named interferon and endogenous pyrogen that reduce the risk of developing infectious diseases.
However, as the saying states “Everything is good in moderation”, when you know the capabilities of your body. For athletic and non-athletic people and for people of different age groups the moderation is different. Overloading yourself with intense exercising contributes to lowering immune system.
4. Reduced cancer risk
Regular exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, balanced diet and enough sleeping hours – all of these help to reduce the risk of developing cancer. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow has found out that cyclists could cut the risk of early death by 41%.
Moreover, riding a bike in a regular basis lowers the risk of developing cancer for 45%. The findings point to cancer in general, but in particular to lung and colorectal cancer, as cycling makes work necessary muscles.
5. Building muscle mass
One of the great benefits of cycling is that it helps not only with dropping some weight, but also with building a mass. That’s really awesome, isn’t it?
The resistance element of cycling makes your leg muscles work harder resulting in building mass, particularly in the area of gluteus, hamstrings, calves and quads. The more you ride a bike, the stronger become your legs. With resilient buttocks and legs you will definitely look better and more attractive. Besides, you’ll notice how easily you complete tasks like climbing the stairs, running or jumping.
Despite having toned and strong muscle mass, you won’t end up with quads like sportsmen, unless you want to do sports professionally.
6. Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
It is scientifically proved that cycling reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease (PD), particularly in men. Several studies have been carried out to find out the relationship between vigorous activity and nervous system disorder. Findings show that vigorous activities like riding a bike can positively affect the nervous system work and by this reduce the risk of developing PD.
However, the correlation of cycling and developing PD can’t be linked to women. Males and females’ organisms are different as well as their biological response to physical activity. Still there is no exact reason why it works mainly on men.
7. Better sleep
Healthy eating, fresh air and physical exercises for sure will guarantee a better sleep. Cycling is great option to achieve all these at the same time.
Between the ages of 40 to 60 cardiorespiratory fitness becomes weak, so the oxygen uptake. This usually leads to anxiety and sleep dysfunction. We often hear how elders suffer of insomnia and other sleeping problems. Daily cycling will not only improve sleep and reduce anxiety, but also protects against age-related weight gain.
8. Slower aging
Do you want to look young as now even after 10 or 15 years? Yeah, who will refuse this. For this you don’t need some magic or rejuvenating elixir. Running healthy lifestyle is actually enough.
Observations show that sportsmen and athletic people live longer and age slowly than people who have less active lifestyle. According to researches high-intensity interval training (like high-intensity cycling) provides anti-aging advantages in a cellular level.
Doing high-intensity exercises three times a week will prevent from age-related physical declines.
9. Boosting brain power
Regular cycling has benefits not only for your physical strength, but also to mental strength. Blood flow to brain increases when you ride a bike bringing in more oxygen and nutrients. Blood flow can rise up to 30% and can remain up by 40% in some areas even after exercising.
Cycling increases the production of proteins that create new brain cells and improves brain performance. With improved brain power you are safe from mental disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
10. Reduced stress level and depression
Doing sport is the best way to get rid of stress and anxiety, and in particular cycling is one of the top stress-busting activities. When you exercise your body will release adrenaline and endorphin hormones that contribute to raise your mood and just feel happiness.
When you are depressed or in a bad mood, just take a bottle of water and some snacks and go to cycling. With being outdoors and exploring new views you’ll soon forget about your problems and start enjoying your ride.
You will get twice more effect if you go for cycling with a group. Making new friends and broadening your social circle will positively impact your mental wellbeing.