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10 Cycling Health Benefits to Help Get You Started

My Doctor Finder
June 17, 2022

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, typical modes of transportation have become less accessible, more expensive, or less safe. As a result, more and more people invested in bicycles, which is why bikers have grown in number since 2020. Today, it would be rare to see the main road without a cyclist riding through it.

Aside from its transportation pros, cycling also offers health benefits. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your health, then cycling could be for you.

 

1. Cycling is good for the heart

Cardio and aerobic exercises can be a pain for many people but nobody can deny that it is good for cardiovascular health. Exercises like biking, especially if done regularly, strengthens the heart muscles, lowers the resting pulse, and help in blood fat level reduction.

2. Boosts immune system

The recent pandemic proved to everyone that having a strong immune system is a must. Fortunately, a study found out that biking rejuvenates the immune system.

The results of the study outlined in Aging Cell showed regular bikers are healthier and have better immune systems than those who don’t. Another finding is that older cyclists produce as many T-cells as young people.

It pays to have a strong immune system, especially during a pandemic.

 

3. Anti-aging

Female face with wrinkles on forehead Free Photo

Researchers at King’s College in London researched to find out if regular exercise—in our case, cycling—can slow or reverse aging. The researchers examined and analyzed the vastus lateralis–the most powerful quad muscle–of 125 male and female cyclists (55-79 years old).

The researchers found out that cyclists showed less muscle deterioration compared to sedentary people.

So, if you are concerned about aging, biking could be a new hobby you can try.

 

4. Helps in weight loss

Shedding off extra pounds can be a challenge for many people. Fortunately, burning fats and calories is easier with regular cycling activities. Steady, moderate biking can burn about 300 calories in 60 minutes but can burn more with increased intensity.

Cycling is also good for beginners who would like to lose weight but are too intimidated by more challenging training methods.

 

5. Builds Muscles

Cyclist in a bycicle race Free Photo

Cycling not only burns fat but also builds muscles in the lower body. Regular cycling will give you toned glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Take note, that regular cycling will not give you leg muscles as large as those of bodybuilders or track athletes. You can grow larger leg muscles with calisthenics and weight training.

 

6. Boosts mental health and brain power

Even though cycling is a physical exercise, it can also empower your mental wellbeing. Research shows that cycling outside can improve the cognitive function and well-being of adults.

Exercises like cycling release endorphins that lower stress levels, and make you feel better. It can ease feelings of stress and even boost confidence.

Regular outdoor cycling can boost mental performance. It can help you develop concentration and awareness when focusing on the road or your cadence while cycling. Even a 10-minute bike ride can help remove listlessness, lethargy, and slow mental performance.

 

7. Money Saving Transportation

Once you purchase a bike, you can enjoy free transportation to your work, school, or any leisure place. Without worrying about fares or expensive gas prices, bikers can save more money or they can use their transportation budget to buy more healthy food or vitamins.

On top of that, cycling to work or other places exercises you.

 

8.    Good for the Planet

Unlike most transport methods, cycling is environmentally friendly. Cycling does not burn fossil fuel, emits polluting gasses, and generates less noise. Since you emit less pollution, you also help in reducing the amount of harmful chemicals in the air which can cause respiratory problems.

With regular cycling, you’re not only becoming healthy, but you also become an eco-warrior.

 

9. Reduces risk of diabetes

Regular cycling can pedal away the risk of diabetes. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that cycling at a moderate pace for an hour can cut the blood sugar levels of overweight diabetic people in half in the next 24 hours.

Non-diabetic people can reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes with regular cycling.

 

10. Reduces risk of heart disease

Cycling raises the heart rate, improves blood circulation, lowers blood cholesterol, and promotes overall improved cardiovascular health. A healthy cardiovascular system, significantly reduces the chances of developing heart diseases.

Both young and old people can benefit from better cardiovascular health.

 

Safety reminders

Cycling gives amazing health benefits, but it is not without its dangers. When cycling, always remember:

-   Wear a helmet

-   Follow traffic rules

-   Stay on the right side of the road

-   Ride on bike paths or well-lit paved roads

-   Wear reflective clothing

-   Use arm and hand signals to show turns

-   Perform regular maintenance on your bicycle

-   Ride with others

-   Focus on the road and avoid distractions

-   Keep your hands on the handlebars

 

Today is the best day to cycle to live a healthier life, but always remember to ride safely.

 

SOURCES:

https://caro.doh.gov.ph/these-are-some-of-the-benefits-you-get-when-biking-and-running/ 

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/cycling-benefits#benefits

https://www.umt.edu/transportation/bike/about/benefits/

https://www.tripzilla.ph/biking-benefits/19600/ 

https://www.bicycling.com/training/a20049451/cycling-reverses-aging-muscles-immune-system/

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/08/cycling-keeps-your-immune-system-young-study-finds

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/benefits-of-cycling-334144#:~:text=Cycling%20builds%20muscle&text=The%20resistance%20element%20of%20cycling,more%20calories%20even%20when%20sedentary.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6388745/

https://biofriendlyplanet.com/green-alternatives/5-health-and-environmental-benefits-of-riding-your-bike/

https://www.technogym.com/us/newsroom/cycling-and-the-reduction-of-diabetes-in-people-over-50/#:~:text=A%20study%20published%20in%20Medicine,%2C%20but%20only%20by%2019%25

 

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