For the human body to function at a normal level, it has to be physically active on a daily basis. This means you have to power through a 30-minute workout every day as the bare minimum. But not to fret, physical activity can be rather enjoyable with friends. Depending on what type of workout you’re planning on doing, such as cycling, you can expose your body to a variety of health benefits that keep yourself in top shape such as:
Burn off Fat
One of the most obvious benefits that come with cycling on a regular basis is the ability to lose excess weight. However, don’t be tricked by fitness guru blogs, because dieting isn’t the only way to shed a few pounds, a spin bike can do the trick. Recently, studies have shown that cycling can help drop visceral fat within weeks among older aged people to young adults.
Cycling can Help Build Muscle
When cycling, you are constantly building on your glutes, quads, soleus and gastrocnemius muscles. In addition, you are also powering away at your hamstrings and flexor muscles during certain exercises on your bike. Although don’t forget your other muscle groups, cycling also helps them too! By maintaining your bike while cycling, you are improving the power of your abdominal muscles, as well as your arms and shoulders.
Strengthening Your Heart
Recent studies have shown that cycling is great for your heart health. According to Medicine & Science in collaboration with Sports & Exercise, 15,000 subjects underwent 5 years of research and shown that 31 percent of the group was much less likely to develop poor health conditions such as high blood pressure.
Improvement in Mental Health
While cycling, being outdoors, and finishing a long workout and seeing improvements, you are nearly 100 percent likely to develop a sense of accomplishment and boost your mental health in the process.
Boost Cardiovascular Health
When cycling, your heart beats much faster than it generally does. This gives your heart a workout, makes it stronger, and boosts your health overall. When compared to less active people, those who exercise more have better cardiovascular functionality.
A lower risk of developing cancer comes with exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping track of your diet. All of these are benefits of regular cycling. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, a study was published that substantiates this. The researcher looked at almost 14,000 men and discovered that those who remained active as they approached middle age had a lower risk of colorectal and lung cancer.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
There is a ton of scientific evidence that supports the notion that exercising can help relieve stress. Cycling is, of course, included in that. Getting up and being active can limit anxiety and make you feel a lot more relaxed.
There are a few studies that posit bicycle commuters are a lot happier and less stressed than drivers. The New Economics Foundation tested this out and found that commuters on bikes were less anxious than their driving and public transportation counterparts. Another study completed in 2006 backs this up. The Victoria Transport Policy Institute found that cyclists enjoy their commute a lot more than others.
Increase Bone Density
That’s right, cycling can help to build bone. Pushing on pedals is a resistance activity. This sort of movement causes pull on the muscles, which then pulls on the bones. This action increases the density of your bone making them stronger.
Cycling Is Easy on The Joints
Unlike walking, when you are sitting on a bike, your weight is resting in your ischial tuberosity. This is the pair of bones located in your pelvis. When walking, all of your weight is on your legs and knees. This makes cycling extremely beneficial for those with joint pain or arthritis.
A study completed recently tested this out on elderly patients. These participants all had osteoarthritis and knee pain. Their conditions actually improved when they cycled regularly. They experienced less knee and joint pain, even if they only spun for a few minutes a day.
Become More Intelligent
In 2007, a study was completed that proved that doing exercise, like cycling, actually increases brain power. It can also help to fight off Alzheimer’s. Another study, also completed in 2007, studied the effects of exercise on children. After exercising, the kids showed improved intelligence and it even helped to control ADD and other similar issues.
Live for Longer
Those who cycle regularly actually live longer than those who do not. A study was completed recently on previous Tour de France riders that tested this out. On average, the professional cyclists lived to be 81.5 years old, compared to the general population’s average lifespan of 73.5 years. This is a 17% increase.
A second study recorded the effects on regular people who biked casually. The results were similar. Those who switched their commute transportation method from driving to biking were estimated to gain three to 14 months of life compared to those who drove.
Cycling is just one out of the hundreds of different workouts that can help improve your overall health and help you live a happier life. Whether it’s strengthening your heart, muscles, or positive spirit, cycling can give you a sense of accomplishment like no other. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and give cycling a try today!