Physical activity is essential for a healthy body and mind. There are many ways to increase our physical activity levels and enhance our fitness. A great way to achieve this is to ride a bike – you may choose to do this specifically for fitness or even to ditch your vehicle and commute to and from work using your bike. In this case, you will be getting fit whilst saving up money on petrol and helping the environment. On the other hand, if you cannot ride a bike or do not want to do so outside, you can always invest in a stationary bike, which is just as effective.
There are many health benefits of bike exercise, some of which you may not be aware of. In this article, we will discuss a few health benefits of this particular type of exercise.
Boosts Cardio Fitness
Cycling is an excellent way to increase your cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is a vital part of a workout routine as it strengthens your heart, lungs, and muscles overall. Additionally, it can increase blood flow and oxygen within your body, resulting in other health benefits such as a stronger immune system, better sleep and mood, better memory and brain functioning, and lower stress levels. These benefits can be achieved either on a ride bike outdoors or even on a stationary bike.
Reduces Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
Cycling increases heart rate and gets the blood pumping around your body. It increases calorie burn, reducing body fat, and the likelihood of you becoming overweight. Research studies have suggested that cycling is linked with a significantly lower risk of serious health conditions, and it can substantially reduce people’s propensity to develop heart disease or cancer.
Preserves Cognitive Skills
Cycling regularly promotes healthy cognitive skills and supports the regeneration of brain cells in the hippocampus, which is associated with memory. Research suggests that this can prevent age-related cognitive conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, making this a great sport for elderly people to take part in.
Can Help with Weight Loss and Body Fat
If your fitness goal is to lose weight, you should know that you must burn more calories than you ingest to do so. Cycling offers a great way to burn calories, depending on the intensity of your workout. However, studies suggest that you can burn over 600 calories per hour on a high-intensity level workout, showing how efficient riding a bike is to support you lose weight and body fat, when alongside a low-calorie diet.
Provides a Low-Impact Workout
People with certain physical issues may be unable to perform most of the physical activities that would put them under additional strain, potentially worsening their injuries. Cycling is considered a low-impact form of exercise that offers individuals with injuries a great option to stay fit. Additionally, riding a bike slowly and smoothly can even strengthen bones and joints without adding pressure on them, whilst still providing a stimulating and effective workout.
Strengthens Legs and Lower Body Muscles
Cycling is not only about cardio, but you can also increase your body’s resistance, particularly when using a stationary bike. This is a great workout for your lower body muscles. Pedaling can improve the strength of your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. If you are unsure of how to use a bike for different workouts, you can research different sports guides for great tips that will allow you to find the best bike workout for you. Additionally, if you use a bike with handles, your upper body, such as shoulders, biceps, and triceps, will also see the benefits.
Allows for Interval Training
Interval training consists of alternating short bursts of exercise with long intervals of less powerful exercise. This is a great method to burn calories in reduced amounts of time and it enhances cardio fitness. Riding a bike allows for interval training as you can ride more intensely and as fast as you can for a boost, and keep pedaling slowly when resting.
Supports Mental Wellbeing
The benefits of physical activities go beyond staying in shape physically. Exercising greatly supports mental health and cycling is particularly good to ensure healthy mental wellbeing. Studies show that working out naturally releases adrenaline and endorphins, making you feel better. Cycling combines this with being outside and enjoying the view on your own, giving you alone time to reflect on worries or concerns. Or you can benefit from joining a group of cyclists or even a spin class that will boost your social interactions and widen your social circle.
Riding a bike, either on the road or a stationary bike, is great fun, and you can do this in a group or enjoy the company of other cyclists. Either way, there are many health benefits associated with taking part in this sport and it is good for all ages.