The Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is a popular activity and a great form of exercise – it’s estimated that in the UK, 3.1 million people ride a bicycle each month. If you’re not one of those cyclers, read on to find out why you should consider becoming one.
Cycling is easier than many other forms of physical activity. It’s low-impact, which means it doesn’t put too much strain on the muscles, and it doesn’t require high levels of physical skill. It’s suitable for people of all ages and once you learn to ride a bike, it’s a skill you never forget.
It’s a Good Muscle Workout
Cycling involves using all of the major muscle groups as you pedal. It therefore builds up your muscle strength and flexibility over time, improving your overall fitness and stamina.
Unlike many forms of exercise, which you need to set aside time to engage in, cycling can actually be a time-efficient activity. You don’t need to cycle for the sake of cycling – you can cycle to work or to the shops, or to anywhere else you need to visit throughout the day. In this case, it simply replaces other modes of transport and has the additional bonus of being great for your health.
It Helps with Weight Control
Cycling raises your metabolic rate, burning body fat and helping you to maintain a healthy weight or to shed excess pounds. Research shows that taking just a half-hour bike ride each day burns five kilograms of fat over a year. Just keep in mind that if you’re cycling as part of a weight-loss plan, you need to be sticking to a healthy, balanced diet too.
It Reduces Your Risk of Illness
Like many forms of exercise, cycling reduces your risk of various diseases and health conditions when done regularly, as it improves your heart, lungs and circulation. It has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even cancer – particularly colon and breast cancer. It has also been linked to decreased chances of developing arthritis and suffering bone injuries, as it improves strength and balance, while putting very little pressure on the joints.
Cycling is one of the more enjoyable forms of exercise. It’s easy, it gets you outdoors, and many people enjoy the buzz of rolling along the streets and coasting down hills. In fact, many view cycling as a recreational activity rather than part of their fitness regime – the fact that it’s a beneficial form of exercise is simply a bonus!
If you’re new to cycling or haven’t cycled before, it’s never too late to learn. Find a safe, traffic free environment to start off in, such as your local park, and get plenty of practice before you take to the roads. Before you know it, you’ll be cycling with confidence and reaping plenty of health benefits.