Cycling Health Benefits: A child learning to ride a bike probably isn't aware of how this skill can benefit them years later. Cycling is a great way to exercise and have fun while doing it! As the weather gets nicer, try taking a ride through your neighborhood. You can even help motivate others by joining a spin class! If you live close to work or school, consider taking your bike! It is a fun and easy way to improve your fitness, brain power, and wallet. Take a look at some of the many health benefits cycling has to offer:
Cycling Health Benefits: #1 HEALTHY HEART
Cycling is great for the heart. It keeps oxygen-rich blood pumping throughout the body all day. Studies have shown that those who were active on a daily basis were 31% less likely to develop high blood pressure.
Cycling Health Benefits: #2 HAPPY JOINTS
Cycling is easy on the joints. When you sit on a bike, weight is distributed evenly on the pelvis, unlike walking, when weight is put on the legs. This makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness. Don’t let joint problems stop you from cycling as cycling can actually benefit knee pain and osteoarthritis in elderly patients. Even just spinning a few minutes a day can be highly beneficial.
Cycling Health Benefits: #3 STRONG MUSCLES
Cycling builds muscles, practically anywhere! Of course, we know that the legs do most of the work. The power phase of pedaling (the downstroke), uses the gluteus muscles in the buttocks, the quadriceps in the thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves. In the recovery phase (backstroke, up-stroke, and overstroke), the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the flexor muscles in the front of the hips are used. Cycling also works out the abdominal muscles, which are used to balance and stay upright. Arm and shoulder muscles are also used to hold the handlebars and steer.
Cycling Health Benefits: #4 STRONG BONES
Cycling helps build bones and keep them strong. Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density.
Cycling Health Benefits: #5 WEIGHT LOSS
Weight loss is one of the big benefits of regular cycling. Cycling is a great exercise because it provides an aerobic workout that keeps the heart pumping blood and burning fat throughout the day.
Cycling Health Benefits: #6 HEALTHY MIND
Several studies prove that exercise boosts brainpower and helps to fight off Alzheimer’s in the elderly. Studies also show that kids are even more positively impacted by time on the bike and that exercise can help control issues like ADHD.
Cycling Health Benefits: #7 FEELING CONFIDENT
Cycling provides an aerobic exercise, which is great for the heart, brain, and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals which may make you feel young at heart. Exercise in general (and cycling in particular) helps improve self-esteem.
Cycling Health Benefits: #8 LIVING LONGER
A study has shown that cycling actually increased the longevity of former Tour de France riders. On average, former pros lived to 82 years compared to the general population’s 74 years - a 17% increase! Even casual bike commuters benefit. For individuals who shift from car to bicycle, it was estimated that 3-14 months could be gained.