Health they say is wealth. To ensure good health, there’s the need to be physically active and strong. Generally, physical exercise and activity help to protect individuals against serious illnesses and diseases. Some of which include heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and mental illnesses to name a few. And among so many kinds of exercises, cycling is one of the best methods of managing health issues linked with a sedentary lifestyle.
Cycling is a low-impact and healthy exercise that can be enjoyed by both the young and old. It is a fun, entertaining, and cheap mode of exercise for everyone. Cycling either indoors or outdoors is a great way to get your health back on track with little or no impact on your joints.
If you decide to go for an outdoor bike ride, you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery and explore new areas. All of these as an extra to the health benefits you gain from cycling! And luckily, you don’t have to cycle around the globe to experience the health benefits of cycling. Cycling just for 10 minutes every day is enough to boost your health and fitness level.
Now to the important question— what are the health benefits of cycling?
Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is primarily an aerobic exercise. This means that your lungs, blood vessels, and heart all get to work out. You experience a deeper breath and increased body temperature which improves your overall fitness level.
Cycling as an exercise has been linked to help manage and reduce many health-related issues such as;
Cardiovascular diseases include heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. With regular cycling, your lungs, heart, and blood circulation are stimulated and improved, reducing your risk of these cardiovascular diseases.
Cycling outdoors also helps to sustain the heart muscles, reduce blood fat levels, and lower resting pulse. All these contribute to better and improved cardiovascular health.
Obesity and weight control
Cycling is a decent approach to controlling and reducing weight. With regular cycling, metabolic rate is increased, body fat burns slowly but constantly, and muscle builds up. This makes cycling a good way to control weight and obesity.
If you are on a weight loss journey, cycling must be combined with a healthy diet plan to achieve the desired result. With cycling being a comfortable form of exercise, you can dictate the intensity and time. But, it’s best you slowly build up from a lower to a higher intensity.
Type 2 diabetes has become a major public health concern since its increased diagnosis in both old and young individuals. Lack of physical exercise and activity has been said to be a major cause of why people develop this illness.
However, research and studies have found out that individuals who cycle more than 30 minutes each day have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Bone injuries, and arthritis
Cycling improves balance, coordination, and strength. Cycling is also a great form of exercise if you have osteoarthritis because of its low impact and little stress on joints and muscles.
Mental illness and cycling
The fun, relaxation, enjoyment, and rush that come with cycling helps to reduce mental illnesses such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Getting to see beautiful early morning scenery on a bike ride lifts the spirit.
Getting Started with Cycling
Whether you’re opting for indoor cycling or you simply want to pedal around the city, you are certain to reap the health benefits of cycling. To get started on your cycling journey, below are four tips that could help you out.
1. Set small goals
You don’t have to cycle for long hours to reap the health benefits of cycling. A short bike ride will certainly provide some health benefits. You can start with 10 minutes every day and eventually improve to a total of 150 minutes every week.
2. Cycle indoors
We definitely won’t recommend cycling outside when the weather is poor. However, you still need to carry on with your daily cycling routine. Hence, we advise you to hop on an electric bicycle at home. If you don’t have stationary bikes you can try out a spinning class at your local gym. However, if you’re trying the spinning class for the first time, ensure you get some pointers from the gym instructor.
Several studies have discovered that cycling indoors for 45 minutes, 3 times a week can lower body fat percentage and increase HDL cholesterol (the good type) in just 3 months.
3. Ease into it
No doubt cycling can be intimidating especially if you’re a first-timer or it’s been a while since you rode. To overcome any fear or anxiety, first, get used to riding your electric bike on a lightly trafficked path or in an open car park. Practice and get familiar with the signaling, braking, and shifting gears before you set out on a more adventurous journey.
4. Incorporate biking into your daily routine
Do you always go grocery shopping during the week or do you always grab a hot cup of coffee down the street every weekend? Why not ride your bike along on these trips to experience the power of the two-wheel machine. The more you incorporate biking into your daily activities, the more you ride and the more you reap the health benefits of cycling.
Drawback and Safety
Certainly, cycling offers numerous health benefits to both young and old. However, a major drawback to cycling has always been the issue of accidents. Hence, there’s a need to be very careful when cycling outdoors around your city or town.
Below are some safety precautions to adhere to when cycling outdoors. This will help to protect yourself and passersby from accidents and possible bodily injury.
• Wear a helmet that fits your head properly
• Always money traffic regulations
• Use caution when going through busy areas and intersections
• Wear bright and visible clothes so you can be seen by other commuters
• Plan your routes through areas with lower speed limits and less traffic
Cycling is a great and fun activity to stay healthy and in touch with the environment around you. Create the time, hop on your electric bike and explore your local world.
The fun, the excitement, and the health benefits, you can reap all of it on every single ride. However, don’t forget to play it safe and be cautious when necessary. Enjoy cycling!