Cycling is one of the most pleasant activities, especially during summertime, it is a low-impact exercise that a large amount of the population can practice, as opposed to more strenuous workouts. Whether you choose to engage in this activity alongside a group of friends or by yourself, indoors using a gym bicycle or outdoors exploring the best mountain trails with your trusted two-wheeled companion, the benefits of cycling are numerous and they have been proven by scientific studies and acknowledged by the most enthusiastic cyclists out there.
Below I have gathered some of the best reasons why you should use that bicycle for exercise today:
Benefits of cycling or why life is better on two wheels
1. Makes commuting far easier
There are countries that have acknowledged the potential of using a bycicle to commute and the officials have even supported this means of transport over cars or motorcycles through dedicated infrastructure (bike tracks, lanes etc.). One such case is The Netherlands. And the reasons are obvious – you can use your bike to get to work faster and avoid traffic jams. This is especially convenient in busy areas where you can waste up to an hour or more in traffic just to get to work.
2. You get your daily workout in
Whether you use your bycicle for exercise daily or in a more relaxed, occasional fashion, you will be able to get your workout in and you won’t even notice the calories burned, as opposed to a long gym session. A bike is convenient especially for people who don’t have time to hit the gym everyday – pedaling from home to work and back is enough to burn a few extra calories.
Depending on your pace, speed and the strength it takes to pedal (different bikes require different effort), you can burn up to 500 kcal in an hour of cycling. Not too shabby, right?
3. Cycling boosts your cardiovascular health
One of the best known benefits of cycling is its effect on cardiovascular health. Cycling stimulates your heart, lungs and circulation and regularly practicing this sport can significantly cut down your risk of cardiovascular disease. If you want to keep your heart happy and healthy, pedaling once in a while is an easy and fun way to achieve that.
4. It is a low impact form of exercise
What does that mean? It means that cycling puts significantly less pressure on your joints and tissues, as opposed to running and it can be practiced safely even by people with osteoarthritis or back pain.
5. Aids weight loss and builds lean muscle mass
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you might think that cycling is not the right way to go, since it’s only a light cardio exercise that doesn’t do much for your muscles. However, that’s far from the truth – cycling is one of the best sports to practice since pedaling involves all of your muscles, from your legs to your arms. Depending on the intensity, the elevation and the terrain type (road cycling vs. mountain biking uphill), you can get a great workout in if you challenge yourself and shape your body by increasing your lean muscle mass and decreasing your fat levels.
6. Improves your mental health
Cycling is such a fantastic form of exercise not just for the body, but also for the mind. Cycling boosts brain power, improves your mental health and energy levels and also lowers your risk of developing anxiety/depression or improves the symptoms if you’re already affected by mental illness.
7. Helps you meet new people
The benefits of cycling can also be social – whether you join a spin class or gather a group of mountain biking or road biking lovers, this sport can be a great opportunity to meet people who share your love of pedaling. You can make lifelong friends, discover new tracks or races or even join competitions if you’re up to the challenge.
8. You save money
Cycling also brings practical advantages – say goodbye to spending money on transport. Cycling is great for short distance or long distance use and it helps you save tremendous amounts of money over the course of a year – bus passes, gas, even the cost of taxi fares can quickly add up. Cycling keeps both you and your wallet happy because minor revisions on your bike or changing a tire are significantly cheaper than fixing your car.
Whether you’re a passionate cyclist or an occasional rider, you can’t deny that these benefits of cycling make you wanna dust off that two-wheeled friend in your attic and start taking out that beauty for a spin today.
What’s your favorite thing about cycling? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts below!
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