You probably already know the tons of physical benefits of cycling especially when you do it daily. It becomes an additional improvement for your standard of living. Not only it is a fun thing to do, but cycling is also considered vital in reducing the risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It is one of the most low-impact and healthiest exercises that you can enjoy together with friends and family. It suits people of all ages as well. It is also essential in protecting you from certain conditions such as heart diseases, obesity, cancer, arthritis, and more. But that’s not all. In this article, I will enumerate some of the precise benefits that cycling can do to physical, emotional and mental aspects.
To be healthy and fit, one needs to be active mentally and physically. Engaging in physical activity regularly helps protect oneself from conditions such as heart disease, cancer, mental disorders, arthritis, and obesity. Cycling is one of the best ways to attain health and fitness and minimize the risk of these health conditions that are associated with inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Technically, cycling is a low-impact exercise that people of all ages can regularly do, young and old alike. It is an enjoyable and cheap hobby that one should try. Plus it’s great for the environment! You can ride your bike if you want to go shopping without the hassle of traffic. You can even bike to work. It’s combining physical activity with your daily routine. In fact, nearly one billion individuals now ride bicycles as their means of recreation, sport, and transportation.
Fitness And Health Through Cycling
According to studies, one only needs about two to fours hours weekly to improve his health. Cycling is low-impact; therefore it doesn’t place huge pressure on the joints and tissues and doesn’t cause severe injuries. It is also a good workout as it utilizes almost all major muscles through the pedaling action. It is quite easy to do, and it doesn’t require much physical skill – only interest and commitment. It improves strength, endurance, and overall aerobic fitness. If you’re a beginner, you can go slow at first and then you can build more intensity as you go further.
Cycling is certainly a fun way of getting healthy and fit. You can choose to bike where you want – at the park, in the streets, or just within the neighborhood. The outdoors is always more exciting and enjoyable to do than indoors. Ultimately, it substitutes inactive time spent using trains or buses and driving cars with healthy exercise.
Cycling Health Benefits
Cycling is primarily aerobic, meaning that your blood vessels from your heart, lungs, and other organs all get worked out. One’s body temperature rises due to perspiration, breathing becomes deeper, and the fitness level is increased and improved. These are some of the most common health benefits of cycling.
- Increased cardiovascular fitness
- Improved muscular strength and flexibility
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels
- Increased bone strength
- Reduced body fat
- Improved mobility of the joints
- Reduced risk of depression and other mental health conditions
Cycling And Health Problems
As mentioned above, cycling has shown significant positive outcomes mentally and physically and has been able to decrease the incidence of individuals experiencing health problems.
Cycling And Cardiovascular Disease
This category includes hypertension, heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. Consistent cycling activity fuels energy and stamina to improve the condition of one’s heart, lungs, kidneys, and other major organs – lowering the risk of cardiovascular conditions.
Outward physical strength is the initial outcome of cycling. However, it also effectively increases the strength of the heart, and this results in a decreased resting pulse and blood levels. The enhanced lung function is also attributed to the fact that cyclists are less exposed to air pollution.
Cycling And Obesity
As one regularly cycles, his metabolic rate increases, resulting in weight reduction, although weight loss is more pronounced when combined with a healthy diet. As one builds muscle, he also burns the fat. Experts say that one should burn at least 8,400 kilojoules weekly through regular exercise. Cycling burns a whopping 1,200 kilojoules per hour. If you go biking twice a day, you could only lose that much in three days!
Cycling And Cancer
Research has only proven cycling to be effective for some specific cancers, namely, breast and colon cancer.
Cycling And Arthritis
Since cycling is low-impact, it is very suitable for individuals suffering from osteoarthritis. It helps alleviate other joint conditions as it improves bone strength and enhances balance and coordination. It is not helpful for those with osteoporosis though, as cycling is not a weight-bearing activity.
Cycling And Diabetes
A study performed in Finland suggested that individuals who engaged in regular cycling for 30 minutes daily showed a 40% decrease in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cycling And Mental Illness
Regular physical activities like cycling are great ways to decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. Perhaps it is because of the effects of exercise itself, plus the fact that cycling outdoors is enjoyable and exciting. There is much to be discovered in the outside world and cycling is one of the best ways to do just that.
A lot of people around you, regardless if they are members of the family or a part of your team, undoubtedly look for a clear path to fitness. You know, the type that is too straightforward that they won’t think of straying back to old habits.
Despite the various exercises I tried, though, I only got positive results through cycling. Many say it’s for the lower body alone, but that cannot be true. Your shoulders and arms should stay strong to control the handles too; that’s why it’s a full-body workout.
What’s impressive about the sport is that it doesn’t contain you in one location. You can go from a place to another without the hassle of getting stuck in traffic. You get to lose weight while enjoying natural scenery, which you can never do in the gym.
To ensure that your weight-loss goals can be had by biking, here are some tips for you.
1. Say No To Supplements
Dietary products are the first things you should stay away from. The claim and testimonials about their effectivity may sound enticing, yet they mostly blab to gain sales.
These supplements are incapable of differentiating the fats and the minerals inside the body. The result is that they wash down the good and bad elements together. You will then lack the essential nutrients that your system needs to function well.
2. Wear The Right Clothes
When you consider cycling for fitness, you should wear the same outfit that professional cyclists do. Those lightweight fabrics will allow you to pedal freely and not drop out of exhaustion in the field.
The latter can happen if you insist on layering clothes, especially during summer. It will make you sweat a lot faster than the other type of clothing – that’s true. However, the thick apparel can also dehydrate your body at an alarming rate.
3. Remain Hydrated
Bicycles usually have an accessory on its frame where you can place a tumbler full of water. Make use of that because you will undeniably lose a lot of water once you sweat.
Ignoring this tip is rather unwise since your body mostly consists of water. Without this substance, your system has no means to generate blood that circulates within.
4. Prioritize Carbs Over Fats
If you are cycling to lose weight, it’s better to have more carbohydrates than fats. The reason is that carbs are more effortless to convert into energy compared to the other.
If we talk about science now, you’ll know the body doesn’t have enzymes to dissolve fats, so they’re mostly stagnant. Carbs, on the contrary, may come as starch and sugar, and there are digestive enzymes for them. Due to that, you should lean towards good carbohydrates.
5. Reduce Gluten Consumption
In case you want to eat bread before riding your bicycle, opt for varieties without gluten. Meaning, no wheat, rye, or barley. This advice applies to those may or may not be allergic to the protein.
The logic here is that gluten can hurt your digestive system. You see, it can cause bloating, which can disturb your activities. So, consuming fewer products with this protein may favor your weight-loss routine.
6. Eat While Biking
The sixth trick that you may not often hear is to eat as you do the sport.
This technique lets you conquer two things: losing energy during and overeating after a long ride. The former typically leads bikers to stop midway for food. The latter, meanwhile, takes place when you don’t rest in between the journey.
There are energy bars and fruits that are easy to carry while riding, so you may bring a few. The calories they contain shouldn’t bother your progress since you’ll metabolize them as they enter your body.
7. Train Moderately
Considering you have never cycled to lose weight until now, it’s best not to push yourself too much. Begin with short distances around the neighborhood in no more than 40 minutes for the first several days. That will give your lower body time to adjust to your constant pedaling.
Once you’re used to this activity, you may increase the training period gradually.
8. Change Your Weekly Pace
Another tip is to alter your speed often. You don’t need to pedal hard on a daily basis because that will stress you out. Aside from that, it won’t allow your muscles to repair themselves before you go all out again.
For instance, you may cover a great length for at least an hour on a Monday at a leisurely pace. The following day, you can speed up without pausing. After that, it’s possible to repeat what you did two days ago or pedal faster near the end.
You’re free to devise another plan, but ensure that you’re riding for over ten hours a week to burn 6000 calories.
9. Incorporate Cycling In Your Daily Life
Biking isn’t merely a way to transform your flab into abs. Whether you’re a student or a worker, you can ride the bicycle to your destination. Other than saving on gas and preventing delay due to traffic, you can have the workout done too.
10. Have Fun
Losing weight through biking only becomes super effective when you enjoy every second you spend doing it. The reason is that you’ll want to ride longer if you are having fun. Your endurance will then naturally build up, and the numbers on the scales won’t worry you too much.
To Wrap Things Up
The critical point – and 11th honorary trick – on how to lose weight by cycling is to stay patient. Though the activity often challenges your physical limits, your weight may still fluctuate. It’s best not to mind that, though and keep going until you feel great about yourself.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cycling enthusiast, you should always take time in choosing the bike that would best fit your needs. Some mountain bikers would like to try out a new hobby and shift to road biking and vice versa.
When you’re trying to pick the perfect bike for you, consider what your group is using. You won’t keep up if you’re going road biking and you brought a cruiser. And you need to buy a dirt bike if you want to join your friends on the sand. Also, you should decide how much money you can invest in the bike.
Once you have these things in mind, you can choose the bike that best suits you. Here’s a list of the different types of bicycles that every cycling enthusiast should know about.
Types Of Bikes
Road bikes. With slender tires, a small wheelbase, and a lightweight body frame, road bikes are meant for high-speed treks and tours. They are not indicated for rugged terrain biking. The small frame of these bikes allows them to fit into fenders or cargo racks for travel to other states.
Mountain bikes. This is the best type of bike to use for graveled roads and rugged terrains. They are built with lower gears and wide handlebars to allow for better steering control. The low gears also enable you to climb sharp terrains. Although they don’t go as fast as the road bikes, the mountain bikes are also suitable for urban area use because of high-quality shock absorbers that offer stability and durability even when riding on curbs and potholes. Mountain bikes usually come in two varieties – the full suspension and the hardtail bikes.
Hybrids. Hybrids are a mountain bike and road bike combined. They are great for short distances on cemented roads, which is why most people who live in the city bike to work or stroll in the park. They feature suspension forks and a slimmer frame, offering a smoother and faster ride compared to the mountain bikes.
BMX bikes. Popular in course and trail competitions. These are single-gear bicycles that have a much lower frame compared to other bikes. They feature front and rear brakes, which are suitable for dirt racing and street riding. However, they are not indicated for commuting due to their low seat position.
Touring bikes. These types of bike are best for traveling long distances, as they allow one to bring clothes and other items. They have low gears and more durable components that allow cycling with heavy baggage over sharp inclines. They come with fender attachments and rack mounts.
Cruisers. These are popular types of bikes today because of their profile, which is classic 1930s. With wide tires and padded bike seats, it offers a convenient biking experience on boulevards and flat terrains. They are usually built with heavy frames, but newer models now use aluminum frames. They are also called beach bikes.
The above-mentioned types are only among the most popular bikes in the world that are used by cycling enthusiasts young and old alike. There are many more types that you can choose from, just not as frequently used as the ones on the list. Now, have you decided on what to buy?
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