Cycling is considered one of the most effective low-impact aerobic exercises. It varies in intensity, which makes it more suited for all exercise levels. Whether you cycle as a means of transport or an intense workout endeavour, there are several benefits you can attain in the end. Besides keeping you active, cycling keeps you in good shape and facilitates a healthy lifestyle.
So what are the real benefits of cycling?
#1. Weight management – Cycling featured as one of the most popular wellness trends of 2020 due to the several health benefits it offers. Cycling frequently, and at high intensity, helps burn fat, improve metabolism, build muscle, and promote healthy weight management. Frequent cycling helps in burning more calories even when your body is at rest.
#2. Lower body strength – Cycling also improves the overall fitness of your lower body, especially leg muscles. It mainly targets quads, glutes, calves, and hamstrings, which it does without overstressing.
For additional leg strength, weightlifting exercises such as leg presses, squats, and lunges can be included in your workout regimen a few times every week.
#3. Improves mental health – Cycling is known to ease depression and anxiety levels effectively. Focusing on the track, albeit temporarily, helps develop concentration, creating awareness of the present moment. The ability to do so takes your focus away from any other external distractions of the day.
#4. Best workout for beginners – Riding a bike is simple, but if you have any challenges with a standard bicycle, there are stationary bikes which offer a similar effect. If you are starting your fitness regimen, you can cycle at a moderate intensity, rising as you progress. Professional trainers prefer cycling as the best mode for getting beginners into the groove, before introducing other high-intensity workouts.
#5. Improves posture, body balance, and coordination – When you’re cycling, your body must maintain high levels of stability to keep the bike upright. As a result, you will be improving your overall body balance, posture, and coordination. Extended spells of inactivity and old age affect your balance; therefore, it is vital to keep on top of it.
Maintaining a healthy balance prevents you from unnecessary falls and injuries which could leave you sidelined for long periods, meaning you’ll take time off exercising.
#6. It is a core workout – Middle to high-intensity cycling works the body’s core muscles, including the abdominals and the back muscles. When cycling, your body maintains an upright position to keep the bike in balance, which takes considerable amounts of core strength. In the end, strong back and abdominal muscles support the spine, increasing stability, and improving comfort during cycling.
#7. Helps in the prevention and management of known medical conditions – Just like any other form of exercising, cycling helps in the prevention of health issues that may arise due to weight gain. Regular exercising is also vital in the management of existing conditions. It helps prevent cardiac-related problems such as stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack, which are conditions brought about by, among other things, a sedentary lifestyle.