Cycling has become an incredibly popular form of exercise over the past few years. Not only does it target various areas of your body, but it’s not restricted to an enclosed space or a gym where you have to pay for a membership just to participate. In addition to this, it’s a great group activity that you can do with other cyclists or with your family.
If you’re looking for a new form of exercise to get into, cycling is a great choice to consider. This activity offers several benefits that can improve your overall health and fitness. For a better understanding of how cycling can be useful in achieving your fitness goals, here are just a few reasons that you should consider.
1. It’s easy on your joints
Cycling is a relatively low-impact exercise that’s great for those struggling with joint pains or arthritis. It builds muscle without having to bear too much weight on your lower body, which can bear down on your joints — particularly your hips, knees, and ankles. The repeated movement of your legs also helps lubricate these joints, which minimizes any stiffness you may feel in these particular areas.
2. It’s a great way to manage your weight
By pairing it with a proper diet, cycling can increase your metabolic rate and help you lose weight. Depending on how intense you want each session to be, you can burn calories quickly and more efficiently. According to research, cycling at a moderate speed can burn between 210 to 294 calories, depending on your weight, in just 30 minutes.
3. Cycling can improve cardiovascular health
Cycling is a great aerobic workout that targets your heart, blood vessels, and lungs in one session. It’s known to help lower your resting pulse rate, strengthen your heart muscles, and minimize fat content in your bloodstream. Studies have also shown that those who cycle regularly are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by managing their cholesterol levels.
4. Cycling builds your endurance
In relation to the previous point, by improving cardiovascular health with cycling, you also develop your endurance. Typically, cycling is performed over an extended period and done repetitively, which helps train your body to persist as you ride through longer routes.
5. It helps correct balance and posture
Seeing as riding a bike requires proper posture to keep it upright at all times, cycling can help you work on your balance and coordination, especially when biking through different terrains. In relation to this, cycling can also help train your core when you’re maneuvering your bike to change directions. A stronger core makes it easier for you to maintain your position and keep your balance.
6. It’s good for your mental health
While cycling can be great for your physical health, it’s also important to note its benefits to your mental health. Exercise is generally known to help release endorphins, which can improve your mood and minimize stress. Since cycling can be done outdoors, you can also direct your focus to the views around you to help you destress. Some cyclists also prefer going in groups, which makes it a great social activity, as well.
How can you start cycling?
Cycling is an ideal form of exercise that a wide range of individuals can take part in. Whether you’re young or old, you can begin learning how to ride a bike at any point in your life. Before anything else, you’ll need to find the right bike for you, depending on where and how often you plan on cycling. Some bikes are built for rougher terrains, like offroad trails and gravel paths, whereas some are ideal for biking around your neighborhood. In addition to this, you’ll also need to get the right accessories. If you’re biking outdoors, you should get a helmet, eye protection, and some durable shoes.
Once you have all the necessary tools, you can begin cycling short distances just to get a feel of how far you’re able to go before you begin to grow tired. You can also try cycling with some friends so you can watch out for each other. It’s also good for you to set a schedule, so you can get used to the activity, especially if you’re unused to cycling longer distances. Forming a habit of riding around on your bike can ease you into the activity, while also normalizing it as a part of your routine rather than an exercise you may be dreading doing. However, it’s also important to consult with your physician before you start getting into higher-intensity cycling sessions. In any case that your medical provider suggests you look for other forms of exercise, you can try skateboarding as an alternative.
With several health benefits to offer, it’s clear to see why cycling has taken off in the fitness community. It’s also incredibly easy to get into the habit of cycling, as well. You can start by riding your bike to work or school or you can take it out for a ride around the block with your family. Moreover, it’s much more cost and environmentally friendly. So, if you’re still on the fence about trying it out for yourself, just consider the benefits mentioned above in mind.
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