Think about one of your favorite things from when you were younger – hopping on your bike and riding until the street lights came on. You were free on your bike and able to do whatever you wanted. What if you could have that feeling back? One of the best exercises you can do is cycling.
It is a full body workout that also engages your mind. Most people overlook it when thinking about ways to exercise, however. It’s a shame because it has so many health benefits:
Full Body Strength Building
Cycling doesn’t only involve your legs. As mentioned, it is actually a full body exercise. You do use your legs, but your arms should support some of your weight at the same time.
Your core must be engaged so that you remain firm on the bike. Even better, just carrying your bike around and working on it can help to use muscles that you won’t use in daily life.
Low Impact Form Of Exercise
When you sit on a bike, you are putting almost all of your weight on bones that don’t typically bear the brunt of it.
If you have knee pain, ankle pain, or even hip pain that prevents you from doing other forms of exercise like jogging, walking, or using many machines, consider cycling because it doesn’t have a lot of impact on those joints. Once you see that your body doesn’t hurt afterwards, you are more likely to want to keep exercising and moving.
Flexible And Personalized
Bicycling is a great activity for fitness because you can push yourself as much or as little as you want. You can slow down if you really want to, or push yourself to go a little faster. If you are looking for a harder workout, you can go in the direction of hills to beef up those muscles.
Increased Heart Health
Cycling can help lower your resting pulse, reduce blood fat levels, and strengthen your stamina, reducing your risk of heart disease. If you make the swap between your car and your bike for commuting, you also limit your intake of pollutants, which can help your entire body.
Studies have shown that people who engage in a few hours of exercise each week, such as bicycling, have a tendency to have stronger, healthier brains throughout their entire lives.
In younger people, it can help with things like ADD or ADHD because it allows their brain to focus on something else. For the elderly, it can help stave off Alzheimer’s and the degeneration in the brain.
It’s A Legitimately Fun Way To Get In Shape
Let’s be honest: exercising isn’t always that fun for most people. You have to push yourself to get out there and actually do it. Biking is different because it takes you back to that place you were in when you were a child.
This helps you to avoid those dull days when you really don’t want to do it. Having fun can boost the hormones in your body and make you perform better.
Cycling Helps Fight Depression
Many people who exercise regularly have found that they are more excited about life or at least can make it through their lives because they have something to look forward to at the end of the day. It also releases hormones in your brain that make you feel calmer and reduce your stress levels.
It Can Actually Help You Live Longer
A study from Tour de France riders showed that they were some of the longest living athletes of all time. When compared to regular people, cyclers lived 17% longer – 81.5 years vs. 73.5 years.
Even better, those were usable years where people were healthier and had more fun. Of course, the more you exercise you do in general, the better off you will be.
Actually Improves Injury Recovery
A recent study indicated that people who have knee pain, have had knee surgery, and even athletes who had pulled muscles in their legs found that their conditions were improved by adding cycling into their routines. This exercise strengthens the legs and can help to get joints back into working shape after only a few minutes every day.
If you are looking for ways to get back in shape and improve your health, consider hopping back on a bike and just peddling for a while – over time, you will want to go further and further.