We’re all aware of the importance of physical exercise to our normal functioning and long-term health. Still, despite the fact that our options are becoming more varied and numerous, there are still very few activities that bring so many different benefits like cycling. Not only does pedaling our way around have positive effects on our physical state, but it also contributes significantly to our mental wellbeing and social life.
One of the myths usually associated with cycling is that only a specific group of muscles benefits from it, namely calves and thighs. The truth is that cycling is a great overall physical workout and that almost all muscles are active when we cycle. We balance the bike using arm muscles, for example, and that just one part of our body that becomes more flexible due to cycling.
We have all noticed that our heart beats faster when we cycle, which means it’s also working out. Many studies have confirmed that people who regularly cycle, walk or jog display superior cardiovascular functions in comparison to those who lead a sedentary life.
Physical activities, such as cycling, help people suffering from diabetes to control it. Basically, the glucose from the cells is exhausted and they have to draw in the glucose from the blood and convert it into energy.
Another benefit of cycling is that it burns calories quite effectively. You can burn around 500 calories an hour if you maintain the speed of around 14 mph, which shouldn’t be that difficult for most people. Also, your body will have a leaner structure.
Stress and pain
Many people claim that riding a bike, apart from being fun, has also helped them reduce stress. It’s a well-known fact that sports can play a very beneficial role in stress reduction, but it’s usually much more difficult to organize a game with friends then hop on your bike and go for a ride.
Furthermore, cycling is categorized as a “releasing” exercise, meaning it helps to alleviate various psychological and physiological issues, such as pain. More and more children are advised to take up cycling as a part of their pain-management therapy, for example.
Cycling is one of those activities that can be equally enjoyed by all, regardless of their age, shape or talent. Families spending time cycling create stronger bonds in addition to improving their health. Plus, it is probably the eco-friendliest way to commute or go to school.
Those who join one of those rides organized by various clubs and organizations have an excellent opportunity to meet new people and make friends. There are such events in almost every town and city in the country.
It’s easier than ever
The breakthroughs in various fields have helped cyclists enjoy their favorite activity more than ever. Long gone are the days of heavy steel frames and transmissions prone to failure. Aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium are now preferred materials, while creaking chainrings have made way to revolutionary NuVinci transmission system.
What this means is that no matter how out-of-shape someone is, taking up cycling will be a much less daunting task, a greater mileage can be covered, which would in turn boost the cyclist’s confidence.
There is nothing stopping anyone of us from improving our cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility. Also, we can decrease stress levels, while boosting posture and coordination. Our bones will be stronger and our fat percentage will be lower. Many illnesses will never come our way, while those that do catch us will be fought more successfully. And all that with no hints of anxiety and depression. If that’s the life you are after, hop on you bike and ride away!