Cycling is one of the best ways to get fit and healthy and there are lots of reasons why. This article looks at ten ways in which cycling, as a sport, can boost your willpower and lead you towards a healthier way of life.
1. Shed some body fat
Most people turn to power walking or running when they want to slim down. But many people forget about cycling. In fact, low-impact exercise such as cycling and swimming are better for beginners who might be carrying a few extra pounds, as it is kinder on your joints. The best bit is, due to the metabolic burn of cycling, you will continue to burn calories and lose weight after you’ve finished cycling!
2. The comeback sport
If you have suffered an injury, had a baby or just taken a break from exercise for a long period of time, biking is a great comeback sport as it can be done at a gradual rate of improvement and is gentle on your body.
3. Sleep tight
While it might feel like a real test of your willpower to get up early and cycle to work, it helps promote better quality sleep at night. According to a study by Stanford University, sufferers of insomnia found that they fell to sleep much quicker after about 20 to 30 minutes bike ride. One of the ways it does this is by getting rid of excess cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. This leads on to the next point …
4. Stress reducer
You might not feel like smiling much when you are testing your self-control and pushing yourself to go for a cycle, but cycling (and exercise in general) makes you happier and less stressed. Exercise releases endorphins which boost your mood.
5. Looking good
Regular cycling can protect your skin against early signs of ageing. It increases circulation and delivers more oxygen to the skin cells and flushes out toxins, as well as boosting collagen which helps the skin’s elasticity. As well as youthful skin, it promotes good hydration and nutrition and tones up muscle. Cycling helps you feel AND look good!
6. Cycling help fight illness
Motivating yourself to exercise moderately but regularly strengthens your immune system and helps fight off infections. There’s also evidence to suggest it helps ward off cancer.
7. Environmentally friendly
Bikes produce no pollution, unlike cars. They also take up much less space to park and use up less materials to build. Cycling is a much quicker way to get from A to B than walking or jogging but also much more environmentally-free and stressful than driving.
8. Boost your brain power
Cycling makes your brain more alert, improves memory and boosts creativity. This is thanks to improved blood flow to the brain. The perfect way to prep for an exam!
9. Make friends
Cycling can be a great social sport, especially if you join a cycling club. Meeting up with a ‘biking buddy’ will also help keep you accountable and improve your self-control.
10. Develop a positive habit
Much healthier than smoking or drinking alcohol, if you cycle regularly you are starting a positive habit. This routine will give your motivation a boost. What’s more, you can even enjoy a guilt-free snack occasionally!
So there you have it, these ten reasons are a great start to get you on your bike and pedalling to a fitter, healthier and more motivated way of life. What’s stopping you?