We all know that cycling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint when going from A to B, but today we are focusing on the health benefits of getting on your bike. If you haven’t already oiled up your bike chain and tested the brakes, there is no better time than the present to get started – especially when you see how good cycling is for your brain and body!
The derriere of your dreams is only a few bike rides away! Your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves all get a workout while cycling; this is because of the resistance when riding. Resistance can be tailored to you and your level, stick to flat surfaces if you’re a beginner but more advanced riders can see great results from cycling on an incline.
As well as your legs, riding can also strengthen your core as it works on your abdominal and back muscles, this can improve general posture, coordination, and balance. As we get older our balance can start to get worse and this can mean you are more susceptible to falls or injuries, cycling can help to keep on top of this. Going for a ride can also improve joint mobility as the movement helps to lubricate your joints but you stay in control of the intensity, so you are less likely to overwork your knees and hips. While there is no professional evidence to suggest that cycling eases back pain, it can be a good exercise to practise if you do have back issues as it can be less impactful on your spine than other ways to work out.
Like all exercise, if you are burning more calories than you are consuming, you should see some weight loss. Depending on the intensity of your ride, cycling can burn up to 1000 calories an hour which is more than running or jogging.
Exercise in general releases endorphins as blood is pumped around your body more quickly and this improves your mood. Cycling has also been proven to reduce levels of stress hormones which can help you relax and even sleep better at night! Going on a bike ride can easily be a social activity with your friends or family, or you could even try joining your local cycling club to meet like-minded people in your area. Cycling also gives you the chance to try new things – such as smashing your PB (personal best) or exploring the outdoors, which all boost your mood.
The NHS recommend cycling as a way to reduce your risk of getting serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Cycling increases your heart rate, burns calories, and gets blood pumping around the body, this means cyclists are less likely to be develop these illnesses.