8 Health Benefits Of Cycling and Why You Should Start Bike Riding

Benefits Of Cycling

If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to exercise and work out, have you perhaps considered taking upcycling? There are many health benefits of cycling, both mental and physical and in this article today, we will highlight several of them.

Obesity is unfortunately more common than ever before, life expectancies are declining, governments and healthcare professionals are spending billions on weight-related healthcare, and our health, in general, is deteriorating rapidly.

What’s even more frustrating is that many of the issues listed previously could be rectified by leading a healthier lifestyle. I still remember when my dad took me out cycling everyday when I was a kid. There were no iPads, Netflix or even Playstation, so basic exercise was the best way to bond and play with your kids.

But the world has changed…

And as for kids, adults get distracted by other things and take the car everywhere they go. While there are way more healthy alternatives.

Cycling, for example, is very good for you which is why we’re highlighting the benefits below, yet people would rather drive than cycle, and we can’t figure out why that is.

If you want to get fitter and healthier, here’s a look at several crucial benefits to help convince you why it is the perfect exercise for you to take up.

What Are The Many Health Benefits Of Cycling?

Benefits Of Cycling

1. Great For Losing Weight

If you’re looking to get rid of some unsightly flab this holiday season, cycling is the perfect form of exercise for you to take up. One of the key benefits is the fact that it is so fantastic for people that are looking to lose weight. Cycling is very physically demanding and so it requires a great deal of strength and a great deal of energy.

Cycling can burn off hundreds, if not thousands of calories, depending on where you go and how intensely you cycle of course. The bottom line is that, if you are intent on burning fat and getting leaner, you should hop on your bike and take upcycling.

2. Great For Building Muscle and Strength

Did you think that lifting weights in a gym for several hours each week was the only way to build muscle? If so, prepare to be blown away.

As it turns out, cycling is one of the best ways to build muscle naturally, especially in the legs and the lower body, because you use the legs so much when pedalling.

Cycling, especially uphill, works the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, which can improve your sprinting levels. You will also find that cycling and spinning are great for strengthening the back muscles, as well as your core.

Not only does cycling help build muscle, but it is also great for increasing overall levels of strength and power. The more you cycle, the stronger your core and legs will become. This means that cycling can potentially help you lift more weight with your legs and generate more power from them.

This is particularly beneficial for overhead lifts, which require some power to be generated from the legs. If you are training with strength in mind or you're looking to improve your kickboxing level, cycling is surprisingly beneficial.

3. Improves Your Posture

Cycling itself won't necessarily help your posture, and neither will it cause bad posture. But there are ways to improve your posture by cycling. If you practice proper form by sitting up tall with a neutral spine while cycling, you'll work on your posture. There are also great posture exercises that you can try while cycling.

4. Cycling is Great For The Environment

Lately, you’ve probably noticed how health officials and other experts have asked people to cycle to work or the shops, rather than drive. This is not just so that you can get some much-needed exercise, but it is also so that you can do your part to help the environment.

Cycling cuts way back on your carbon footprint so you can help to be greener and to look after your home planet.

Benefits Of Cycling

5. Great For The Heart and Brain

We only have one heart, and it is one of our body’s most important major internal organs. Because of this, we should do everything we can to take care of our hearts.

With heart disease being the biggest killer in the modern world today, cardiovascular health is something I truly promote. Cycling happens to be a wonderful form of cardio exercise, making it great for the heart. Cycling helps to improve circulation, strengthens the walls of your heart and arteries, increases blood flow, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and plenty more on top of that.

If you want to look after your ticker, make sure you take up cycling.

6. Cycling Is A Low Impact Activity

Another fantastic benefit we must highlight today is that cycling is such a low-impact activity.

High impact activities such as running, may be good for your heart, but as it puts so much pressure upon your joints with each step you take, they’re far from ideal for the joints. Cycling, though, is much better for the joints, tendons, and ligaments because it is a low-impact activity that will not hurt your ankles, shins, knees, or anywhere else.

This is also the reason why so many natural bodybuilders use cycling as their main cardio exercise, as they don't want to put too much pressure on their joints and wait for days for recovery.

7. Cycling Can Improve Your Mobility

If you lack mobility and flexibility, cycling could be the perfect activity for you. Cycling is great because it helps to improve circulation, which gets the blood flowing. It loosens up stiff joints and muscles, and it is great for engaging the hip flexors and core stabilizer muscles as you pedal and get stuck in.

As time goes by, this helps to enhance your overall levels of mobility and flexibility, which in turn can potentially help you in everyday life as well.

8. Great For Mental Health

How Cycling Can Boost Your Mental Health – GCN Does Science

If you find that your mental health is suffering, or if you just want to feel a little bit happier and more content in life, cycling may be an activity to take up. Don't trust me on this? Then you may trust this study conducted in 2017 on the topic of the relationship between stress and bicycle commuting.

It is believed that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, and rather than treat it with prescription drugs that pose their own threats and bring their own problems, it is much better to treat it with exercise. Exercise such as cycling is ideal for mental health because it increases the production and secretion of happy chemicals in the body known as endorphins.

On top of that, if you get outdoors and cycle in amongst nature somewhere peaceful and scenic, this too will have a calming effect on your mind and body. So I'd say that the overall mental benefits of cycling are:

  • Stress relief
  • Produces endorphins
  • Increases mental toughness
  • Boost your mood
  • Gives you a peaceful escape

Is There a Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Cycling?

Absolutely! Indoor and outdoor cycling each offer their own unique experiences, benefits, and challenges.

When you hop on an indoor cycling bike, you're stepping into a world of controlled environment and focused workout sessions. The controlled atmosphere means you can tailor your workout to your specific goals, whether it's improving endurance, building strength, or torching calories Most indoor bicycles will let you adjust this according to your needs.

Outdoor cycling, on the other hand, invites you to explore the great outdoors while getting your heart pumping. Feel the breeze on your face as you pedal along scenic routes, soaking in the sights and sounds of nature. You have the freedom to choose your own adventure, a leisurely ride through the countryside or a challenging ascent up a mountain pass. Outdoor cycling also provides the opportunity for fresh air and vitamin D from the sun, which can boost your mood and overall well-being as I mentioned in the benefits above.

One key difference between the two is the element of terrain. Outdoor cycling often involves navigating hills, descents, and varying road conditions, which requires a different set of skills and challenges compared to the consistent resistance of an indoor bike. Outdoor cycling can be a more social activity, and I still take my kids biking, just like my dad did with me.

Indoor CyclingOutdoor Cycling
Controlled environmentFresh outdoor air
Focused workout sessionsScenic routes and exploration
Tailored workoutsTerrain challenges (hills, descents)
Energizing music and group classesSocial aspect (riding with friends, clubs)
Shielded from weather elementsVitamin D from sunlight
Consistent resistanceVaried road conditions
Instructor guidanceFreedom to choose routes
Convenient for all weather conditionsBoosts mood and well-being

How to Start Cycling As a Beginner

To start bicycling doesn't need to be a massive challenge. But there are a few steps that I'd recommend you to take:

  1. Get the Right Gear: Begin by investing in basic cycling gear. You'll need a properly fitting helmet to keep your noggin safe, comfortable clothing suitable for the weather, and sturdy shoes. Don't forget a water bottle to stay hydrated during your rides.
  2. Choose the Right Bike: Visit your local bike shop to get fitted for a bike that suits your height and riding style. When choosing between road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, or cruisers, consider factors like terrain (road, trail, or both), your fitness goals, and budget.
  3. Start Slow and Easy: Begin with short, easy rides to build up your confidence and endurance gradually. Find a flat, traffic-free area like a park or quiet neighborhood street to practice balancing, steering, and braking.
  4. Learn Basic Skills: Familiarize yourself with basic cycling skills such as starting, stopping, signaling turns, and shifting gears. Practice these skills in a safe environment before venturing onto busier roads or trails.
  5. Safety First: Always prioritize safety. Obey traffic laws, wear your helmet, use hand signals, and stay visible by wearing bright clothing. Be mindful of road hazards, pedestrians, and other cyclists.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body's signals. Start with shorter rides and gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness improves. Don't push yourself too hard and take breaks when needed.
  7. Join a Group or Take a Class: Consider joining a local cycling group or taking a beginner's cycling class. Riding with others can provide motivation, support, and valuable tips from more experienced cyclists.

And most and foremost, have fun! I suggest that you don't just see biking as an exercise but more as a fun hobby. Explore new places, invite friends to join and enjoy the fresh air while out there. If you struggle to afford all the gear, start biking inside at your local gym.

What Muscles Do Cycling Exercise?

Cycling exercises various muscle groups including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, hip flexors, core muscles, and upper body muscles such as arms and shoulders. It's ultimately a full-body workout that strengthens and tones your body while improving cardiovascular fitness.

Final Thoughts:

So, that brings this look at the many health benefits of cycling to a close today. After reading just how awesome cycling can be, are you now thinking twice about ditching the car and instead of hopping on two wheels rather than four?

If so, we wouldn’t blame you in the slightest.


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