Cycling is for everyone
Anyone can cycle, from toddlers in a seat on the back of a parent’s bike to four-year-olds whose bike is attached to an adult’s by a bar, to seniors of any age. Not only is it an excellent way to have great fun, but it also has a great many health benefits:
Cardio Exercise For The Heart
1. Cycling is one of the best cardio exercises for the heart, to keep it healthy without putting a lot of strain on your joints.
Weight reduction / maintenance
2. Riding a bike can help with weight loss or with maintaining a healthy weight because of the additional energy expenditure . The activity also helps keep your muscles working and fit muscles help you look leaner.
3. As with many physical activities, a cycling workout can stimulate your brain to produce endorphins which can give you those positive, uplifting, “feel-good” emotions. And it does not need to be extreme cycling with a possible adrenaline rush to get the endorphins pumping.
4. Exercise can make your body more resilient to injury. Exercise helps strengthen your bones and muscles and cycling can also help improve balance and coordination. All of these can help you avoid injuries, such as fractures, and bounce back from injuries that would otherwise incapacitate you for much longer.
5. In addition to resilience, regular exercise can improve your fitness levels, meaning that you can live your ordinary day-to-day life more easily, with fewer problems running for a train or bus, or climbing stairs or bending down or reaching up high.
6. Almost any and every physical activity can relieve stress. Cycling is no exception. The constant exercise, the muscle fatigue, the calorie-burning all contribute to reducing overall stress levels. Stress can build up chemicals in your muscles and intensive exercise can help to disperse these. Along with endorphin production (see point 3 above) a good workout, whether on your cycle or running or dance class, etc., can help reduce stress.
7. A good cycle, combined with time outside in the fresh air can make it much easier to get to sleep and stay in the land of nod! Some research has found that insomniacs who cycled more than 30 minutes per day went to sleep in half the time of those who didn’t.
Better Health and Immunity
8. Overall, you are more likely to have excellent health and be more likely to be illness and disease free. Cycling helps heart health, so the risk of cardiovascular disease is decreased by a significant margin. Fresh air and stress reduction also contribute to a better immune system: and resilience, that is, bouncing back from illness and injury has been covered at point 4 above.
9. Nearly any physical activity you engage in will increase your overall energy levels. When you make cycling a regular part of your week, or make it part of your social fitness program with friends, you will be more motivated to go for a regular cycle. And once you become even more proficient at it, because of regular practice, you will boost your confidence and self-esteem.
10. Instead of sitting in front of a TV screen or checking your phone every 5 seconds, you now have a healthier and more beneficial hobby that you can engage in without hangovers or any other negative effects. If you are unable to get outside to cycle, it is possible to get an indoor stationary bike that you could use while watching TV. It is also possible to get a small machine with pedals that is easy to bring out and put away if a stationary cycle is not suitable. While you may not be getting fresh air, you are still giving your muscles a boost and getting exercise.
While cycling is more often done for recreation, more people are now moving to cycling as a way to get to work and avoid traffic jams. Some employers are helping with this move by providing cycle storage facilities and shower and changing units. Some are even providing loans for cycle purchase. And why not? Cycling can help burn fat, reduce blood pressure, increase the body’s protection against infections and diseases and help you stay healthy. So employers get a LOT of benefit from encouraging their employees to cycle to work.