Cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy. There’s no doubt about that.
Not only that, but cycling is fun, social and it can even help your love life! <3
In this article we will discuss 15 of the best benefits of cycling!
Ok, let’s go…
The Top 15 Benefits Of Cycling That Will Keep You Riding!
1. Cycling Can Help Prevent Heart Disease
This is obvious, but aerobic exercise (that includes cycling) helps to combat the risk of coronary heart disease.
Cycling can lower levels of LDL cholesterol, which is the “bad” kind that clogs your arteries and leads to a higher chance of having a stroke or developing cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis or peripheral vascular disease.
Sounds nasty, doesn’t it!
Riding a bike can also help to manage high blood pressure, as cycling helps your body release nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important for maintaining the healthy function of artery walls and muscles during exercise because it regulates their constriction or dilation.
So ditch the car in favor of biking! You’ll feel better about yourself.
2. Cycling Is Good For The Environment
Bike riding is green!
Cycling is clean, efficient and sustainable. There are no nasty fumes emitted that will harm people or ecosystems. Greenhouse gas emissions are much lower than most other modes of transport, like driving a car.
Of course, cars require some kind of fuel to run (even the electric ones, which likely comes from a power station). Cycling just needs your Earth-friendly legs.
The only pollution comes from the manufacturing of the bike and its parts. So, basically, very low carbon dioxide emissions!
3. Ride Your Bike More = Eat More Food!
The more you cycle, the more calories you burn off. This means that you’ll be able to eat more of the delicious food that you love without feeling guilty.
Fancy coffee and cake mid-ride? Go for it. Want a bigger-than-normal tasty meal after your cycling adventure? Knock yourself out.
Just remember that you can’t eat anything and everything! Yes, you can eat more than normal, but cycling isn’t a magic wand for burning off calories. Consume more than normal, but don’t go crazy.
4. Boosts Mental Health For A Positive Mind
Feeling low? Riding your bike can lift your mood.
Physical activity from cycling releases endorphins which helps make you feel happy! A study found that participants who exercise had lower levels of depression than those who do not.
This is great news. Why? Well do you often feel blue with the prospect of starting a week of work on a Monday morning? Riding your bike to work can help mitigate the effects of a negative day. You will have more energy and be able to focus on tasks better, research shows.
It’s not unusual to be feeling pretty good when you arrive at the office after a bike commute!
Read more: Commuting when work has no showers
5. Regular Exercise Helps You Sleep
Exercising regularly, like cycling, can help you sleep better. When your body is active, it releases the hormone serotonin which helps your mood and induces relaxation.
Regular exercise can also reduce levels of cortisol; a stress hormone that has been linked with insomnia and anxiety in some cases.
Poor sleep is a problem I’ve had in the past. Cycling, particularly longer rides, really help you get your eight hours of shut eye for that night.
Be careful not to ride your bike vigorously too close to bedtime though. Sometimes this can have a negative effect, resulting in not being able to get to sleep sleep straight away.
6. Grow Your Social Circle And Friends List
Cycling is a great way to get more friends. The best way to meet new people is through a shared interest. What’s the most popular common interest? Exercise!
You can easily join a local cycling club or add yourself to a nearby Meetup.
You don’t have to be a super strong athlete to join either. Most clubs will have separate options for total beginners through to more experienced riders. These clubs can be less intimidating than, say, a local gym, where everyone works out together – including the local Hercules and their meathead mates.
Get into cycling and get ready to grow your social life!
7. Cycling A Low Impact Sport
Riding a bike is easy on the joints and muscles, making it a low impact sport. This makes cycling an excellent choice for those recovering from injuries or looking to prevent future injury.
It’s a popular option for those who have engaged in sports that are hard on the body, like soccer. Years of twisting and turning on the knees and ankles can take their toll , and cycling is a great way to stay in shape without putting the same strain on your joints.
8. Can Save Time In Heavy Traffic Areas
Whether you live in the city or have a daily commute, cycling can help you save time and money.
When you’re stuck in a traffic jam, cycling is much faster than simply sitting in your car and burning fuel while going nowhere. Either with the use of dedicated bike paths or lanes, or by squeezing down the side of stationary cars lanes, cyclists are able to move much more freely, and get from A to B quicker!
Bike riding can help you get to where you need to go without the hassle of finding parking or paying for gas. These days most offices have secure bike cages, so you can lock your bike up safely when you get to work.
9. Improves Lung Strength
Riding regularly can help cardiovascular fitness . The American Heart Association says that cycling can help to improve lung strength and endurance.
For the heart to keep beating at a regular pace, it needs more oxygen. If it does not have enough, the heart will get tired.
This is where breathing comes into play…
When you’re pedaling. taking deep breaths will fill up your lungs with fresh air giving them an extra boost of oxygenated blood. This boosts stamina meaning you’ll be able to exercise longer without feeling as tired as someone who’s not into cycling.
10. Cycling Helps With Weight Loss And Burns Calories
Not really a surprise that this makes the list, but cycling helps you lose weight.
You can burn anywhere from 300-600 calories in an hour of cycling. And the good thing is, you can do it every day. Well, depending on the weather and how enthusiastic you are!
Even after you finish your ride you continue to burn calories. If your ride wasn’t too long or intense (less than an hour), try not to eat much for a couple of hours after. This lets the body keep burning calories off your existing fat, helping you lose body weight.
Of course, if you have ridden for a longer period (more than a couple of hours). you should be eating protein/carb foods and drinking water to recover.
11. Enjoy Healthy Family Time
Struggling to find a common activity that you can enjoy with the family?
Cycling is great for both parents and children. It will help your child get out more (turn that Playstation off!) increase their independence, and help them boost their physical fitness.
For you, it’s an opportunity to spend quality time with the family while also getting some aerobic activity done at the same time
Kids who have been bike riding can usually fall asleep much easier, and they often find it easier to concentrate on more difficult tasks.
12. Increases Navigational Skills
It can be more challenging, than a car, getting from A to B on a bike because you have to consciously navigate every turn and obstacle.
This encourages the brain to develop better navigational skills, which can be helpful in other areas of life too.
13. Boosts Your Immune System
Physical activities help to boost your immune system, and cycling is no different. Research has shown that intense exercise can boost your immune system for a period of time after you work out.
- Less sick days
- Less chance of falling victim to illnesses like the common cold or flu
- Lower risk of chronic disease (lowers cancer risk and chance of cardiovascular disease)
14. Improve Your Love Life
Cupid could well be firing the love arrow on you when you start pedaling.
A survey commissioned by the British Heart Foundation found that when looking for love, 32% reckon it is important that a potential partner is physically active. And more than a quarter think that cyclists are more intelligent than average.
15. Helps You Live Longer And Happier!
Want to be happier and live longer? Cycling might just be the answer.
Cycling helps decrease the chance of depression by releasing endorphins into our brains. This can boost our mood significantly.
Cycle regularly and you’ll help lower stress levels, avoid weight gain , reduce body fat, boost your fitness level and the cardiovascular system. These combined can help you live longer and hopefully avoid early death.
As we mentioned before, cycling can be very social, and mixing socially with other cyclists can help your overall mood.
So yeah, cycling helps you stay alive and keep a smile on your face.
What’s not to like??!!