A bike ride gets you fresh air, exercise, and that sense of doing something good for yourself. There are many advantages to cycling as exercise. The main health benefits of cycling include improvements in cardiovascular health, large muscle strength, and overall endurance. Cycling supports mental health, too.
Almost everyone learns how to ride a bike as kids. Advancements in cycling design have made it possible for people with disabilities or balance problems to gain the benefits of cycling, too. Beginning cyclists get a low-impact aerobic workout that is easy on the knees and fun. Fun is important because it correlates with motivation. It’s exercise that doesn’t feel like a chore or an obligation, but more like a nice break. Cycling strengthens large muscles while taking it easy on the joints.
Depending on the intensity, cycling burns anywhere from 400 to 750 calories an hour. Burning fat and building muscle lowers your body mass index and can increase your metabolic rate, providing you with a continuous weight-loss payoff.
A study from the University of Glasgow found that cycling can cut your risk for cancer or heart disease by as much as half. Get on the bike, already! In addition to cutting your risk of serious disease, people who commute by bicycle are exposed to fewer pollutants than drivers or people who commute by bus.
As an aerobic exercise, cycling boosts the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness have positive effects on the brain; one study found that physically fit children performed better academically. Biking also improves mental health and can combat stress, anxiety, and depression. All that good oxygen to the brain, particularly the sections related to memory, helps preserve cognitive function and resist the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s. The endorphins released during aerobic exercise contribute to a sense of well-being that boosts mood.
Oh, and to pull a Columbo here, just one more thing: there is evidence that another of the health benefits of cycling is an improved sex life. Never fear, our online bicycle shop is ready to get you on your new bike.
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