The Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is an immensely popular sport for a broad spectrum of people. Anyone can participate and enjoy the health benefits of cycling, irrespective of age or ability level. Listed below are a few of the health advantages of cycling from which you can benefit.
Increases stamina and cardiovascular fitness
Similarly to muscle strength, cycling enables you to improve your stamina levels without over-exerting yourself. Regular and sustained cycling develops your leg muscles, which are your largest muscle group. Subsequently this process raises your heart rate; significantly improving your stamina levels and cardiovascular health. These health benefits are supported by research undertaken by the British Medical Association, which showed that cycling an average of 20 miles a week could drastically reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. Furthermore, a separate Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people- aged between 20 and 93 years old- revealed that regular cycling protected people from heart disease.
Develops muscle tone and joint strength
Cycling is a sport which engages single part of your body. This method of exercise enables you to gradually develop muscle strength and tone without exerting yourself too strenuously or sustaining injury. Professional chiropractors Spinal Care Clinics have advocated the benefits of cycling for preventing lower back pain and chronic spinal alignment injuries. These experts have highlighted the most common causes of back pain, which include “The nerve-rich joints between each spinal bone are a common cause of back pain. The pain can be a sign these interlocking joints aren’t moving correctly“.
By participating in a holistic sport such as cycling, you exercise all parts of your body including these interlocking joints, thus improving your posture and bone alignment and preventing the onset of lower back pains. Subsequently you can substantially reduce your likelihood of developing chronic spinal injuries or lower back pain. Furthermore, cycling can aid people who are suffering from diseases such as osteoarthritis, due to the fact that cycling is a low impact exercise which can be executed without placing joints under duress.
Cycling is an ideal way to lose weight because it raises your metabolic rate, promotes muscle development and burns excess body fat. Moreover, you can moderate your cycling pace to suit your current ability levels; adapting the speed and intensity as your fitness improves. Cycling at a moderate pace for an hour burns approximately 300 calories. Therefore if you were to cycle for merely 30 minutes each day, you would burn at least 11 pounds of fat in a year!
Prevention of Illnesses
Cycling, as well as following a healthy diet, can significantly reduce your likelihood of developing a variety of chronic illnesses. For example, Finnish research revealed that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day were 40% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. This is because cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your resting pulse and reduces your blood fat levels, thereby reducing your risk of developing diabetes, as well as heart and lung disease. Regular cycling can help you fend off illness much more effectively because you are implementing moderate exercise into your daily routine. According to Cath Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London; “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready to fight off infection”.
Improves mental health
It has been discovered that the symptoms of various mental health conditions can be reduced by regular cycling excursions. Scientific research has revealed that daily aerobic exercise such as cycling release endorphins from the brain; granting a feeling of euphoria and well-being. These endorphins provide a natural remedy to depression due to their ability to elevate mood. As a result, cycling on a regular basis can help alleviate depression, stress and anxiety. Cycling has also been shown to help those sufferingfrom bipolar disorder. This is because an aerobic exercise such as cycling provides an outlet through which sufferers can release excess energy and relieve the irritability and stress caused by fluctuating moods.