Cycling is an enjoyable and rewarding activity for leisure, commuting, or sport. It offers numerous physical and mental health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function and elevated mood and reduces your carbon footprint.
If you want to try a new activity, cycling can be a great way to stay fit, improve your health and benefit the environment. Discover eight reasons why you should take up cycling.
1. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Cycling is an aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping, improving blood flow and oxygen delivery to the body’s tissues. Over time, cycling can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by strengthening the heart muscle and improving the health and elasticity of the blood vessels. And for affordable E-bikes click here
Cycling can also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are risk factors for heart disease. Recently, a study found that cycling just 20 miles per week can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 50 percent.
2. Weight Loss and Management
Cycling is an excellent way to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. It’s a low-impact exercise that burns calories and helps build muscle tone while avoiding joint strain.
The number of calories burned during a cycling workout depends on various factors, such as the ride’s intensity, the terrain, and the rider’s weight. On average, a 155 lb. person can expect to burn around 266 calories during a half-hour of leisurely cycling at 12-13 mph. If the same person were to cycle at a faster pace of 14-15 mph, they could burn up to 332 calories in the same amount of time.
3. Increased Muscle Strength and Tone
Cycling is a fantastic way to build lower body strength and tone the legs, hips, and glutes muscles. The pedaling motion targets the quads, hamstrings, and calves while using the handlebars and engaging your upper body helps build strength in the shoulders, arms, and back.
Regular cycling can also improve balance and coordination, particularly for older adults. A study published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity found that regular cycling improved balance and reduced the risk of falls in older adults.
4. Improved Joint Mobility and Flexibility
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it an ideal activity for those with joint pain or arthritis. The pedaling motion helps lubricate the joints and increases the range of motion, promoting flexibility and mobility.
Cycling can also help prevent joint degeneration by strengthening the muscles and connective tissue that support the joints. To support this, the Journal of Rheumatology did a study and found that cycling reduced joint pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis.
5. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Cycling is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins can help boost mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. These boosts can be amplified by riding in nature on an electric mountain bike; spending time in green spaces can help reduce cortisol levels, helping you remain calm.
Cycling can also be a meditative activity that promotes mindfulness and relaxation. The repetitive pedaling motion can help clear the mind and reduce intrusive thoughts. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that cycling in nature was effective at reducing stress and improving mood.
6. Better Sleep
Regular exercise, such as cycling, can improve sleep quality and help regulate sleep patterns. Exercise regulates your circadian rhythm by releasing endorphins. Endorphins modulate brain activity and stabilize your mood, making falling and staying asleep easier.
Exercise also helps tire the body and raises your core body temperature, followed by a steep reduction in body temperature approximately 1-2 hours later. This drop in body temperature may mimic the body’s natural rhythm, signaling to your body that it is time to rest.
A 2021 meta-analysis found that moderate to high-intensity exercise, such as cycling, can help reduce sleep latency (sleep onset time) and increase time spent in slow-wave sleep (SWS), which is the most restorative sleep stage.
7. Reduced Environmental Impact
Cycling is an eco-friendly mode of transportation that produces no emissions and helps reduce traffic congestion. Individuals can reduce their carbon footprint by cycling instead of driving, contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment.
A 2022 study found that e-bikes have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 24.4 million metric tons per year. This translates to about 750 kilograms of carbon dioxide per person. Cycling can also help reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and reduce noise pollution in urban areas.
Cycling is a cost-effective way to stay active and get around. Cycling requires minimal equipment and maintenance, making it an affordable alternative to other forms of exercise and transportation.
For example, cycling can be much cheaper than driving or taking public transportation. If you purchase a refurbished electric bike, you can cut down on the cost of a new e-bike, saving hundreds of dollars in gas or rider’s fees. Cycling doesn’t require fuel, parking fees, or monthly passes, which saves you money in the long run.
Cycling can also help reduce healthcare costs by promoting better physical and mental health. A study reported by the University of Minnesota found that cycling in metro areas prevents between 12 to 61 deaths per year, saving up to $500 million in related costs.
The study also found that people who take three extra bike rides per week had 46 percent lower odds of developing metabolic syndrome, 32 percent lower odds of obesity and 28 percent lower odds of hypertension. With a lower risk for these chronic conditions, you can save on potential healthcare costs.
Start Cycling for Your Benefit
There are many opportunities to try cycling; everyone can find a reason to cycle, whether you want to travel nature trails or take your electric city bike to work. The benefits provided by cycling can enhance your quality of life and improve your health both mentally and physically.
With the availability of different types of bikes and cycling equipment, people of all ages and fitness levels can enjoy the benefits of cycling. By incorporating cycling into your daily routine, you can make significant improvements to your overall health and well-being while also making a positive impact on the environment.