When we were kids, we could ride our bikes all day long. It was fun! We didn’t think of it as exercise, it was a great way to get to a friend’s house, the park, or school. As adults, we can still get enjoyment out of riding a bike but now with the added benefit of understanding how well it improves our health. Riding offers many benefits, but we will keep this list short and sweet. Below we’ve outlined five key benefits of riding a bicycle.
1. Improved cardiovascular fitness – Cycling is an aerobic exercise that increases heart rate and blood flow. Regular cycling will help strengthen your cardiovascular system, enabling your heart and lungs to work more efficiently in getting oxygen where it is needed quicker.
2. Weight Loss – Cycling raises your metabolic rate and burns body fat. That means that cycling coupled with a healthier diet and lifestyle can lead to weight loss. But don’t worry. You don’t have to be a Tour de France level cyclist to lose weight. Cycling at even a low-level intensity for 30 minutes a day, three days a week can lead to weight loss. You can ramp up your intensity level as you get into better shape, leading to more weight loss.
3. Build muscle – Cycling uses all major muscle groups such as arms, abs, back, glutes, and legs. Cycling strengthens the muscles without overstressing them. Your newly toned legs will appreciate you!
4. Decreased stress level – Cycling lowers stress, depression, and anxiety. Focusing on the road, that next mile, or losing the next calorie can help take your focus from the mental fatigue you are experiencing from everyday life. Exercising releases adrenalin and endorphins which can give a boost to your mood. Endorphins counter stress and make you happier.
5. Protection from serious or chronic health conditions – Cycling improves your overall health by lowering blood pressure, strengthening heart muscles, improving lung function, and circulation. Therefore, it helps to reduce the risk of chronic ailments such as diabetes and heart disease.