The Health Benefits of Cycling

If you want to lose weight and improve your fitness, cycling could be the ideal activity for you, as it is an excellent way to burn extra calories and build stamina. Cycling is an activity that you can do by yourself or alongside other people, and it can be done outdoors or indoors, so that bad weather is no excuse! It is a low-impact activity and so does not put your joints under the same kind of strain as running would, meaning you are less likely to experience pain or discomfort, and you are still able to tone up your calves, thighs and bottom. Plus, it isn’t very difficult to do. The success of Sir Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour De France has encouraged many people to take up cycling.

It is an easy sport to master and an activity you can do with your family and friends or even on the daily commute, since cycling is a cheap way to get around. Not everybody likes to cycle outdoors, especially when it is raining and cold, but you still get the same benefits of cycling indoors using an exercise cycle or using a normal bike on an indoor trainer. Sometimes it is useful to train inside when you have specific goals you would like to achieve. Even if you’re just a casual cyclist, you will still obtain the benefits of cycling regularly, which is worth remembering if you’re struggling to stay motivated.

By cycling on a regular basis, your cardiovascular fitness will improve and you will be at less risk of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, whilst keeping fit could also reduce the likelihood that you develop certain cancers. If you cycle regularly, your immune system will also be strengthened so that your body is better able to fight off illness. Plus, cycling can help you to lose weight if you cycle frequently enough and actually put some effort into your bike rides. You can do this by riding faster and further, choosing hillier terrain and pushing bigger gears. Obviously, if your main aim is to lose weight you will also need to consider your diet, so that you can reduce your calorie intake accordingly.

Even if losing weight isn’t a priority, if you cycle regularly you should notice that your legs become more toned, since they are what keep the pedals turning, and the good thing is that you are unlikely to experience joint pain, since cycling is a low-impact activity. It might be worth investing in some padded shorts if you intend to cycle for long periods of time, though! It is not only your bottom half that gets a good workout, as cycling also helps strengthen your upper body, as you use your arms and shoulders, too.

As well as benefiting your physical health, cycling can also improve your mental well-being, as it can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It can boost your self-esteem, improve your quality of sleep and leave you in an overall more positive frame of mind, which is clearly important in today’s stressful world. Stress can be bad for your health and so it is important to find ways of dealing with negative emotions, and cycling is definitely a preferable option of doing this, rather than bingeing on junk food or drinking alcohol.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a way of getting fit which doesn’t cost the earth and is easy to do, cycling could be the perfect activity for you. Cycling is an activity that you should be able to fit into your everyday schedule and that you can do by yourself or with other people. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete beginner and only able to ride a few miles at a time or an expert who frequently rides 100 miles, you will still be able to see and feel the benefits of getting on your bike.