How Bike Riding Improve Your Health?
Physical Benefits of Cycling:
1. One of The Best Workouts for Your Body
Cycling is a core workout for your body. When a person rides a bicycle, he or she needs to balance her whole body. During this balancing process, our upper part and lower part of the body muscles work together. Most people think that cycling is effective for leg muscles only, but it’s not entirely true. Yes, the leg muscles work most intensively at the time of cycling besides that, it activates the muscles of the shoulders, dorsal, stomach, and buttock as well.
Riding bicycles also stimulates and improves the process of taking air into and expelling it from the lungs, strengthens the heart muscles, and improves blood flow.
2. Cycling Increases Muscle and its Strength
If you don’t want to go to the gym but want to have superior muscular legs and fit body, then cycling is the best exercise to talk about.
We use our gluteus muscles (located in the buttocks), the quadriceps (a group of muscles located in the front of the thighs), and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (located in the calves) for the downstroke (the power phase of pedaling). For the backstroke or up-stroke (the recovery phase of pedaling), we use the flexor muscles (located in the front side of the hip) and the hamstrings (located in the back part of the thighs).
In the upper body part, we use core muscles, which include the stomach & back muscles to balance our body, arms (biceps and triceps), and shoulder (deltoids) muscles are used to hold the handlebars.
So, cycling will help to strengthen all the muscles mentioned above. Professional cyclists have stronger and larger thigh muscles (quadriceps muscles) as well as hamstring muscles than non-cyclists.’
3. Helps to Weight Control and Reduce Body Fat Level
Riding a bicycle is an effective exercise for burning calories and reducing weight. Remember, a proper healthy eating plan should be followed beside cycling if you want to achieve a good result within a short period. But it won’t provide you instant results. To burn more calories, we have to ride faster because our body uses more energy to ride fast. According to Harvard University, biking at a medium speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour will cause a 70 kilos person to burn 298 calories in 30 minutes. A person of the same weight will burn 372 calories if he rides faster at 14 to 15.9 miles per hour.
As per British research, a half-hour of cycling every day will burn nearly 5 kilos of fat over a year.
4. Good for Joints
When we sit on a bicycle, we put our weight on the bones of the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities or sit bones, it’s different than walking when we put weight on our legs. That makes it good for a person with joint pain or age-related stiffness.
Cycling is a gentle option for those who want an intense workout but don’t want to stress their joints, especially the joints in the lower part of the body.
5. Increases Strength & Stamina
Exercising helps us to increase muscle stamina and strength. Cycling is a powerful exercise. If a person cycles regularly, then his stamina will be increased, and it gets more comfortable next time.
For continuous improvement of stamina, a person should try cycling more/further (or faster) than he did earlier. As time goes on, endurance and strength will be more visible or felt.
6. Decreases Cardiovascular/Heart Diseases Possibility
Now a day’s stroke, high blood pressure, and heart attack are common Cardiovascular disease (CVD). Regular cycling will help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Bike riding boosts heart rate strengthens your heart muscles and decreases fat blood levels. A 2019 study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM), has found that cycling is connected to lower CVD risk. Also, the research suggested cycling as a health-enhancing physical activity. Here is the full study.
7. It May Help You to Prevent Cancer
As per World Health Organization (WHO) research, more than eight million people died in 2015, and 30% to 50% of cancer could be prevented by regular exercise, keeping a healthy body weight, and cutting alcohol consumption.
Research on the benefit of cycling to work from the University of Glasgow has found that riding a bicycle to work was associated with a 45% lower risk of cancer and a 46% lower risk of CVD. Researchers observed over 260,000 people for five years by maintaining communication with them. Over the five years, they analyzed new cases of heart diseases, cancer, and deaths, then related to the mode of commuting. Jason Gill, from the university’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said – “Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with a substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes.” Here is the full study.
8. Regular Cycling May Reduce the Risk of Diabetes, Bone Injuries, and Arthritis
More people are suffering from diabetics because of less physical activities. Type 2 diabetes is becoming a more common case, and this is a serious public health concern. According to a study in Finland, people who cycled more than half an hour per day had a 40 percent lower risk of developing diabetes.
Cycling is a low impact exercise, and it places little stress on joints; that’s why it is an ideal exercise for people who have osteoarthritis (A disorder that commonly affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, and spine). It also strengthens your bones and reduces the risk of small bone injuries.
However, cycling can’t prevent or help osteoporosis that causes a loss of bone density.
9. Builds a Strong Immune System
Exercise will make you feel healthier and more energetic. Moderate workouts like cycling and walking are the best for keeping the immune system awesome. When you exercise, it helps to change antibodies and white blood cells (WBS). These antibodies and white blood cells become more active and help to fight infection.
It doesn’t mean that people who already cycle should do it more; you should not overdo it. According to the research from the University of North Carolina, people who rode a bicycle for 30 minutes a day per week took about half of the sick days who performed no physical activity.
10. Improves Sex life
Cycling makes us fit and being fit makes us more confident about our ability. For people who exercise from 2 to 3 days a week, over 80% of males and nearly 60% of females rated themselves as above or much above average in sexual desirability. In the case of actual performance, People who exercised 4 to 5 days per week, 88% of females and 69% of males reported themselves as being above or much above average.
Regular cycling also helps keep stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol under control; it means you’ll feel less stressed. It is scientifically proven that less stress leads to more natural sexual arousal. It means you’ll be more likely to be in the mood and enjoy sex more often.
Exercise is energizing; it also improves cardiovascular health and enhances blood flow; both of these are good for your conjugal life. Cycling is also an exercise where the same vital muscles we use at the time of making love.
Mental Benefits of Cycling
11. Develops Positive Mental Health
There is a close relationship between exercise and mental health. Anxiety, stress, and depression all are positively influenced through exercise, and bike riding has been proven to be one of the great activities for the head and heart.
The research also shows that people with an active lifestyle are 32% happier than inactive people. Cycling is a combination of outdoor activities and exploring new places or natural views. If you ride alone, then the beauty of nature and fresh air will provide you mental peace and reduce your worries. Or you can ride with a group that will expand your social network.
12. Cycling Improves Mood
It is scientifically tested that thirty minutes of daily exercise can uplift people’s moods. According to research, people who took part in casual physical activities like cycling or walking felt more cheerful, more active, and peaceful, compared to inactive participants.
13. You Will Sleep Better
In our daily life, we go through different types of stress. When people get stressed, they can’t sleep. Doctors and health care professionals frequently recommend to do aerobic exercise to reduce stress, and cycling is a great aerobic exercise that helps to decline the levels of ‘cortisol’ also known as ‘stress hormone’ and to create more ‘endorphins’ also known as ‘happy chemicals’ as a result you will sleep better. Moreover, biking stabilizes your circadian rhythm, which also improves your sleep patterns.
14. Improves Your Brain Power
Cycling increases blood flow to your brain from 28% to 70% in specific areas. As a result, it transfers more oxygen to your brain, which fires and regenerates receptors. That’s why cycling can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease that is the common cause of dementia.
Besides that, cycling helps to improve your memory by building new brain cells. Those cells are responsible for your memory.
15. Improves Creative Thinking
During cycling, your body system functions more closely than if you are inactive, that is a significant reason for which your capacity for creativity may increase. A study found that just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. If cycling is like an adventure to you, then this adventure will help to flourish your creativity, thinking power, and mindfulness.
Financial Benefits of Cycling
16. Save The Cost of Fuel, Transportation, and Vehicle Maintenance
Bikes are much cheaper than motor vehicles. If you use cycle as your vehicle, then forget the cost of fuel/gas and public transportation. Also, maintenance is more accessible than any other transport because you can fix your bike having affordable tools.
17. Cancel Your Gym Membership and Save Your Healthcare Cost
Cycling regularly will keep you fit, so don’t need to spend extra to keep yourself fit. Moreover, it will cut your healthcare cost, especially if you do private jobs in the United States or in most developed countries because you have copay to cover a part of your treatment costs or hospital costs besides your health insurance. Riding a bike improves the immune system and reduces the risk of heart and lung diseases.
18. Cut Your Car Insurance Cost
Every year car insurance can cost many hundreds of dollars; in some cases, that is more than the cost of owning 3 to 4 cycles in a year. Biking more may not allow you to stop using your car entirely but driving less and cycling more can save you money by making pay-as-you-go insurance contracts more economical.
Social Benefits of Cycling
19. Expand Your Social Circle
Cycling is a social sport. By joining a cycling club or group, it’s surprisingly easy to make new friends. New riders always get valuable information and support from such clubs or groups. Through these clubs and groups, people of different ages, races, or places come together and become good friends.
20. Have Enjoyable Family Time
You can ride along with your family members. It will help you to spend more quality time with your family, as well as it has a positive impact on your family members’ health. Cycling will increase the physical ability and create an adventure sense in your family members.
21. Support Charity
Many cycling clubs organize different charity programs like raising money to support the people who need it. So, you can be part of it.
22. Become More Interesting
The people who love cycling, are truly adventurous. Adventure is a part of cycling. Their life is much more interesting than any average person who stays at home. They always have a more exciting story to share.
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
23. Save Planet by Reducing Pollution
As per W.H.O. (World Health Organization), air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. The data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. Carbon dioxide emission by motor vehicles is one of the biggest reasons for air pollution. On the other hand, motor vehicles are the reasons for noise pollution.
So, choosing cycling can be a massive initiative to save the planet. Go green if you want to save the world. Because the cycle doesn’t have any engine like motor vehicles and there is almost no chance of pollution.
24. Save Natural Resources
For manufacturing a bike, there are some specific materials required, but it is very minimal compare to motor vehicles. On the other hand, the usage of fossil fuels can be reduced if we start riding more bikes instead of driving motor vehicles.
25. Use less space
A bike takes 10 to 20 times less space than a car. As a result, cities could have more free space and don’t need to spend huge money to create lots of parking spaces.
26. Save Lives
Many people are dying by motor vehicles every day across the world. Each day, on average 3,700 people are killed globally in road accidents by different motor vehicles as per WHO. This number can be minimized if the usage of the number of motor transportations is reduced. That’s why the bike is the best alternative to personal vehicles.