Health benefits of cycling

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by solmon, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. solmon

    solmon New Member

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    To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

    Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.

    Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport.
    Cycling for health and fitness

    It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is:
    • Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
    • A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
    • Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
    • Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
    • As intense as you want – cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
    • A fun way to get fit – the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
    • Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.

    Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.

    • The health benefits of regular cycling include:
    • increased cardiovascular fitness
    • increased muscle strength and flexibility
    • improved joint mobility
    • decreased stress levels
    • improved posture and coordination
    • strengthened bones
    • decreased body fat levels
    • prevention or management of disease
    • reduced anxiety and depression.
    Cycling and specific health issues

    Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems.


    Obesity and weight control


    Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, cycling must be combined with a healthy eating plan. Cycling is a comfortable form of exercise and you can change the time and intensity – it can be built up slowly and varied to suit you.

    Research suggests you should be burning at least 8,400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (about 300 calories) per hour.

    If you cycle twice a day, the kilojoules burnt soon add up. British research shows that a half-hour bike ride every day will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.


    Cardiovascular disease and cycling



    Cardiovascular diseases include stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

    Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels. Research also shows that people who cycle to work have two to three times less exposure to pollution than car commuters, so their lung function is improved. A Danish study conducted over 14 years with 30,000 people aged 20 to 93 years found that regular cycling protected people from heart disease.


    Cancer and cycling


    Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.

    Diabetes and cycling


    The rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing and is a serious public health concern. Lack of physical activity is thought to be a major reason why people develop this condition. Large-scale research in Finland found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes.
     


  2. neednoexcuse

    neednoexcuse Member

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    The most important benefit is that it helps us to burn a lot of calories. It's the best way to keep your joints active and fit along with burning calories. It has been proved by many people that it helps to lose weight. I was an overweight guy but I lost a lot of weight by road cycling and gym cycling. The road cycling is better because it's more challenging. There are countless benefits of cycling.
     
  3. Dame6089

    Dame6089 New Member

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    I think my favorite aspect of cycling as exercise is that it seems more like a leisure activity even when it is hard. I'm sure serious cyclist view training as work. But for the average joe like me, I don't mind working up a sweat when riding. I can't say the same for activities like jogging.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I had been riding when I was young but purely for leisure especially so that I ride with my female friends. But later in life, when we moved to this suburban village with a park conducive to jogging and biking, I started biking primarily for leisure again but secondarily for health because I needed to lose weight - depending on my mood, the primary and secondary reasons are interchangeable. So for me, the prime benefit is the energy I get from the physical exertion and the peace of mind that goes with the relaxing ride.
     
  5. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    You get similar benefits from practicing swimming as I did several years ago, but swimming is not something easy to practices since you need a pool with clean water with healthy levels of ph. So cycling is the easier option because you only need a good bike and hit the lane to start the exercise.
     
  6. rz3300

    rz3300 Member

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    Well I never really thought of it like the way @sharkantropo put it above. In that sense it is like the easier form of swimming. They probably are similar in the groups of muscles that they work, but I still think that swimming is probably a little better. You are right though and I am not lucky enough to live by a body of water so cycling is really the best option for me.
     
  7. Djordje87

    Djordje87 Member

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    Cycling is one of the best exercise around actually. Not only you do your cardio workout which is essential for your general health, heart, blood vessels, the whole biorhythm of our bodies but you also work your muscles in a great way. Legs, but and stomach are three areas most affected and by adding stamina overtime you can go far and see some great results. I love running and cycling but cycling in summer is more attractive to me because it is not only a good exercise, it also gets me to places fast and cheap.
     
  8. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    I agree with most of this but I dispute your claim about road cycling. I can be challenged by stationary cycling just as much or even more depending on the settings used.
     
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