When I took up cycling about 10 years ago, it was one of the best decisions I could have made. I was at University (leading a pretty unhealthy lifestyle) and needed something to improve my fitness and health. That turned out to be a triathlon. My first triathlon was at Blenheim Palace, and the thing I enjoyed the most, over running and swimming, was cycling. After the triathlon, I continued to cycle more, and the more I cycled, the healthier and fitter I got.
Cycling participation increases year on year. It’s easy to see why. Not only is it a fun-filled way to get out into the air and exercise, but its got a significant number of major health benefits. It improves your stamina and strength while making you feel happier and healthier. However, I still come across loads of people who don’t seem to ‘get’ cycling and why they should do it.
I often speak about my love for cycling, but I appreciate others might not share that passion. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t cycle, though. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cycling a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That might seem excessive but you can quickly achieve that with, say, cycling to work… Anyway, love it or not, here are eight health benefits of cycling. That’s eight reasons, other than a passion for cycling, to get involved!
Eight health benefits of cycling:
- It’s a calorie burner: Cycling fires up your metabolism, even hours after getting off the bike. This means a cycling session will help you burn calories at a higher rate, resulting in faster weight loss.
- It makes you stronger: Cycling is also great for strengthening and toning your glutes, abs, hamstrings, calves and quads. Essentially, it’s great for building a rock solid core.
- It improves your mood: Exercising and fitness releases endorphins. These are hormones which get released to counter stress and improve psychological well-being. Basically, cycling provides a feel-good boost.
- It improves your cardiovascular ability: Given the increase in heart rate from cycling, you will also benefit from increased blood flow and better oxygen consumption. This will make your vital organs stronger and healthier, while lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
- It makes you smarter: Cycling boosts the creation of brain cells and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). Your brain will function faster and better, leading to improvements in memory, concentration and problem-solving.
- It’s low impact: Compared to running, cycling puts far less pressure on your body. If, like me, running sometimes causes knee or back pain, cycling is a perfect alternative due to its low impact nature.
- It helps you sleep: Cycling reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Less stress means better sleep, particularly if you suffer from sleep problems.
- It gives you an energy boost: As your general stamina and endurance will improve, so will your energy levels. Regular cycling results in an increased ability to be productive for longer.
What are you waiting for? Get cycling now and enjoy better health.
Thanks for reading our blog. As a ‘thank you’, here’s a 50% discount on your first nutrition subscription box – designed to motivate and power your performance. Choose either the cycling or running fuel box, or our quarterly fitness box, and simply enter the code vivisubbox50 at checkout to apply the discount.