Has lockdown encouraged you to get back on your bike? Or are you new to the cycling family? The benefits of cycling are almost as endless as the coastal and country paths you can explore. Here are 10 benefits of getting on your bike this summer.
- Cycling improves mental health
Cycling is a wonderful combination of physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new areas. You can choose to ride solo – giving you time alone with your thoughts, or you can ride with a group which can even help to broaden your social circle.
- Cycling promotes weight loss
There is a simple equation when it comes to weight loss, ‘calories out must exceed calories in’. So you need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight. Cycling burns calories – between 400 and 1000 per hour, dependent on intensity and rider weight.
- Cycling builds muscle
The resistance element of cycling means that it doesn’t just help to burn body fat, it also builds muscle. Particularly around the hamstrings, quads, calves and glutes. Muscle is leaner than fat, and people with a higher percentage of muscle burn through more calories even when they’re sedentary.
- Enjoying second breakfasts
If you choose to cycle to work instead of your usual drive, you’ve given yourself the perfect excuse to have a couple of guilt-free snacks throughout the day. Since a standard half an hour ride to work should burn between 200 and 500 calories, you’ve got a perfect reason to enjoy a smug second breakfast or elevenses at your desk!
- Cuts heart disease and cancer risk
Cycling raises your heart rate and gets the blood pumping around your body, and it also burns calories, limiting your chances of being overweight (this of course relies on diet as well). As a result, it’s among a selection of exercises which is recommended by the NHS as being a healthy way to cut your risk of developing major illnesses.
- Cycling is low impact
Many of the benefits of cycling relate to exercise – some of you might be thinking “it’d be easier to just go for a run”. Running is weight bearing, and therefore the injury rates are much higher. cycling , by contrast to running, is not weight bearing. Whilst cycling is less likely to result in an overuse injury, they can still crop up. Investing in a professional mountain bike North Wales can help to reduce unwelcome injury rehab costs.
- Cycling improves sleep
It probably isn’t rocket science that spending some time tiring yourself out on a bike will help to improve your sleep – but now this has been proven. Researchers have studied men and women aged between 20 and 85 over a period of 35 years, and they found a drop in fitness of two percent for men and 4 per cent for women resulted in sleep problems.
- Cycling boosts brain power
Exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health – and the reduction of cognitive changes which can leave us vulnerable to dementia in later life.
- Cycling strengthens your immune system
Dr. David Nieman and his colleagues at Appalachian State University studied 1000 adults up to the age of 85. They found that exercise had huge benefits on the health of the upper respiratory system – thus reducing instances of the common cold.
- Cycling helps to grow your social circle
Joining a cycling club or group is an excellent way to grow your social circle, and if you’re new to riding – you’ll probably find all the maintenance and training advice you may have been looking for there, too.