There are so many options when it comes to taking up a hobby. But if you want an activity that can improve your physical and mental health, consider cycling.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that offers many great health benefits. It is suitable for all levels because cycling varies in intensity. You can cycle for an everyday activity or as a competitive venture.
Those immersed in the cycling world already know the benefits, but for anyone who needs the motivation to get out on a bicycle, below are ten reasons cycling is a great hobby.
1. Cycling Can Improve Your Mental Well-being
Studies have shown that those with a physically active lifestyle had a mental well-being score of 32 percent higher than inactive people. Physical activity can boost your mood by releasing endorphins, adrenalin, and confidence from achieving new things. Cycling combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring unique views.
2. Cycling Can Strengthen Your Immune System
A study found that cycling can reduce the effects of aging and rejuvenate the immune system. Cycling as an exercise is good for the upper respiratory system, reducing the common colds. Cycling outdoors can boost the rider’s immune system by helping absorb sunlight and encouraging vitamin production.
3. Cycling Can Help with Weightloss
Regarding weight loss, the calories taken in must be less than those taken out. Depending on the intensity and the rider’s weight, cycling burns between 400 and 1000 calories an hour. If you eat a healthy diet that creates a calorie deficit, you should be able to lose weight. Cycling at a high-intensity level can help lower your body fat, which promotes healthy weight management.
4. Cycling Can Help Build Muscle
Cycling doesn’t just burn fat; it also builds muscle, especially in the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Muscles grow from working with resistance. In cycling, resistance comes from riding uphill or through high gears. Cycling can help improve the overall function of your lower body and strengthen your leg muscles without excessively stressing your joints.
5. Cycling Can Improve Lung Health
Cycling can increase your lung capacity by raising your respiration rate, which leads to more oxygen in your lungs. It helps to make your lungs healthier and stronger. As you cycle, your lungs pump harder to funnel more oxygen into your bloodstream. In the long run, your full lung capacity will improve by 5 to 15 percent, and as a result, the efficiency of your lung function will be better.
7. Cycling Prevents Heart Disease and Cancer Risk
Cycling is a healthy way to prevent major illnesses like heart disease and cancer. A study by the University of Glasgow found that cycling can reduce the risk of developing cancer and heart disease. Health experts say cycling is an excellent addition to your treatment plan if you are recovering from cancer. Cycling can also help keep you fit and lean, reducing your risk for certain types of cancer, like breast cancer.
8. Cycling Can Help You Sleep Better at Night
Stress and anxiety are common causes of insomnia. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that moderate-intensity exercise, such as cycling or walking in the evening, can help insomnia sufferers fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Researchers believe it has to do with body temperature. They say your body temperature increases when you’re exercising, then drops post-workout. The drop in body temperature tells your body that it is time to sleep.
9. Cycling Can Boost Your Brain Power
Exercise has been linked to brain health, reducing the cognitive changes that can lead to dementia in later years. One study found that cycling outdoors can help improve cognitive functioning for older adults. Focusing on the road when biking can help you develop concentration and awareness of your surroundings. The study concluded that cyclists should ride for 45 minutes to an hour at a heart rate of 75 percent to 85 percent about four times a week.
10. Cycling Improves Balance and Coordination
Our balance and coordination tend to decline as we age. Having good balance is beneficial in preventing falls, which can help decrease your risk of injury and fractures. Cycling can stimulate the motor regions in your brain and energize the cerebral cortex, which may help improve balance and motor learning. Keeping your bike upright and stabilizing your body will improve your gait, coordination, and overall balance.
The YouTube Video below explains the changes in your body when you ride your bicycle for just five minutes a day.
Outdoor Cycling Safety
Cycling is an enjoyable way to stay healthy, and while there are many benefits to outdoor cycling, there are also a few drawbacks. One disadvantage is the risk of an accident in high-traffic areas. Ride on neighborhood streets or in lanes reserved for cyclists when possible. Always follow traffic laws while riding through busy intersections. Wear a helmet and any protective gear you may need. Wear reflective gear or install bike lights for nighttime cycling. Don’t wear loose clothes that could get caught in your bike chains.
Another disadvantage is inclement weather. Rain and cold weather can put a damper on your cycling adventures. If you must cycle to get places, wear cold or rain gear and have backup transportation for when conditions are unsafe for riding. During the summer, apply sunscreen to all skin exposed to the sun, and wear a hat and UV-protective sunglasses and clothing.
Use caution and play it safe when necessary, especially on busy roadways or inclement weather.
Martinez Bicycle Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Martinez bicycle accident attorney. Injuries from a bicycle accident can result in physical, emotional, and financial consequences. You must protect your rights and interests if someone else’s negligence has caused you physical pain and emotional suffering. To discuss your case with our experienced injury lawyers, call (925) 428-5220 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. Our legal team at AutoAccident.com can help you all rebuild your life after a life-changing bicycle collision.
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