At a time when finding 10 minutes for your health appears like a daunting task we are being ambitious in expecting you to find half an hour for yourself every day or 3 to 4 hours in a week. We have good reasons to think so. There are many ways to be fit and healthy but nothing can replace the joy of fresh breeze, crimson stream of sunlight and a beautiful interaction with the morning life of your city. Have you ever tried picking up your cycle and riding past the lanes of your house to the main bus stand early in the morning? Have you experienced the pleasantly silent mornings with the melodious chirping of the birds in the background? Here are the health benefits of cycling.
Riding a cycle surely has many health benefits but what I want to highlight is the sense of freedom, the positive energy and a sense of achievement one gets while riding a bicycle. Cycling is such an exhilarating activity because you are free to travel wherever you desire, and there is no shortage of locations you can go to as you enjoy the weather and get fit while doing so.
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 three to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is:
1). Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
2). A good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
3). 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.
4). Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
5). 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.
6). 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.
7). Bond with friends and family – When technology does not allow human interactions cycling with friends and family can help in creating a bond with near and dear ones.
8). Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trains or buses with healthy exercise.
Health benefits of regular cycling
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. Research suggests you should be burning about 2,000 calories a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour.
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.
If you cycle twice a day, you will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
1). increased cardiovascular fitness
2). increased muscle strength and flexibility
3). improved joint mobility
4). decreased stress levels
5). improved posture and coordination
6). strengthened bones
7). decreased body fat levels
8). prevention or management of disease
9). reduced anxiety and depression
As the environment around us is getting more and more health conscious to keep you fit and your stress levels low, we suggest you to join any of the local bikers’ group active in your city. It will not only keep you motivated to pull out the bike every morning but also win you many good and like-minded friends.
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