Cycling benefits: Why you should get on your bike right now
Looking for a new activity to make the most of your free time? Something genuinely enjoyable of course, but with the added benefits of keeping your mind and body happy and healthy? Cycling might be for you.
Cycling for fitness is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reasons to get on your bike. And while there are too many other cycling benefits to count, here are just some of the best reasons to either get out on your bike more often or get yourself an indoor trainer.
Lose weight more effectively
Of course with cycling, calories will burn off. Like any exercise, riding a bike helps you shed the pounds. But the real beauty of cycling to lose weight is that even beginners can go on long bike rides with relatively little effort.
Cycling, outdoors or on an indoor trainer, is not like running or many other types of cardio which, if you’re not used to, is going to tire you out after 10 minutes. Almost anyone can hop on a bike and just take a leisurely ride for two hours or so. All that time your heart rate is elevated and you’re burning calories.
Any amount of cycling is going to melt calories away. But if you’re really serious about cycling to lose weight, you can get yourself a cycling training plan to help you reach your goals. This will help you focus on the right areas and quickly build up to doing more and more.
There are various services out there that help you develop the right cycling training plan, such as TrainerRoad. Or you may have a cycling device with a training plan feature built in.
Help your mental health
Cycling to get fit physically is only half the story. Getting out on your bike will also help you get mentally fit for all sorts of reasons.
You could write a whole book on the mental health benefits of cycling. Exercise in general can help you take a big step towards a healthy mind. But cycling is one that gets you up and enjoying the great outdoors which can help you feel relaxed and revitalised. Research has also shown that cycling can reduce stress.
And together with Alzheimer’s Research UK we’re showing how increasing your cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of dementia.
Maybe it’s unlikely to be a total miracle cure for whatever ails you, but it’s an easy step to take in the right direction to help you boost your mood at least a little bit.
Exercising can help you get a good night’s rest and cycling is no different. Introducing just a little more activity into your life can help you get to sleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed instead of getting that drowsy morning feeling.
Boost your immune system
Over the long term, cycling outdoors or on an indoor trainer can boost your immune system in a number of ways. Exercising outdoors can encourage vitamin production and make your body more resistant to colds by consistently exposing it to various warm and cool environments. There has also been research which suggests that cycling can majorly boost your body’s production of immune cells as you grow older.
Fight off disease and disorders
As well as generally boosting your immune system to protect you from everyday illness, cycling can also help to prevent some bigger issues from coming your way.
A lack of activity has long thought to be a major contributor to disorders such as type 2 diabetes. Getting out on your bike for just 30 minutes a day, say by incorporating cycling into your commute, can dramatically reduce the risk of getting it. There has even been research that suggests that cycling can help to reduce the risk of cancer.
One of the best benefits of cycling is simply that it’s fun. Cycling in parks, along canals, around cliffs, through cities and so on, genuinely offers you an enjoyable experience. And it’s easy to combine with a family day out or make up your own tour to see more of your local area.
There are other forms of exercise that can offer some of these same benefits. But cycling is a particularly good choice for one simple reason. It’s low impact. You can go out for a long bike ride without harming your joints.
So, as long as you’re replenishing your energy, you can do a lot more on a bike and get more of those benefits. And you’ll be ready to do it all again tomorrow.
Get into cycling
With all these cycling benefits, are you convinced about getting out on your bike now or getting set up with an indoor trainer? If you’re thinking of doing more and more riding, we can help you out. Visit our cycling page for all the cycling tech you’ll need.