10 Health Benefits of Cycling
Your view of cycling may well be clouded by the MAMILs (middle-aged-men-in-Lycra) frequenting your local cafes and showing off a lot more of themselves than you care to see. And whilst you can hardly be blamed for a somewhat tainted perception of the sport (we’re kidding!), the MAMILs out there are onto something. Cycling is good for you, there’s no denying it, and building up calves to rival Popeye’s biceps aren’t the only benefit to pedaling away. Here are 10 health benefits of cycling.
1. Slim Down with Cycling
First of all, if you’re looking to lose weight/ burn fat, cycling is a brilliant way to do it. Pretty much everyone knows how to ride a bike, and it’s a relaxing and simple form of exercise that can be a lot less intimidating than heading into a gym to get a sweat on.
2. Hello Legs!
Secondly, it’s a good old leg work out that targets your quads, hamstrings and calves. Goodbye chicken legs, hello thighs of steel. If you’re cycling regularly, you’ll soon notice the difference. Get ready for your short shorts in summer…
3. Mode of Transport
The genius that invented the bicycle didn’t just do it to build more muscular legs…the primary function of a bike is as a method of transport. So why not trying switching-out your car for your bike on your commute or visit to the shops? You can get your daily exercise in while you’re coming to and from work? Can’t ask for much more than that.
4. Cycling is Low Impact
It’s a low impact form of exercise, which is generally a lot kinder on your body than high impact training or even running. Not only does it avoid your knees taking a pounding but cycling helps to build up and strengthen the muscles around your knees which can prevent injury in other forms of exercise.
5. Cycling is Fun!
It’s a fun way to get fit! We all know the importance of staying fit and healthy, and what better way to do it than spending time whizzing around on the bike exploring new places, or hurtling up and down hills?
6. Cycling Has Variety
You can vary the intensity of it and train in different ways for different purposes. High intensity training, hill training or endurance training (the long slog); it’s up to you. Hill training can really help to build strength in your legs, while going at it for a long time over longer distances is a great way to build up your stamina.
7. Get Outdoors
Spending time outdoors in the fresh air is an integral part of feeling healthy for many. So, what better way to do it than to get on a bike with the wind rushing through your hair? If that doesn’t sound idyllic then something might be wrong…
8. Cycling is Social
Cycling can be a surprisingly sociable form of activity; you can have a natter while on the bike and then stop off at a café for a well-deserved coffee and cake…! Exercise and a social event in one go hey? Steady on.
9. Relieve Stress with Cycling
Cycling can help to de-stress. When you’re on your bike your mind is on the road, not on other things. It’s a great way to clear your head (especially if you’re commuting back from work for instance) as it doesn’t allow you to focus on anything other than what’s in front of you. Next time things get a bit much, try going out on the bike for an hour.
10. Cycling is Good for the Environment
Cycling is good for the environment, and the less cars we can get on the road the better. So, why not take the two-wheeled option instead of four-wheels when you can? You’re doing yourself a lot of good, as well as relieving the environment of yet more car fumes.
So, what do you reckon? Ready to become a regular cyclist? Many of you out there will have learnt to ride a bike at some stage in your life, so there’s no excuse is there? Hop on a saddle, get pedaling and enjoy yourself!
You might also be interested…
Cycling and running require different levels of stamina and different muscle groups. So, which is harder on your body? Read on to find out.
We always love to catch up with Jen Darmody from Sydney Uni – Staminade about cycling and all the adventures that it brings. Here’s our recent chat.