The Health Benefits of Cycling
It’s easy to make great resolutions to lose weight and get fitter but much harder to actually stick to them. We’re now two months into the New Year now and many of us are starting to lose sight of our goals. Every January, thousands of us join a gym but for many people, it’s quite difficult to get into the gym routine. If you’re finding yourself losing motivation and slowing down a bit, it’s time to start looking for new sources of inspiration.
Gyms can be quite costly and for many people, the experience can be quite daunting. Where do I start? What exercises should I be doing? What will everyone think? The key to getting more regular exercise into your life is to find something that you enjoy doing so that it doesn’t seem like a chore. Adding a new activity to your fitness plan could be just the thing you need to spur you on. Cycling is an increasingly popular form of exercise for good reason: the health benefits of riding a bike are well-documented so there’s no reason not to get on your bike and give it a go.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF RIDING A BIKE
- Cycling builds strength
Past the age of about 30, we lose up to 3-5% of our muscle strength with each passing decade unless we stay active. Cycling is a great full body work out, building up muscle mass in your legs and glutes and improving strength with simultaneously improving cardiovascular endurance.
- Cycling is kind to your joints
Cycling is a non-weight bearing exercise so doesn’t cause any impact damage to your joints and you can cycle even in your later years. If your main form of exercise is usually running or tennis, high impact activities, try alternating these with a cycle ride to give your joints time to recover.
- The benefits of cycling for weight loss
The health benefits of cycling for weight loss are well documented. If you’re planning on dropping a few kilos this year, even a leisurely, moderate ride will burn off around 400 calories while your body could torch as many as 1000 calories on a longer ride. Short of time? Even modest efforts will reap rewards: a US study of 18000 women over a period of 16 years showed that cycling for just 5 minutes per day was helpful in preventing weight gain.
- Cycling reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer
A 5 -year study of 260,000 people by scientists at Glasgow University showed that the risk of heart disease and cancer was reduced by 50% in those who cycled to work regularly.
- Cycling reduces stress
All forms of exercise are proven to be helpful in reducing stress levels and cycling is particularly effective. You’re out in the fresh air with new sights around every corner, free to go exactly where you like and if you can cycle to work or school, it’s very easy to make it part of your daily routine.
CYCLING IS FOR EVERYONE
From tots to seniors, cycling really can be for everyone. As well as the health benefits of cycling, it’s a very flexible and environmentally friendly means of transport. You can get off the beaten track with a mountain bike or beat your best times with a road bike. If you feel like you would appreciate a bit of assistance on the steep hills, consider an electric bike. For shorter rides on paved surfaces, a hybrid bike is a good choice: perfect for commuting, these bikes combine some of the best features of mountain bikes and road bikes. There’s nothing stopping you so get out there and give it a go!
Here at The Hub Cycle Works we have a wide variety of bikes and accessories available, to cater for riders of all experiences. Why not pop in and see what we have to offer? We’ll be pleased to offer you any help and assistance you may need to find the perfect bicycle for your needs.