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. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport.
It only takes two to four hours a week of cycling to achieve a general improvement to your health. The value of cycling is:
· Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
· Good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
· 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.
· Good for strength and stamina – cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
· 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.
· 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.
· Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.
Health benefits of regular 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. These include:
· Increased cardiovascular fitness
· Increased muscle strength and flexibility
· Improved joint mobility
· Decreased stress levels
· Improved posture and coordination
· Strengthened bones
· Decreased body fat levels
· Reduced anxiety and depression.
Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems. Cycling is also a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, cycling must be combined with a healthy eating plan.
Lastly, cycling is a comfortable form of exercise where you can change the time and intensity. Research suggests you should be burning at least about 2,000 calories a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour. Riding six hours a week in a training plan is a perfect start to a 50 to 100 mile, or century event.