benefits of cycling daily

Introduction

Cycling is one of the low-impact activities that many people get into globally. 

While many people accept that cycling benefits their body and lifestyle, not everyone understands what they are. So why should you begin using cycling for fitness or health improvement specifically? In this article, we discuss just that. 


  1. What are the benefits of cycling daily
  2. Health Benefits of Cycling
  3. Physical Benefits of Cycling
  4. Mental Benefits of Cycling
  5. Other Benefits of Cycling
  6. Is Cycling Better Than Running?
  7. How much & How often to cycle to stay fit?
  8. When is the best time to cycle in order to reap the most cycling benefits?
  9. Cycling Safety & Enjoying the Ride
  10. FAQ
  11. The Bottom Line

What are the benefits of cycling daily?

People choose to get cycle benefits as a means of transport, competition, or casual habit. Cycling works as a great workout option, especially for beginners who lead a relatively sedentary lifestyle. It works as a suitable starter workout to begin one's health-conscious lifestyle. Plus, people enjoy the cycling benefits more since they can do this activity outdoors, like up or down the hills or at a park.

Cycling For Health And Fitness



You can cycle as a mode of transport, for casual activity, or as an intense, competitive endeavour. Cycling is a wonderful workout that keeps you active. It can help shape a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. The adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors mean that you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.


Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing several health problems, some of which have been listed below.


Cycling And Mental Health


Regular cyclists often talk about the ‘cycling high’, similar to the well-recognised ‘runner’s high’. Cycling pumps blood around your body at a greater rate which allows for the rapid spread of endorphins and other good substances like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.


Self-Esteem, depression, anxiety and stress are all positively affected through exercise, but the nature of cycling is one of the most effective activities for the heart and brain.


Top 5 Health Benefits Of Cycling



Though there are several benefits to cycling, here’s a list of the top 5 ones that will help you motivate yourself to pick up cycling as a workout today. Check them out!


Cycling Promotes Weight Loss



Biking is often considered to be one of the good low-impact options for aerobic exercise. It allows you to get your heart rate up with less wear and tear on your knees, ankles, and other joints, compared with running or jogging.

Many people who focus on the benefits of cycling daily do so to get the benefits of cycling exercise for weight loss. It does help if you are cycling at high intensity. 

As per experts, people that center on the benefits of cycling exercise for weight loss should also add strength training and sprinting. These activities help build up muscle and improve metabolism. This burns calories faster even during the resting period, thus contributing to the benefits of cycling exercise for weight loss.


If you’re trying to lose weight, or want to maintain weight loss that you’ve worked hard to achieve, biking can be a great way to achieve this goal. However, if you are looking to maximize your weight loss and fat burn, you might want to turn up your cycling workout up a notch. Here are a few ways you can do that.


  • High-Intensity Interval Training - This type of exercise can help you burn more calories in less time, as well as improve your cardio fitness and help you lose fat too.
  • Cross-Training - If you don’t like getting locked into one activity, cross-training may be for you. As the name suggests, it’s a great way to add variety to your workouts by alternating activities.
  • Increase Intensity - Pedaling along at a leisurely pace probably won’t do much to help you lose weight. However, if you push yourself to work harder and up the intensity of your ride, you’ll make more progress toward your weight loss goal.



Cycling Builds Muscle


The resistance element of cycling means that it doesn't just burn fat, it also builds muscle - particularly around the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Cycling tones and works many muscles in the body. While the primary muscles targeted are certainly the lower body muscles, the arm muscles, as well as the core, also get in a great workout. 


Muscle is leaner than fat, and people with a higher percentage of muscle burn more calories even when sedentary. 


The most obvious area of muscle building during bike rides is the lower body, more specifically the legs. Besides that, cycling targets the gluteal muscles, otherwise known as the buttocks. The core musculature, which includes the back and stomach, is also worked during rides. Tights abs enable the rider to pedal stronger and more efficiently, also serving to take pressure off of the lower back muscles.


Finally, cycling also strengthens the upper body. While success in this area of the body is least commonly attributed to cycling, there is something to be said about the effect riding can have on the arms and the shoulders.



Cycling Helps People With Cancer


There’s plenty of evidence that any exercise is useful in warding off cancer, but some studies have shown that cycling is specifically good for keeping your cells in working order.

People with cancer can notice better cycling health benefits and follow a good diet. A 2015 study focused on the benefits of cycling for men. It showed that physically fit people among the 14,000 men that participated had less risk of colorectal and lung cancer. 

Cycling helps maintain the healthy growth of cells, giving them the necessary backup to fight against cancer cells.


One long-term study carried out by The University of Glasgow researched over 260,000 individuals over five years and found that cycling to work can cut the rider’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer in half. Other studies have found that women who cycle frequently reduce their risk of breast cancer by 34 per cent.


Cycling Builds Your Core


Cycling also works your core muscles, including your back and abdominals. Maintaining your body upright and keeping the bike in position requires a certain amount of core strength. Strong abdominals and back muscles support your spine, increase stability, and improve comfort while cycling. Starting your day with a healthy activity like cycling wakes you up by boosting your circulation and allows you to start your day with a sense of accomplishment. This often leads to feeling more inclined towards making healthy choices and decisions.


Cycling Is Eco Friendly


Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around 5 per cent of the materials and energy used to make a car to build a bike, and a bike produces zero pollution. Bikes are efficient, too. You travel around three times as fast as walking for the same amount of energy. While keeping you fit, it also keeps the environment fit. And that’s just the cherry on top.


Body Parts That Benefit From Cycling


Cycling Lung Health


You won't be alone if this point seems contradictory to common sense. But a recent study suggests that people who ride a bike are exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car.


Cycling Pumps Up Heart


Cycling helps increase heart rate and cardiovascular functions naturally. A 2019 study showed the cycling benefits for women with low cardiovascular disease issues and physiological risks, like physical inactivity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 


Cycling Helps Burn Belly Fat


To get rid of belly fat, you need to remove fat from all over your body and not just target one spot. To lose weight, you need to do exercises that raise your heart rate, which will help you burn fat faster. Combining your cycling workout with a healthy eating plan can give you faster tummy-flattening results. Just be smart and ensure that you snack sensibly as you work harder to get that fabulous body and improve overall health.


Is Cycling Better Than Running?


Your ankles, knees, hips, and other joints can be put under a lot of stress when running, jogging, jumping, or doing other high-impact aerobic exercises.


Running is weight-bearing and therefore injuries are higher. On the contrary, cycling is not weight-bearing. In general, running burns more calories than cycling because it uses more muscles. However, cycling is gentler on the body, and you may be able to do it longer or faster than you can run.


Neither cycling nor running stands out as a far better option than the other. Pick whichever one fits your lifestyle to ensure you’ll enjoy it and stick with it. You can also switch between the two to reap the benefits of each activity and prevent boredom.



Hand Cycling And Health


In the context of the benefits of cycling every day, it is important to mention the types of tools available. Here, one such example is the handcycle operated mainly using hands. Your hands would stay to the pedals using Velcro straps for balance. This type of cycle benefits with improving the cardiovascular health of people suffering from spinal injuries, those in recovery, or amputees. 


Before choosing a handcycle, it’s best to consult your doctor about which type of handcycle would be best for you. You should choose one that you can peddle without straining yourself or causing injury, but is still difficult enough to ride that it provides a workout.


Gym Cycling Benefits


While cycling for fitness, you should consider gym cycling for doing any cycling exercise for weight loss. This stationary equipment works best for indoor workouts if you want to avoid uneven road surfaces after rain, traffic issues, or poor eyesight. 

It is a suitable strategy for cycling for fitness since it influences faster body fat and calorie burning.



Riding a stationary exercise bike is an efficient and effective way to burn calories and body fat while strengthening your heart, lungs, and muscles. Riding a stationary bike can help build strength in your legs and lower body, especially if you use a higher resistance. Compared to some other types of cardio equipment, a stationary bicycle puts less stress on your joints, but it still provides an excellent aerobic workout. Another pro? You can watch your favourite sitcom or stand-up comedy videos while doing it.


Why choose the bike? Cycling to work can reduce the time of your commute, and free you from the confines of germ infused buses and trains. 


Benefits of Cycling Daily


1. More Brainpower


One of the major benefits of cycling daily is that it enhances brain power and helps to prevent Alzheimer's disease in the elderly, according to a review of studies published in 2011. In 2017, a scientific literature assessment on the cycling exercise benefits came to the same conclusion—exercise enhances cognitive function and helps to slow down the ageing process. Seniors, however, aren't the only ones who benefit: A 2014 study published in Pediatrics found that time spent on the bike has a favorable influence on children and that exercise can help with disorders such as attention deficit disorder.


2. Improved Heart Health


Cycling is also beneficial to your cardiovascular system. A five-year study looked at the activities of 1,500 people. Those who cycled daily had a 31% lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Another study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2018 indicated that a vigorous workout could decrease blood pressure as effectively as prescription medications.


3. Lowered Risk of Cancer


Maintaining a healthy weight, a conscientious diet, and cycling exercise benefit and lower your cancer risk. In a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers looked at over 14,000 men. They found that those who were physically fit as they neared middle age had a lower risk of lung and colorectal cancer.


4. Slower Ageing


Researchers found that high-intensity cycling exercise benefits anti-ageing. People who completed high-intensity exercises exhibited an increase in mitochondrial capacity, according to a 2017 study. Because a loss in mitochondria can lead to physical deterioration, the better your mitochondria work, the more revitalised you will be on a cellular level.


5. Less Stress


Another benefit of cycling daily is that it helps to reduce stress. According to a 2018 study published in The Lancet with over one million participants, cycling is one of the top stress-busting sports. When compared to non-cyclists, cyclists had 21.6 per cent fewer days of poor mental health. This was second only to team sports (22.3 per cent), higher than other aerobic and gym activities. Simply grouping your rides can help you gain the social benefits of a team activity while increasing your number of pleasant days.


6. Lower-Body Strengthening


It should come as no surprise that cycling exercise benefits your lower body. When you pedal, your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves are all activated, and you may raise the strength test on these muscles by increasing the resistance on your bike. Cycling can help you gain muscle and strength, according to a 2015 study, however, it's unlikely to be as effective as resistance exercise and may require a longer training period.


7. Boosts Mental Health


Cycling can help you feel less stressed, depressed, or anxious. Cycling while concentrating on the road allows you to build attention and awareness of the present moment. This may help you focus on something other than your day's mental noise. If you're feeling sluggish or listless, go on your bike and ride for at least 10 minutes. Endorphins are released throughout the exercise and make you feel better while lowering stress levels. Once you make riding a regular part of your life, you may feel more confident and pleased.


8. Improves Balance, Posture, and Coordination


Yet another benefit of cycling is that it enhances your overall balance, coordination, and posture by stabilizing your body and keeping your bike upright. Balance deteriorates with age and inactivity; thus, it is critical to maintaining it. Improved balance aids in the prevention of falls and fractures, which can put you on the sidelines while you recuperate.


9. Obesity and Weight Control


Cycling increases your metabolic rate, builds muscle, and burns body fat, making it an excellent way to maintain or lose weight. Cycling must be linked with a healthy food plan if you want to reduce weight. Cycling is a relaxing kind of exercise that can be adjusted in terms of time and intensity. It may be gradually increased and varied to fit your needs. Exercise should burn at least 8,400 kilojoules (approximately 2,000 calories) every week, according to research. Cycling at a steady pace burns roughly 1,200 kilojoules (300 calories) every hour. The kilojoules burned quickly pile up if you cycle twice a day. According to British studies, a daily half-hour bike ride burns approximately five kilograms of fat over a year.


10. Diabetes and Cycling


The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is rising, posing a severe public health threat. Physical inactivity is known to be a primary factor in the development of this illness. According to large-scale studies in Finland, people who cycled for more than 30 minutes each day had a 40% decreased chance of acquiring diabetes.


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Mental Benefits of Cycling- Cycling & Mental Health

There are many ways in which cycling improves mental health. 

  • More Brain Power

People feel more awake and energetic after adding a regular activity to their regime, like cycling. 


  • Boosts Mental Health

You would notice cycling health benefits in the context of mental health issues. For example, cycling helps control anxiety and depression.


  • Less Stress

Exercise releases good endorphins and reduces the stress hormone cortisol, giving people a relaxing sensation. So, cycling health benefits extend to stress relief.


  • Expect more productivity 

One of the recently found benefits of cycling for men and women is that they show more productivity at work afterward. This is because of increased energy levels and a sharper mind. 


  • Better sleep cycle

When you bike regularly, your circadian rhythm will fall into better sync. It would decrease your cortisol levels, which is responsible for cutting down good regenerative sleep. It increases brain serotonin as well, which helps with sleep cycle management. 


  • Better creative thinking power 

When you ride your bike outdoors, the fresh air works as relief from mental blocks. It helps refocus your mind and improves creativity and problem-solving skills. 


  • Higher level of memory retention 

Going for a ride on your cycle benefits you with maintaining a better memory. There would be new brain cell production inside the hippocampus during this activity, which focuses on memory functions. 


Other Benefits of Cycling

Besides the physiological benefits, cycling every day extends to other aspects. 

  • Cycling is Eco-Friendly

Notably, cycling is an eco-friendly medium of exercise. For example, it takes 5% of the total energy and materials one needs to develop a car to build a whole riding bicycle. Moreover, it emits zero pollutants. 


Is Cycling Better Than Running?

Yes, running is helpful when losing weight and improving your inner health. However, your joints, hips, knees, and ankles face extreme stress during running since it is a type of high-impact aerobic exercise. This can increase your risk of accidents or injuries. On the other hand, cycling is low-impact and less likely to cause extreme stress on your body. 


How much & How often to cycle to stay fit?

For the best cycling exercise benefits, you should cycle daily. Use the vehicle to commute from one location to another if the distance is manageable. Take breaks in between in case of fatigue, pain, or muscle soreness.

If you want the benefits of cycling for fitness, you should avoid cycling once a week to rest. Cycle for at least 30 to 60 minutes for the best benefits every day. 


When is the best time to cycle to reap the most cycling benefits?

There are no specific timings that are best for cycling. However, mornings and evenings have good outdoor temperatures and less traffic in some areas. So choose the right time for you as per your needs. 

Cycling Safety & Enjoying the Ride

The following are the main tips you should follow for a safe cycling experience. 

  • Ask a doctor how much you should cycle to avoid harming your health in underlying health issues. 
  • Remember to wear your helmet. 
  • Sit at a suitable position on the bike; so, choose your vehicle fit for your body type and posture. 
  • Avoid more polluted areas. 
  • Try to avoid times of rush hour traffic. 
  • Use a padded saddle to relieve back pain and pressure; sit comfortably.
  • Wear the right cycling-appropriate clothes with breathable fabric that avoids chafing. 

FAQ

1.What do 30 minutes of cycling do?

On average, around 30 minutes of regular cycling would burn around 200 calories in your body.

2.What body parts benefit from cycling?

The legs, core, heart, and brain benefit from cycling activity.

3.Does cycling reduce tummy?

Yes, your core muscles would be targeted when cycling as you try to maintain your balance and stability. So, you can expect a smaller tummy through regular cycling.


The Bottom Line

Overall, the benefits of cycling are immense, and you would notice an improvement in your full body, mind, and soul. Add this to your daily workout routine and improve your mobility, coordination, heart health, and reduce weight with time.

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