Although cycles were initially created for the chief purpose of transportation, its social importance and value has diminished since man has come up with the cars, SUV, trucks, buses, trains etc.However they are still the most portable, inexpensive and environment friendly mode of transportation amongst the lot till date. Needless to state, it has also slipped into becoming a sport and a form of leisure. Also in the new age, there is a high need for physical activities required for both physical and mental health. Cycling is the perfect option for all age groups and types of people. If you are new to cycling or not confident enough about riding around, it can be a good idea to start cycling on designated paths for bicycles. These are usually traffic-free and thus can give you more confidence if you’re apprehensive about riding on the main road. Once you become more confident, you may be able to probably ride on the bicycle lanes that are present on certain main roads.Although stationary cycles have also been a rage in the gym, nothing really beats the real deal. There are various benefits (especially health) that are linked with effective cycling. Here are some of the top 10 reasons why cycling is good for you-
10) Beneficial for Knees and joints
Contrary to belief, cycling does not aggravate knee problem but in some cases can help reduce the pain. Inactivity leads to weakness in the muscles, joint stiffness and fatigue. It is a light activity; it does not overwork your knees and joints and will only help solve any occurring problem in these areas. It engages the leg without placing too much stress on your knees and joints. The circular movement of your legs while you cycle ensures the transport of energy and other bodily fluids to the cartilages, reducing the likelihood of diseases like arthritis.
9) Can improve mood
Cycling boosts endorphin levels and thus help in raising your self-esteem and the same time helps eliminate levels of depression and stress. It can also improve your vigour and vitality. . It re energizes and awakens your senses whilst eliminating lethargy. It can be a fun activity irrespective of whether you’re cycling alone or with family and friends.
8) Cost effective
Cycling is a great investment where the amount to be paid for the cycle will seem like peanuts when compared to the benefits and enjoyment yielded from the activity of cycling. You will easily cut down on high initial investment, fuel, fares etc. When using cycling as excercise, you can also save up on the money that would have been spent in expensive gyms and health clubs. Also repairing costs are meagre in comparison to other vehicles and a good cycle can function well for an extremely long time. Best of all, you save on parking expenses.
7) Environment friendly activity
Cycling as a mode of daily transport over vehicles like cars, bikes and buses would help reduce air pollution and the consequent health problems. Much of the pollutants and impurities in the surroundings are the result of fossil fuel emissions from the engines of vehicles and can cause serious health (especially lung) problems, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, decreased resistance to various other respiratory infections. It could also be fatal in certain cases. In the age of global warming and climate fluctuations, we must take individual initiatives and play a small but crucial role in protecting our environment
6) Improves Mental health
Cycling helps you to improve your mental health and maintain stress levels. This activity helps in the formation of new brain cells in the hippocampus i.e. – the region in charge of memory. It helps in fighting feelings of depression and one can’t help but feel relaxed in the due course of cycling. It also helps in getting rid of rid of anxiety and fear by maintaining your body’s hormonal balance. Feel good hormones are generated as you experience a whiff of fresh air while cycling.
5) Improves coordination
While we’re cycling we mainly use our eyes, hands, legs. However the entire body is alert to maintain balance .Cycling as an activity highly improves the bodily coordination between parts like legs, feet, hands, arms and your eyes. It also has the power to increase the efficiency of your motor activities. This will also enable you to enhance your other sports skills which highly depend on such abilities. This enhanced coordination can also come in handy during situations that demand an immediate action. Cycling can be a way of mental training to keep your brain and body agile.
4)Improves cardio vascular fitness
Cycling reduces the risk of getting a heart attack, high blood pressure or various other problems concerning the heart. Cycling as an exercise will also prevent the build up of fat deposits (atheroma) in the arteries of your heart (coronary arteries). Cycling at a moderate intensity for the duration of a workout helps you build cardio-respiratory capacity and stamina, or the ability of your heart and lungs to function efficiently for extended periods By cycling at high speeds , your heart rates last for short periods and you’ll increase your cardio capacity,
3) Works on your Muscles
Cycling as an activity targets your entire body. Your lower back and core do the work of keeping you upright on the saddle, while your shoulders and wrists get a workout from gripping the handlebars, maintaining balance, and steering.You can specifically target the upper-body by standing up and cycling or riding on an inclined surface.Cycling would work magic in order to tone your quads, calves, hips, hams, and your buttocks. It’s great if you want to tone and build your muscles. The muscles in your body tend to shrink as you grow older and therefore need to be regularly exercised in order for them to function healthily. The leg muscles that are responsible for pedalling and moving the cycle forward works on the abdomen and back muscles stabilise the body on the cycle and cushion external influences; and the shoulder-arm muscular system supports the body at the handlebars. All this trains and tightens up the muscular system, making it stronger and able to function efficiently.
2) Helps in increasing strength and stamina
The resistance that the muscles of an athlete endure will decrease the amount of lactic acid that would have otherwise built up in the muscles and have eventually caused painful burning sensations. However as the n muscles get used to this process, you will be able to perform any quintessential activity without experiencing any kind of fatigue or muscle pain whatsoever. This will help you to develop energy and stamina levels for any sports and you will also see a glimpse of this in daily activities. A combination of both long and steady rides along with some fast and short rides will increase your endurance level. While working at lower speeds, the heart rates will beat over longer periods and this will help you build cardio stamina.
1) Helps in weight loss
Cycling is one of the most popular aerobic activities that exist. It burns calories very rapidly thus enabling you to burn much more than an already whopping 500 calories in an hour. Needless to state, it also speeders up your metabolism thus helping you to lose weight much faster and effectively. What’s more, it gives you a fantastic lower body and more specifically works on your hamstrings, buttocks and quadriceps. In no time, you will also develop toned muscles without gaining on the bulk. Adding to the same, you also strengthen your core muscles because you’re working on keeping balanced and upright during cycling. Lastly, it also induces people to sweat, which is good you’re body eliminates body toxins in the form of this sweat. Incorporate this activity as a part of your lifestyle and you will find yourself shedding weight effortlessly. This type of workout burns mostly calories from fat, rather than glycogen, but burns fewer calories than more intense pedalling. Pedalling at a steady state, similar to a jogging pace, you can create aerobic workouts. Biking at a very high rate of speed, similar to the effort you’d use running or sprinting, you can create short bursts of exercise that put you in your anaerobic heart rate for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by one or more minutes of slow recovery.Most importantly it is a well known fact that one loses more weight when the activity is enjoyable and this will be ensured by cycling.