The Health Benefits of Cycling

The Health Benefits of Cycling

Health Benefits of Cycling

Fun fact: Bicycles, not automobiles, caused modern paved roads to become mainstream.

Cycling is common all over the world for many reasons. It is cheap, efficient, and enjoyable. While most people do it casually, making it a part of your life can bring a huge difference. Bike riding may appear simple but it is one of the most beneficial physical exercises. It is safe to say that it makes you a better person all around because it enhances your physical, mental, and emotional health. On top of that, cycling is environment-friendly so you will be serving a higher cause in the process.

These are the proven health benefits of cycling.

Keeps Away Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Everyone desires to be happy. This is why the self-help industry is booming. In 2016 it was worth $9.9 billion and this number is expected to continue rising.

The truth is that life can never be perfect. There will always be something stressing or overwhelming you. You need to learn how to manage your stress levels. The ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America) recommends exercising as the best stress management.

Your mood brightens when you cycle.

While riding your bike, a lot goes on inside your body. The stress hormone (cortisol) is excreted while more feel-good hormones (dopamine and endorphins) are produced. You will notice that your mood brightens when you cycle.

Bicycle riding has also proven to reduce anxiety and depression. It acts as an antidepressant and greatly reduces anxiety sensitivity. In addition to research, some people have actually tried it and they say it works. It is also proven that people who do not exercise often are at a high risk of being depressed.

With a reduction in stress, depression, and anxiety, you will be able to get more hours of sleep. Furthermore, your self-esteem improves.

Improve your self-esteem

Makes You Age Successfully

The body produces immune cells known as T cells. They play a major role in fighting off diseases. As soon as you get to your twenties, the production of these cells begins to depreciate as the organ that makes them shrinks. By the time you are super old, your body will not be very strong. This makes it easy for diseases to attack, and your health deteriorates at an alarming rate.

However, you can take care of this problem by cycling. So simple, right? Riding your bike often will ensure that you have a considerable amount of T cells even in your old age. Your body will be stronger and better placed to fight off illnesses.

Additionally, older cyclists have a much lower risk of being disabled or getting diseases often associated with old age. No one knows how long they are going to live. However, if you are fortunate enough to live a long life, spend time on your bike to make sure that you remain as healthy as possible.

Facilitates Weight Loss and Keeps You Fit

Weight loss can be a fun process if you try cycling. This is a journey that usually involves pain and sometimes frustrations. You will encounter a few of these things if you do it through cycling, but you will love every step (or pedal stroke, in this case).

Although it is often overlooked, bike riding is very efficient as far as losing weight is concerned. You may not even have to push yourself. One hour of moderate cycling burns about 500 calories.

If you burn 500 calories daily, you will burn 3500 calories in one week and, consequently, lose one pound. You can try a combination of exercises and push yourself harder to burn more.

For better results, mix cycling outside with riding on your bike trainer inside. Make use of apps like Zwift. They allow you to simulate different terrains and increase the difficulty of the ride. You can also make virtual cycling buddies who will motivate you. It is not possible to run out of cycling exercise ideas.

Make sure your bike fits well and master the correct posture and pedal stroke. This will allow you to work more muscles and give you a toned body.

Strengthens Your Immune System

As mentioned above, cycling boosts T cell levels which causes your immune system to be stronger. But that is not all. When you cycle regularly, ‘sleeping’ white cells are woken up and sent back to work.

Everyone wants a cure for cancer to be found as soon as possible. However, before it is found, all anyone can do is take preventive measures. You will find countless suggestions on how to keep cancer away on the internet, but not many are supported by science—but cycling is. 

Recent studies have discovered that riding your bike can greatly reduce the risk of developing cancer, especially colon and breast cancer.

Since exercising keeps you fit, it helps prevent the diseases associated with being inactive or overweight. It is highly unlikely for a regular cyclist to develop type 2 diabetes or heart disease unless other factors are involved.

Makes It Easier to Learn and Remember

Your brain has a section called the hippocampus. This is the part that you use for learning and memory. Research has shown that aerobic exercises work this part and make it grow physically, and more brain cells are created. As a result, the body will supply more oxygen and nutrients to that section. That is how you get better at learning and remembering things. How fascinating!
More people should own bicycles—and use them. All these health benefits should be enough reason to become an avid cyclist. Who wouldn’t want to age well? Plastic surgery is expensive, and it does not even help internal organs. Bike riding works from the inside out, and all its side effects are positive. The fact that it boosts memory makes it a necessary exercise for everyone in the family.

If you have been struggling with weight, you should try cycling. It is not a magic pill, but you will see (and love) the results over time. There is really no argument against cycling.  

Author: David De Haan, founder of - a website dedicated to helping beginning cyclists with tips, advice, and gear reviews to reach their full potential.

Inveigle Magazine
Inveigle Magazine

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