Cycling is known to be a great source of cardio—so to speak, a vitamin to the heart. Unlike other forms of physical exercise, cycling can be both a low and high-impact workout. That is why it is perfect for anyone who wants to try it regardless of their age. And as all types of workouts do to us, they bring more than just enjoyment and health perks, physically and mentally. Discussed below are the benefits of cycling you’ll want to get your hands on!
Cycling has been recognized as a sport since the 19th century, and it has gained quite popularity up until today. This is mainly because of its accessibility, the joy it brings, and the benefits it holds. In terms of function: it can be both a competitive sport and a means for physical activity as a form of exercise or transport. In terms of age restriction, historically, there was none. Cycling can be practiced by minor children, the elderly, as well as anyone in between. And in terms of where it can go: it can reach just about anywhere! Bicycles are capable of sneaking into the narrowest of roads, more so than a motor vehicle ever can and faster than our feet can ever tread! And to top it all up, cycling even renders numerous health benefits!
Heart Benefits of Cycling
One thing we want to avoid as human beings with delicate body systems is a lack of bodily motion. This lack of motion stiffens the heart’s muscles, particularly the left ventricle, where oxygen is delivered from the lungs to the heart. On the other hand, the building of strength in your muscles from your arms passing your core to your legs is one of the direct results of cycling. But looking internally, this form of aerobic exercise also increases your heart rate and, in consequence, stimulates the pumping of blood through your body, securing the distribution of nutrients and oxygen. Hence making cycling a good form of physical movement one can incorporate.
Recent studies even go as far as claiming that heart damage can be reversed by routinely including aerobic exercises. And cycling is top of the experts’ list, so much so that it is one of the exercises most recommended by the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom. Compared to jogging, cycling burns fewer calories but it is a gentler form of exercise and you can do it longer than jogging. However, it is important to begin as early as now. Given that the heart has its limits, the reversal will be nearly impossible once it has reached its maximum elasticity. But with a healthy heart as contributed from cycling, reduction of vulnerability to several diseases such as heart attacks, among others, can be experienced.
Cognitive Benefits of Cycling
On another but equally important note, cycling also serves numerous benefits for the brain’s health. Exercise promotes cognitive changes that help prevent the possibility of dementia. Though this may come at a later point in life, it’s never too early to start preventive measures! Promotion of blood circulation (as mentioned above) brought about by exercise allows sufficient blood to flow to the brain. This carries all kinds of necessary components to keep not only a healthy mind but also a happy one. In fact, cycling has also been proven to be a stimulant of producing endorphins (our happy hormones). And as the brain and the heart and the rest of the systems within the body are interconnected, the pleasure experienced is not at all isolated to the brain alone. Still, it carries on to the rest of the body as well, especially the heart. In return, the level of anxiety also decreases, which then reduces the possible strains the heart may experience from experiencing so. Furthermore, cycling’s positive domino effects go as far as having lower chances of encountering a sudden cardiac arrest, a substantially healthy increased blood pressure, and the reduction of variability in one’s heart rate.
Environmental Benefits of Cycling
In addition, it is not just yourself who benefits from this but the earth too. With cycling, whether using a conventional bicycle or an electric-powered one, you become one less person contributing to the carbon emissions that affect the air we breathe and this planet we call home. Short trips via cars or commutes, like buses or taxis, were found to be especially contributive to pollution. A bonus to cycling is having more capacity to save money. Aside from the initial upfront cost (which is nothing compared to purchasing cars), it lessens expenditure on travel and the possible stacking of hospital bills with an unhealthy lifestyle! And these situations can never serve well for the heart. If you’re concerned about the risk of getting into accidents, experts have also found that risks associated with cycling are significantly lower than driving a car. So not only did you save money from using a bike or an electric bike, but you also diminished your chances of getting injured while on the road.
As one of the most accessible forms of workout, cycling offers physical benefits that can go deep into our systems. Apart from the heart, exercise through cycling serves the whole human body system in ways you could not possibly imagine.
And with all that was said, it may be safe to say that the advantages of cycling far outweigh the possible risks at hand. Not only is it a sport, but more so a good form of physical activity that promotes overall wellbeing, be it in the mind, the heart, or the body. What’s even more impressive about cycling is its inclusivity. It embraces all levels of fitness as this greatly depends on one’s pace. While it’s important never to push yourself too hard, it is still pertinent to continuously challenge oneself.
Cycling is most definitely something to consider when wanting to get back into the rhythm of a healthier lifestyle. And easing into this doesn’t have to be intimidating (we hear this from active people a lot because it is true!) Anyone can start, and that ‘start’ can even begin with a short trip to the closest supermarket via a bicycle. There’s really no better time to start cycling (not in your thoughts!) than now.
About the author:
Trevor Fenner is the founder of Electric Bike Paradise, the #1 online retailer of electric bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, mobility scooters, electric wheelchairs, and electric golf caddies. Trevor has been selling bicycles, electric bikes, and electric scooters online since 2010 and eventually established Electric Bike Paradise in late 2013 when he happened to meet a car enthusiast that introduced him to electric bikes. Trevor spent time searching for electric bikes online but couldn’t find a website that offered a wide selection of electric bikes, scooters, and informational articles. That is why he decided to start a website where everyone can shop conveniently, browse buying guides, and read educational posts. The website is called Electric Bike Paradise.