You don’t have to stick to more traditional workouts to get the health benefits of exercise. Find out what positive things cycling offers.
These benefits include both the physical effects and the more general aspects of this sport.
1. Cycling can help you lose weight
Modern life makes it easy to gain excessive amounts of body fat. This is a bad thing since it increases your risk of a variety of negative conditions.
Luckily, there are still habits you can implement to avoid this excess body fat or at least reduce the amounts you have.
The way to do this is by making it so your body needs more energy to function than you are absorbing from the things you eat.
That means cycling can help weight loss since the more intense movements burn more energy aka calories than more standard daily activities.
To get an idea of just how effective this type of exercise is for weight loss, you can take a look at the estimations of how many calories cycling burns.
For example, the average person will burn around 236 to 406 calories while cycling 12 to 13.9 mph (19.3 to 22.4 kmh) for 30 minutes.
Details like how fast you go and your riding surface will influence your results in this area.
One important thing to note is that your habits in areas like your diet still need to be good enough to lose weight and body fat with cycling.
2. Cycling can improve muscle endurance
Cycling will typically be the most challenging for your cardiovascular system but it is fair to say that a variety of skeletal muscles have to work to some extent too. The main ones are:
- Quadriceps (front thighs)
- Glutes (butt)
- Hamstrings (back thighs)
Something to note is that while cycling changes your body in many ways, you will likely not experience any muscle growth in these areas.
For this purpose, you typically need heavier loads that you are not able to sustain for long amounts of time.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning that you can still improve muscle endurance, improve muscle health, and slow down degradation by cycling.
Especially if you cycle in hilly areas.
3. Cycling offers a low-impact workout
Certain popular exercises like running are great if your body can deal with them but many people find high-impact activities like this too challenging on their ankles, knees, and back.
In turn, overdoing it with these high-impact exercises can lead to injuries. Since consistency is helpful for the benefits of exercise, this is something you want to avoid.
For this reason, low-impact workouts like cycling where your body only experiences small shocks can be good alternative choices.
One thing to note is that low-impact workouts are also less optimal in certain areas.
For example, running will typically be better than cycling for improving bone density.
4. Many people enjoy cycling
Even without all the valuable health benefits on this list, many people would cycle because they simply enjoy exploring new areas with the sunshine on their faces while catching up with friends.
If you also enjoy cycling (or at least dislike it less than other options), this can make it easier to stay consistent with your workouts.
Riding an exercise bike at home could even be more fun than alternatives since you can easily do things like watch a good movie while working out.
5. You can cycle as an active mode of transport
A relatively unique aspect of cycling is that it is not just a potential workout but also a way to move from point A to point B.
This allows you to combine multiple purposes into one session which can in turn, help you save some time (or just add benefits to your weekly routine).
Replacing your bus rides with cycling will not do the most in one session but over time, the positive differences can be really powerful.
6. Cycling can improve your balance
While it may look like some people are just born with better (or worse) balance, it is actually possible to train this fitness component to some extent.
Similar to many other areas, you do this by challenging your balance in safe amounts. For example, with activities like cycling.
This benefit of cycling may sound small at first but it also reduces your risk of falling during daily activities like climbing stairs.
7. Cycling can improve your cardiovascular health
Your body needs oxygen and nutrients to function and move around.
The cardiovascular system which includes your heart, lungs, and blood vessels is responsible for extracting this oxygen from the air and moving the nutrients (and waste products) around your body.
When cycling, these processes have to happen to a larger extent which means your cardiovascular system has to work harder than usual.
If you cycle intensely enough (but not intensely), you can strengthen your cardiovascular system and slow down its degradation.
If your body can deal with them, higher intensities alternated with lower intensities of cycling can be effective for improving cardiovascular health. This is another reason to consider hilly areas.