The Health Benefits of Cycling
Riding a bicycle is a skill that most people learn at an early age. For kids, bikes are a means of transportation and independence in addition to being a method of keeping active and physically fit. For adults, riding a bike often happens less frequently, as cars and other means of transportation typically offer a more convenient and faster way to move from one location to the next, particularly if commuting a long distance daily. Additionally, for many, a busy lifestyle plays a major role in preventing them from casually enjoying the act of riding a bike as frequently as they would like. As a result, many miss out on this fun and simple activity that can help them to both stay in shape and spend quality time with family and friends. Fortunately, cycling is an activity that one can return to with relative ease, as most people who know how to ride a bike can quickly get back into the habit, even if they haven't been on one in several months or years.
One of the primary benefits of riding a bike is the workout that it provides. Exercise and living an active lifestyle in general is crucial to achieving and maintaining good overall health. It does not, however, need to be overly structured or boring to be successful. To start, individuals should avoid sedentary activities such as watching television and choosing ones that keep them moving and get their heart pumping instead. As a form of exercise, bicycling is something that almost anyone at any age can do, as it is not only easy to learn but is low-impact as well. It puts less strain on muscles and bones than other forms of fitness, which greatly reduces the risk of certain types of injuries that would normally come with high-impact sports or exercise.
Regularly riding a bicycle has a number of health-related benefits, as a relaxing ride can decrease one's stress levels and reduce anxiety. In addition to mental and emotional benefits, people who ride their bicycles also benefit from improved cardiovascular fitness and joint mobility. Often, those who cycle frequently will also experience an improvement in their coordination and may begin to notice that they have better posture. When combined with a generally healthy lifestyle, riding a bicycle may also help to prevent certain types of disease, or it can prove beneficial for people who have been diagnosed with and are currently managing certain diseases or illnesses.
Often, people exercise in an effort to lose excess weight or to build muscle. Riding a bicycle can help to accomplish both. For people who are overweight or obese, cycling can decrease body fat levels when combined with healthy eating habits. When done regularly for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, cycling can help raise one's metabolism and build muscle. Building muscle is important for individuals who are trying to lose weight, as muscle aids in the burning of fat. When bicycling for weight loss, people can easily vary their workout by alternating the intensity of their ride and combining it with other forms of exercise. It is important, however, that people who are unaccustomed to physical activity such as riding a bike ease back into it and get a doctor's approval before they start riding regularly. Cycling is also an exercise that's ideal for people who simply want to control or maintain their current weight.
Read more about the health benefits of cycling by clicking any of the links below:
- How to Bike Your Way to Weight Loss
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- Central Park Bicycle Touring: Tips for Visiting Central Park on Two Wheels