Get in shape without even realising it!
Having the motivation to go to the gym for fitness improvement every day is challenging for many people. However, by changing your commute to cycling, you can fit your daily exercise into your existing routine! Check out our blog to find out more about how and why cycling should be the next exercise you look into for keeping yourself fit. Here are the health benefits of regular cycling.
1. Weight Loss
As any other physical exercises, the first benefit cycling offers is burning excessive fat. As long as you follow the equation: calories out exceed calories in, you’ll get what you want. In other words, you need to burn more calories than the ones you consume. This will lower your body fat percentage and help you lose weight. The number of calories burnt by cycling can range from 400 to 1000 an hour. It depends on the intensity of the ride and the weight of each rider. So, if you opt for some fairly serious cycling sessions, you would lose fat and gain muscle rather quickly.
Regular cycling can also help you loosen up on restricting your diet. Ideally to lose weight, you would follow a strict diet and cut down on high fat, high sugar foods. However, going on a diet which is too severe may be counterproductive. It can lead to overeating or binging as you’re simply bored of being forced to eat only veggies. When you have been craving for something for too long, you are highly likely to over-consume it afterwards. To help this situation, riding a bike every day to burn off energy daily is a fantastic option. You can guarantee a certain number of calories being burnt on two wheels to give way to these little naughties. By cycling regularly, you can still stick to your diet. (Remember, naughty foods in moderation is ok!).
2. Build muscles strength and flexibility
Besides burning fat, cycling is proven to build muscle strength. As you pedal, you use all the major muscle groups, particularly around the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. When these muscle groups are strengthened, your flexibility in movement is also enhanced as your body uses these muscles to walk, run and of course, cycle.
The higher percentage of muscle that you have, the more calories your body will burn, even when resting. Hence, the more muscle you gain, the easier it is to lose weight. Therefore, swapping your car for a bike and having a regular cycling commute is undoubtedly efficient. It’s a productive way to build muscle, get a toned body and lower your body fat percentage.
3. Better sleep quality
It’s been proven that your healthy physical condition and sharp mind depend a lot on the quality of your sleep. However, nowadays, your sleep pattern is disturbed by the modern technology and long working hours in front of the screen. This makes it tougher to fall asleep. A study from the University of Georgia shows that general sleep complaints are linked to the decrease in cardiorespiratory fitness. That is to say, if you do cardiovascular activities like cycling, you’ll improve your sleep pattern. It’s not rocket-science that post-ride exhaustion and soreness leads you to sleep easily, but now you’ve got credible scientific proof! Therefore, cycling regularly enhances your sleep quality, which definitely results in more productive days and a higher quality of life.
4. Reduce risks of developing major illnesses
Cycling is known to increase your heart race and get the blood pumping round your body. This helps burn calories and limits the risk of being overweight. More remarkably, cycling is highly recommended because it can reduce risks of developing major illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Research shows that regular cyclists have strengthened heart muscles, reduced blood fat levels and lowered resting pulse. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow finds that bike riders cut the threat of developing heart disease and cancer in half. Moreover, the chance that cyclists may be affected by other acute diseases such as diabetes is examined to diminish, too. In detail, a large-scale research in Finland indicates that people can reduce the risk of having diabetes by 40% if they cycle more than 30 minutes a day.
5. Strengthen immune system and lung health
Scientists have found that physical exercises have huge benefits on improving our respiratory system, which lessens instances of common cold. Mild exercise like regular cycling is proved to offer great health benefits. It can boost the production of crucial proteins and wake up lazy white blood cells, which strengthens our immune system. Furthermore, by cycling to work, you can avoid being confined in germ-infused space of busy buses and trains. This means that fewer threats of catching a flu or fever.
On the other hand, evidence suggests that immediately after intense exercise, such as interval training session, our immune system is actually lowered. Nonetheless, a proper recovery method with adequate eating and sleeping helps to reverse this. Therefore, if one day you choose an intensive cycling session, remember to rest and supply food for your body appropriately.
Furthermore, regarding the respiratory system, lung health is claimed to enhance when you cycle frequently. Just like when you do any other physical exercises, breathe in and breathe out regularly helps regulate your respiratory system. This is certainly good for your lungs. More notably, cyclists often ride on the routes different from the ones taken by four-wheel vehicles. In this case, less exhaust fumes might get into riders’ lungs.
Now, you’ve got to know how cycling regularly benefits your physical health condition. We hope that you’ll spare some time in your daily routine to ride your bike. When someone decides that something in their life needs to shift, Reid is there to support them — whether it’s as simple as needing a bike, to biking for a good cause, to practising mindfulness on bikes. Each turn of the wheel is a chance to see things differently, to champion something new, to change the world one hill, cruise, commute and gear shift at a time.
Fancy joining the cycling community with a new bike?