Everyone knows exercise is important for a healthy long life. But we argue that the health benefits of cycling make it the best form of exercise. It’s the absolute best way to hit your surgeon general health guidelines.
Biking is for everyone. It’s for kids out on an adventure. Biking is for the 9-5 worker who productively uses commute time. It’s for the elderly which other forms of exercise are too hard on their joints.
So here are 20 Health Benefits of Cycling
1. Lose Weight
No surprise here, exercising regularly helps you lose weight. But if you’re getting started, biking is a great way to go! It’s easier on your joints but burns almost as many calories as running. It’s still an aerobic workout, which is good for your heart and lungs. It boosts your metabolism too!
2. Build Muscle
Biking is a full body resistance workout. It builds your core, your calves, thighs, and buttocks.
3. Easy on the Joints
Biking beats out running because it’s easy on the joints. This makes it a more viable workout for anyone who is obese or overweight, as it takes the stress off your knees. It’s also great for anyone with arthritis, as it doesn’t stress the knees as many other exercises do.
4. Fight Anxiety
Exercise releases endorphins, which can help fight anxiety and stress. Take your bike ride through a park (or on water) to enhance the relaxing effects.
5. Fight Depression
Like with anxiety, exercise fights depression too. This study concludes that exercise works as well to fight depression as antidepressants.
6. Ease Arthritis Pain
As we covered, biking is easy on the joints. But one way to ease arthritis pain is to work out the stiff joints. It may be harder to start when your knees are protesting, but biking can actually ease arthritis pain. Regular exercise can make the disease more manageable.
7. Improve Your Posture and Coordination
Biking involves your entire body. This trains your balance, posture, and coordination all in one.
8. Increase Cardiovascular Fitness
Biking is an aerobic exercise. The surgeon general guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of activity every week. This is enough to fight off heart disease, obesity, and other deadly diseases.
9. Fight Heart Disease
Thanks to that cardiovascular fitness, you can say goodbye to heart disease too!
10. Prevent Strokes
Biking gets your blood flowing and engages your brain. This, in turn, helps prevent strokes.
11. Burn Extra Calories
So go ahead and reward yourself with a desk snack when you get to work! You’ve earned it!
12. Better Lung Health
There’s a lot of debate on how pollution affects the lungs. People wonder whether biking on a busy street is actually bad for your lungs.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. A study by the Healthy Air Campaign, Kings College London, and Camden Council came to a conclusion. They fit air pollution detectors to a driver, a bus user, a pedestrian and a cyclist. All three of which were using a busy route through central London.
The driver experienced five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist. He also experienced three and a half more than the walker and two and a half times more than the bus user.
So if you’re going to be on a busy street, it’s best for your lungs to be on a bike.
13. Better Sexual Intimacy for Couples
Exercise boosts libido, peace of mind, and confidence. That’s the perfect recipe for increasing intimacy between couples.
14. Better Sleep
What happens when your body put in a good workout? It gets tired. This leads to deeper, better, more satisfying sleep.
15. Improved Brain Health
As we mentioned, biking boosts blood flow to the brain. But this extra blood flow can remain up by 40% in some areas of the brain even after you’re done biking!
16. Make New Friends
What does this have to do with health benefits? A whole awful lot! In fact, some studies show that not having a supportive social network is as bad for your health as smoking a pack a day.
Cycling is a great way to meet people with a common interest. You can turn those people into good, quality friends.
17. Increased Energy Levels
Burning extra energy via exercise actually improves energy levels. This may come from that extra-restful sleep you’re getting.
18. Easy to Work Into a Daily Routine
Why is biking better than many other exercises? Because it’s easy to fit into your routine. If you think your commute is too long or too far to bike, look into getting an electric bike to get you there faster.
19. Lower Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
New studies are showing that exercise can reduce the risk of Parkinson’s Disease in men. You need at least 3 hours of exercise a week for the benefits to take effect. More will only make things better!
20. Better for the Environment
Replacing your morning commute with a bike ride reduces your CO2 footprint. That makes it better for the environment, and what’s better for the environment, is better for all of us.
Biking Is Easy To Incorporate Into Your Routine and Has Loads of Health Benefits
If you want a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life, consider picking up biking. It’s a cardiovascular exercise that helps you build muscle. You can go biking at any age, at any weight. You can make friends and help the environment too. All this, while fighting today’s most prevalent diseases.
Ready to incorporate biking into your commute? Learn how to stay safe while biking in the city.