If you don’t have a bicycle right now and aren’t a big fan of cycling, you may change your way of thinking after you have read our in-depth analysis of what it can do for you. The benefits of cycling can go a very long way in changing your life for the better and it would not be wise to ignore these benefits. Better mental and physical health, through a variety of means, are both things you can accomplish from cycling on a regular basis. Keep reading and find out just what cycling can do for you!
Benefit #1: Cycling Can Reduce Anxiety
One of the best benefits that you can get from regular aerobic exercise such as cycling is that it can go a very long way in helping to reduce the effects of anxiety. Social anxiety, panic attacks, and other anxiety disorders can have a crippling effect on all aspects of your life and leave you secluded, make it hard to keep jobs and relationships, and just make life really hard.
Several studies show that regular exercise such as cycling can actually reduce the occurrence and severity of anxiety attacks. It is also shown that the more intense the exercise is, the more of a positive effect it has in terms of reducing the effects of anxiety.
Benefit #2: Better Self-Esteem
Another thing that cycling can do for you is to increase your self-esteem and sense of well-being. Simply put, cycling makes you lose weight, build muscle and gives you a sense of accomplishment from completing a several kilometer long cycling trip. The fact of the matter is that people have a greater sense of subjective mood and well-being when they exercise than when they don’t.
Studies show that cycling makes people feel better about themselves and increases their positive self-perception. Ultimately, after a long cycling trip, you can look in the mirror and really feel good about what you have accomplished and how you are transforming your body.
There are also several studies which show that cycling, now we’re talking about biking outdoors, not taking an indoor spinning class, is good for your mood. It is shown that exercising outdoors, such as cycling, makes you feel more energized, revitalized, and happier than exercising indoors.
Benefit #3: Reduction Of Stress & Depression
The next thing that cycling is good for in terms of aerobic exercise is that it can go a long way in reducing both stress and depression. It is actually shown that regular exercise such as cycling can in fact reduce the chance of developing clinical depression in the long run, which is also true for several other depressive disorders.
Studies also show that exercise such as a few minutes of biking per day can also work to combat the effects of depression for people who already suffer from it. The same can be said for people who suffer from too much stress. Of course, stress is not good because it can lead to things like heart attacks, bad sleeping patterns, and other unwanted health issues.
The main reason as to why cycling can fight off depression and stress is because of the chemicals produced in your brain when you go through aerobic activity. Cycling for a prolonged period of time on a regular basis is shown to increase the production of serotonin and other feel happy chemicals. These chemicals which are released when you exercise are shown to relieve tension, elevate moods, and also fix bad sleeping patterns.
In essence, cycling can directly make you feel a sense of happiness, elation, and make you feel all around better. This is a great way to fight off things like depression without having to resort to prescription medications, drugs which often have terrible side effects.
Benefit #4: Relief Of Pain
Another great thing that cycling can do for you is to reduce your pain, or at least your perception of pain. This has to do with some other chemicals that get released in your brain when you go through aerobic exercise. This time we are talking about endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemicals and are in fact the same components as can be found in marijuana, and of course marijuana is known to be a great way to relieve pain. Therefore cycling is a great way to get the pain relief effects of THC and marijuana without actually having to participate in the use of illicit substances. Not only that, but cycling is also shown to be a releasing exercise, something which naturally combats all sorts of pain.
Benefit #5: It’s Good For The Environment & Your Wallet
Something else that we really like about cycling on a regular basis, especially if you use it for your main mode of transportation, is that it is both eco-friendly as well as relatively inexpensive. Just think about how much money you spend on gas for your car or on public transportation to go to work, go shopping, and go see friends.
Unlike an automobile, a bicycle is a one-time buy, doesn’t require hefty insurance payments, and doesn’t need you to pay for gas. Moreover, cycling is an eco-friendly activity, and unlike driving or even taking public transport, it doesn’t produce pollution or greenhouse gasses which kill the planet that you live in. If you want to save your wallet and the planet you live on, cycling definitely makes for a very good choice.
Benefit #6: Battling The Effects Of Arthritis
Another big benefit that comes along with cycling on a regular basis has to do with arthritis. People who have arthritis in their ankles, knees and other parts of the legs of course suffer from a lot of pain. People who have arthritis often become immobile and don’t exercise much and it’s because of that extreme pain that they suffer from.
However against popular knowledge, not exercising is perhaps one of the worst things that you can do if you suffer from arthritis.
The more you don’t move around, the more arthritis takes hold. Cycling on a regular basis is shown to keep the hips, knees, and ankles mobile and flexible. It is shown to reduce the pain caused by arthritis as well as the general immobility which sufferers of arthritis have.
Benefit #7: Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Something else which is shown to be directly affected by cycling is the occurrence of cancer. It is shown that exercise such as biking directly reduces the risks of developing certain types of cancer as you age. Of course, cancer is a severely debilitating disease which is often fatal both in the long and short run.
Think about it, something as simple as cycling can greatly increase your lifespan and keep one of the most deadly diseases in history at bay. In a controlled study group people who cycled had a much lower chance of developing certain types of cancer than people that did not engage in regular exercise such as biking.
Benefit #8: Cardiovascular & Respiratory Health
Another thing that is very beneficial when it comes to biking is to increase your cardiovascular health. Your heart is a muscle and the more you train it the healthier and more efficient it becomes. It is shown that regular aerobic exercise can go a very long way in increasing the health of your heart.
This means that your heart is stronger and can pump blood around your body much more efficiently, thus reducing your resting heart rate and also reducing blood pressure. Cycling also helps to reduce arterial diseases, heart diseases, and the occurrence of things such as heart attacks.
Not only does cycling increase your cardio health, but it also increases your physical performance. This is because your muscles need oxygen and blood to function properly, especially when you are performing vigorous physical exercise and the more of these things your muscles get, the better and longer they can function.
A healthier heart means that your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to deliver the necessary oxygen to your muscles, and it can do it much quicker and more efficiently. In the long run, this means that cycling provides for a stronger heart, something which will ultimately increase your physical performance.
Cycling also helps to increase your respiratory health, once again because your lungs are muscles, and the more you train them, the stronger they get. Having stronger lungs is essential for processing and delivering oxygen to your muscles, and as we mentioned that is very important in terms of physical performance.
This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits because the combination of increased heart and lung health both serve to increase your physical endurance. The simple fact is that your heart and lungs are essential for keeping your muscles going, and cycling is a great way to achieve this efficiency and longevity.
Benefit #9: Increased Muscle Strength
Of course, cycling involves using your leg muscles to a large degree and whenever you use muscles for a prolonged period of time you train them to be bigger and better. Cycling is shown to greatly increase the strength and appearance of your leg muscles, things which nobody is going to turn down. Biking means constantly using your legs and that obviously has some big benefits.
Moderate cycling will do good for your leg muscles, but if you really want to build those big legs you can always do a lot of uphill cycling to rev up the difficulty level. Cycling is also shown to increase your muscle activation and usage, which means that more of your muscles are used to accomplish a physical activity, thus making your legs much more efficient at their job. What is even better is that cycling does not only target your legs because you also engage both your arms and your core to stay balanced and upright on the bicycle.
Benefit #10: It’s Something That Everyone Can Do
One of our favorite parts about cycling is that it’s a type of exercise that everyone can do. Men and woman, young and old, healthy or not, everyone can engage in some good old biking and reap the benefits from it. You can get a stationary bike and do it in front of the TV, you can take a spinning class at the gym, you can bike in your neighborhood, or you can go for a long bike trip with a few friends. Cycling is very versatile and that is definitely a benefit because it never gets boring and it is something that you can do with the whole family.
Benefit #11: Weight Loss
The final benefit of cycling on our list has to do with that muffin top that you may or may not be sporting at the moment. The fact of the matter is that an aerobic activity like cycling goes a very long way in helping you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight. Of course, cycling itself does burn a lot of calories as well as body fat, but that is not all. Cycling can have you burn as much as 700 calories for every half hour you bike!
Cycling also helps to increase your metabolism and your post-exercise oxygen consumption. In other words, cycling can make you burn more calories for longer even after you finish exercising for the day. A higher metabolism means that you will burn more calories, have less food that you eat turn into body fat, and also burn more of the fat that is already on your body. If you want to burn fat quickly, you should really consider cycling as your main source of exercise.
Cycling is an all-around beneficial physical activity that will have you living a very long and prosperous life. Lung and heart health, weight loss, the battling of diseases like cancer, and various mental benefits, plus so much more, are all things that cycling can do for you. The simple fact of the matter is that the benefits of cycling will make you a truly healthy person. If you don’t have a bike yet, we would highly recommend getting one.
If you have any questions or comments about cycling please feel free to leave us a note!