Cycling undoubtedly evokes memories of childhood, whether it’s riding to school or catching up with friends. In addition, cycling is a well-known, simple, yet effective cardio exercise. Yes ladies, it’s not only a fun outdoor activity but also a great way to stay fit and healthy. You might also be surprised to learn that cycling is a popular form of exercise among Bollywood stars like Sara Ali Khan and Dia Mirza. Want to give it a try as well? If so, let’s first help you find all the benefits of cycling so you can anticipate the positive changes you will go through.
Is cycling the best workout?
Cycling has long been praised as a fantastic form of exercise, and it is clear why. After all, biking or cycling is a top-notch aerobic exercise. It will help you burn calories and build your legs, hips, and glutes in addition to your lower body. This is a great option if you want an exercise that is easy on your back, hips, knees, and ankles. Cycling is also the simplest and most accessible form of exercise.
To better understand the benefits of cycling, Health Shots reached out to fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul, Founder of Pmftraining and Fit India Movement Ambassador.
Here are 7 expert-recommended benefits of cycling:
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Cardio means heart, and cycling helps you strengthen your heart muscles, which leads to improved cardiovascular health. According to a study conducted by the University of Glasgow, people who cycle every day experience notable health benefits, including improved cardiovascular functioning and a reduced risk of heart related diseases.
2. Helps in weight loss
Cycling is often considered to be one of the good low impact options for aerobic exercise. Mukul says, “Cycling is a great exercise to burn calories and, in addition to strength training, cycling can help a person manage their weight because it increases the metabolic rate, builds muscle, and burns body fat.”
3. Improves lung health
The respiratory system is associated with breathing, and during cycling you have to breathe a lot, which helps in improving cardiorespiratory health and keeps blood pressure under control. “Physical activity such as cycling, can help the immune system protects a person from respiratory infections such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.”
4. Increases fitness levels
Cycling is aerobic when you are doing it for a longer duration at a steady speed, as well as anaerobic. When you are riding uphill, it really helps to target both of your systems, resulting in an increase in your fitness levels.
5. Low impact on your joints
Cycling is a low impact form of exercise, making it a safe choice for older adults and people with weak or damaged joints. As your foot does not land on the floor like in running or jumping, cycling really helps in giving you a good workout without putting extra pressure on your joints. Cycling is especially great for women, as it reduces the chances of developing issues such as osteoarthritis.
6. Relieves stress
Cycling is a great way to exercise regularly and stay fit, not only physically but mentally too. As a fun activity, it takes your mind off of daily stress and anxiety by developing a sense of calm and ease. With less mental health issues, you’ll also experience a good sleep cycle and be energetic.
Cycling is also a relatively easy and affordable type of physical activity to start for an individual as it does not require any major skills as you can just take up your bicycle and start cycling.
Apart from these health benefits, cycling is also environmentally friendly. It is the most sustainable mode of transportation and doesn’t cause any environmental damage as compared to motor vehicles, which cause a lot of noise pollution and excrete very harmful gases.