Ready for a low-impact, calorie burning, stress reducing and heart pumping workout? Indoor cycling, mountain biking and road cycling are some of the most popular workouts and for good reason.
Cycling is a fun way to work out, gets your heart rate going and guaranteed to provide some incredible health benefits along the way.
Here are my top 27 health benefits of cycling workouts:
Cycling is low-impact, making it an effective workout that is easy on your joints. Cycling requires many of the same movements as running (and provides the same benefits) without the pounding and stress on your body. If you are like many individuals who do not enjoy running or crossfit style workouts because of knee or joint pain than cycling is for you. There is no jumping or pounding pavement involved with these programs and you still receive the same great benefits of those other workouts.
Cycling is less painful and less traumatic than the track, treadmill, stair stepper or elliptical machine and is often used as corrective exercise and rehabilitation training for those with stress injuries caused by running.
If you have arthritis and think you should pass on exercise, think again. With your doctor’s approval, cycling could be the key to lifting your energy level and your mood, as well as helping to protect your joints. When you cycle, you will be building up your leg muscles, and this helps support the knee joint. Stick to the seated and limited standing core movements. The jumps and some of the other more advanced movements can be tough on the knee joint.
Cycling improves strength, balance and coordination. It may also help to prevent falls and fractures. Riding a bike is an ideal form of exercise if you have osteoarthritis, because it is a low-impact exercise that places little stress on joints.
Cycling does not specifically help osteoporosis (bone-thinning disease) because it is not a weight-bearing exercise.
As Healthline points out, “A lifetime of walking, exercising, and moving takes a toll on your cartilage. The degeneration of cartilage can cause chronic inflammation in the joint.” Indoor cycling allows older adults to get a great heart workout without forcing them to exert too much pressure on fragile joints.
#26 Good for Sexual Life
Healthy sexual life means you have healthy vascular system. Cycling is one of the best exercises for your vascular organ. Being more physically active improves your vascular health, which has the knock-on effect of boosting your sex drive, according to health experts from Cornell University also concluded that male athletes have the sexual prowess of men two to ﬁve years younger, with physically ﬁt females delaying the menopause by a similar amount of time.
Meanwhile, research carried out at Harvard University found that men aged over 50 who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise.
Although there is controversy on this subject, a few experts say regular cycling is a major cause of erectile dysfunction. A recent Boston University survey looked at more than 1,000 male cycling and running club members, with an average age of 43, and found that 4 percent of cyclists had moderate to complete erectile dysfunction, compared with 1 percent of runners. There's no doubt that pressing one's crotch into a hard bicycle seat puts tremendous pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that feed the penis. You should also consider investing in a bike seat cushion that's specially designed to put less pressure on the groin. If you often feel numbness in your penis after bike riding, or if numbness is less frequent but lingers, schedule an appointment with your doctor or a urologist.
#25 Promotes Social Interaction
Having fun, getting fitter and working out in a group makes you feel good and promotes camaraderie with others. Cycling creates a community of people with the same interests.
#24 Good for Pregnancy
Since indoor cycling is considered to be a low risk activity, it is typically safe for a pregnant mother to take spin class, though it needs to be consulted first with the doctor to make sure that it is okay. According to research from Michigan University, expecting mothers who regularly exercise during pregnancy have an easier, less complicated labour, recover faster and enjoy better overall mood throughout the nine months. Your pride and joy also has a 50 percent lower chance of becoming obese and enjoys better in-utero neurodevelopment.
#23 Enhances Muscle Definition
Cycling uses the large muscle groups in your legs and helps build your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus muscles. In addition, cycling helps tone your calf muscles and strengthens your tendons, which improves overall leg strength.
Believe it or not but the movement as simply as pedaling could contribute in overall muscle health because it is not only the legs’ muscle but also waist and back section. Your arms and core muscles will also be engaged to some extent as they help to keep you centered over your bike throughout these motions. The bones, tendons and ligaments surrounding these muscles will also be strengthened.
Cycling is considered to a healthy lifestyle that could give you a better body postures. Healthy body and good posture will automatically give you an athletic body. One more thing, cycling increases muscular strength and endurance which in turns burns more calories! It’s true, 1 pound of muscle burns more calories than 1 pound of fat per day.
#22 Boosts Physical & Mental Endurance
Improves transport of oxygen into muscles and tissues by using the red blood cells more efficiently. Improves efficiency and better distribution of oxygen intake.
In an indoor cycling class, endurance levels improve as you pedal against resistance, increasing the strength in the legs: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and even the calf muscles.
Besides burning up calories, cycling will increase your strength, lung capacity, muscle volume and will further improve heart rate along with endurance. The most important thing is that it will give your body a natural look and with increased level of fitness will come faster metabolism.
#21 Reduce Back Pains
The simple movement of pedaling is actually able to help those who have back pains issue by stretching the back section muscle and reduce the symptoms caused by the condition.
#20 Lower Risk Of Diabetes
The rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing and is a serious public health concern. Lack of physical activity is thought to be a major reason why people develop this condition. Large-scale research in Finland found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes.
#19 Improves Posture
Balance or good body posture could not achieved in instant way but cycling which combining all the movements that required your body, tendons, muscles, skeletal system and ligaments to work together could contribute in balancing the body postures. Cycling also encourages the use of stabilizer muscles found in your trunk, hips and shoulders. Improvement of these muscles helps to enhance body alignment and posture.
#18 Great for any age group
Whatever your age, gender or fitness level. There is no restriction - everyone can take part.
The benefits of cycling, both physical and mental, can be enjoyed by almost any age group. It does not distinguish people based on their age or fitness level.
Perhaps this is why indoor cycling exercises were the most noteworthy new fitness drift of the 1990s. It has been continued year after year and has gained in popularity today. While most of the benefits may be enough to persuade you to attempt this form of exercise, another uniformly attractive quality of indoor cycling is that it’s a matter of great fun! Most of the participants report that time spent during indoor cycling exercises seem to fly by and you gain a true sense of achievement after finishing it.
#17 Builds Stamina
It is not applied to cycling but all kinds of exercises could contribute in maintaining the stamina though surely it should be done regularly as part of the daily routine. Regular cycling classes allow constant blood pumping in the whole body and help in improving your lungs and hearts stamina.
#16 Combats Depression & Anxiety
The stable movement of pedaling has a relaxing effect for those who face depression. That relaxing effect is effective to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, listening to uplifting music whilst pedaling gives you that feel-good buzz, brightening your mood, releasing tension and anxiousness.
#15 Natural Detoxification
Do you know that the sweat produced by your skin is actually part of the detoxification mechanism? During that detoxification process your skin cells will be oxygenated that will give you healthier skin. It sends fresh blood to the cells, bathing them in oxygen and increasing longevity.
#14 Good for Digestive System
Intestine muscle is also required regular exercise to maintain its health and cycling is one of the exercises that are recommended in this matter. According to experts from Bristol University, the beneﬁts of cycling extend deep into your core. “Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr Ana Raimundo.
In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” Dr Raimundo says.
#13 Good for Brain
Regular exercise like cycling could maintain the blood regulation to work optimally and making sure your brain is getting enough oxygen and nutrients required to function well. Once a thing of myth, the infamous “runner’s high” has been proven beyond doubt by German scientists. Yet despite the name, this high is applicable to all endurance activities. University of Bonn neurologists visualized endorphins in the brains of 10 volunteers before and after a two-hour cardio session using a technique called positive emission tomography (PET). Comparing the pre- and post-run scans, they found evidence of more opiate binding of the happy hormone in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain – areas known to be involved in emotional processing and dealing with stress. “There’s a direct link between feelings of wellbeing and exercise, and for the ﬁrst time this study proves the physiological mechanism behind that,” explains study co-ordinator Professor Henning Boecker.
#12 Increases Energy Levels
Your body uses the energy more efficiently over sustained periods of exercise, which helps to tackle day-to-day tasks. This can help you cope with fatigue and enjoy better levels of energy during the day.
#11 Boosts Feeling of Wellbeing & Happiness
After a cycling session, your brain releases endorphins, which provides a feeling of wellbeing that is conducive to maintaining overall happiness. According to American College of Sports Medicine, cycling promotes happy-mood inducing neurotransmitters known as endorphins… known to create feelings of euphoria, lower your stress level and enhance the body’s immune response” (acsm.org). Neurotransmitters can even act as painkillers, to be released in the brain.
#10 Reduces Stress Levels
Hard day at home or the office? Scientific research supports the idea that exercises reduce stress. A study by a New Economics Foundation revealed that commuters using bicycles have lower stress levels as compared to their counter parts using cars. A cycling session is great to do before your working day so you're ready to face the day ahead or after a busy day, to chill out whilst you work out! Clears brain fog.
Cycling Increases bone density and combats osteoporosis. It is good for your skeletal system because the simple pedaling movement is not required to support your body weight. Indoor cycling is also low-impact, so it works well for those who may be recovering from orthopedic injuries, but are ready to get back to some form of workout. Since it doesn’t jar the hip, knee or ankle joints, indoor cycling is an excellent choice.
#8 Aid in Blood Pressure Control
Lack of exercises could disturb the regulation of blood in your body and that condition will lead to a serious blood pressure problem. If you find it difficult to find time to exercises, indoor cycling is one that is recommended. Just doing 30 minutes per day will give you all the benefits you could get for your health.
#7 Promotes Sound Sleep
Exercise aids good quality sleep and also helps you to enjoy sound sleep (just remember not to cycle too vigorously late at night).
While all kinds of routine exercises could provide in improving the sleep quality but some studies have proven it scientifically that cycling 20 – 30 minutes regularly could aid in dealing with insomnia.
#6 Possible to Fight Cancer
Recent studies also found out that cycling is also possible option to fight cancer. Why? Because the activity will maintain your healthy cells and healthy cells means lower risk of the development of cancerous cells. Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.
#5 Aid in Cholesterol Control
Cholesterol problem is closely related to weight gain. If you could control your diet and do regular exercises then the cholesterol level will be under controlled. Cycling is one of the recommended solutions of exercise for those who are currently facing weight gain problem.
If you are at risk for heart disease, a solid aerobic workout like cycling can help bring down your blood pressure as well as your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol while helping raise your "good" (HDL) cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of a good cardio workout each week (which you can split up any way you like), but check with your doctor first. Even if you already have heart disease, an indoor cycling program can often be tailored to your specific needs.
#4 Enhances Immune System
Cycling can help in strengthening the immune system and could prevent the occurrence of certain forms of cancer. Research has shown that regular exercise can help boost the number of immune cells circulating in the body. Increases the production of endorphins can also enhance the body's immune response.
#3 It’s Good For Your Heart!
A survey by the American College of Sports Medicine proved that the people who cycle regularly are in less danger of being attacked by heart diseases than those who do not. Cycling provides increases your heart rate, improves the circulation of your blood and improves lung capacity and oxygenation of your entire body. Regular and moderate to intense cycling improves your cardio respiratory fitness and endurance. For best results, the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week which can be accomplished through 30 minutes of cycling five days per week. Cycling is considered to be a light exercise that is good for heart because during cycling heart muscle is also being exercised. Studies from Purdue University have shown that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent. According to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves ﬁtter. Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who take no exercise.
#2 Weight Loss:
This should have topped the list of cycle exercise benefits, what do you say? We are trying to lose weight these days. And your exercise cycle can be the thing for you! Since it is a good cardio exercise and it is also an effective strength training option, cycling burns a large number of calories. According to womenshealthmag.com, a 135-pound woman can burn up to 500 calories from an hour of cycling. Cycling provides a double punch to your weight loss goals as it not only burns fat but also strengthens and builds muscles. Regular cycling for even 20 minutes helps in maintaining weight on days when you don’t have much time for a workout.
A one-hour spinning session can burn anywhere between 800 and 1,200 calories. With 3,500 calories being equal to one pound of fat, two spinning workouts (of 40 minutes each) at moderate intensity can enable you to shed one pound each month, without reducing your food intake.The total calories burnt depend on how intense the workout is.
And the number one health benefit of cycling:
It has been proven that cycling can be part of a very effective weight management program along with the proper combination of a good nutritional diet.
The calorie burn factor is calculated by the weight of the person. Cycling can burn up to 500 calories per hour, making eating your favorite ice cream a little more guilt-free. For example, a 150-pound person burns as many as 500 calories during a moderate 45-minute cycling workout. You can burn the same number of calories in a shorter period if you increase the intensity and pedal faster. During 1 hour of indoor cycling, you can burn 700 – 800 calorie which is equivalent to 15 to 20 miles of bike riding. When used at a high intensity, cycling can burn up to between 7-12 calories a minute. If you are hoping to shed a few pounds with your new workout routine, cycling can definitely help you to burn some calories and is a great way for out of shape people to lose weight and get back on shape.
While the exact amount of calories you will burn while riding a stationary bike depends on many factors, studies have shown that participating in an indoor cycling class tends to result in burning more calories. This puts burning calories on the list of top indoor cycling benefits. When you join a class, you’ll enjoy the benefit of an instructor, fellow classmates and great music to help you stay focused and motivated.
There is no one catch-all way to measure the effect of a workout. Certainly, you should look at a variety of factors, subjective and objective, in order to determine if a given workout is right for you. As Scientific American writes, calories are an imperfect way to measure nutrition and workout progress. But they are useful in this way: the more calories you burn in a workout, the better.
Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, cycling must be combined with a healthy eating plan. Cycling is a comfortable form of exercise and you can change the time and intensity – it can be built up slowly and varied to suit you.
Whether you are trying to shed some pounds or build leg muscles, an cycling bike can help you out with your fitness needs.
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