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Bicycle riding is good for you and your health - here's why

Bicycle riding is good for you and your health - here's why

May 09, 2022 | Becky Vordermann

Biking is a lot of fun! Especially when you're riding an eBike that helps you get over the hills with confidence. It’s an activity that can be done solo or in a group. Whether you're a casual rider or a competitive athlete, you can benefit from the mental and physical benefits of riding. Some people ride on pavement, others prefer gravel, singletrack or freestyle terrain - all of which can provide a challenge and variety. There are many options for one to engage in to get their bike fix.

In addition to being a blast, biking is also really good for you as a human being for many reasons, both physically and mentally. It can be great for your wallet too, This article dives into 6 top reasons riding bikes is good for your health.

It is good for your overall physical health and well-being

Biking is great for your physical health. It can improve your circulatory system, heart, joints, muscles, and more. Physically biking works your entire body. When you bike you obviously exercise your legs. You also engage your core muscles, arms and shoulder muscles, and back. 

Cycling is great for your joints and muscles. Cycling is low impact overall, this means it does not strain certain areas of the body as much as running on pavement or engaging in games such as tennis or basketball. Often if you are recovering from an injury related to your joints, it is recommended you cycle (if you are allowed to be physically active) versus participate in more strenuous or higher impact activities. 

Cycling can be aerobic or anaerobic. Both types of exercises are beneficial to building your heart and circulatory health. Many cycling disciplines require that you maintain an effort for an extended amount of time. Typically this is 15 or more minutes. This classifies the exercise as aerobic and it works your heart and lungs. This helps keep your blood pressure in check. Cycling helps you manage your weight which is great for your heart health too. If you are overweight all parts of your body, including your heart have to work harder. 

If you want to be physically fit and healthy, cycling can help you achieve that goal. It helps you build and maintain strength and overall fitness. 

Biking strengthens your muscles 

Biking is a great way to build strong muscles. Cycling is a full body workout. It obviously strengthens your legs, but it also builds arm and shoulder strength and works your back and abdominal muscles. 

Biking builds endurance in your muscles. Long steady distances covered on your bike can train your muscles and allow your body to go further each time you ride. Gravel cycling, road cycling, cross-country mountain bike riding, and bikepacking are all great cycling workouts to train your muscles to go the distance. 

Sprint and interval training can allow you to focus on going faster. Our bodies have fast and slow twitch muscles. Cycling is versatile and allows you to work both types of muscles. BMX racing, sprint training, and interval workouts in any sort of cycling can help your muscles build speed over time. 

Climbing strengthens your glutes, quads, and calves. Descending works your arms and core more. No matter what type of riding you choose to engage in, you are building up your muscles in some way. Even eBiking helps you maintain and build muscles. Pedal assist and the use of the throttle can impact this, but if you are moving your muscles are getting stronger. 

Cycling improves your mental health, too

Cycling is great for your mental health. When you ride your bike, your body produces endorphins. Serotonin and dopamine are also both released. The increase of these neurochemicals makes riders happy. 

Cycling can improve one’s outlook on life. It can relieve anxiety and reduce depression. The mental benefits of cycling typically are ongoing for cyclists even after their ride is over. Regular riding helps people maintain positivity.

In today’s world, where events in the world and everyday life can get us down, it’s important to have a way to maintain a positive outlook on life. Cycling can do that!

Riding a bike allows you to spend time outdoors

Riding your bike gets you outside. Outdoor activities are great for both your physical and mental health. Research shows that people who spend time outdoors are typically healthier and happier than their peers. There are so many options for individuals to get outdoors on a bike. No matter what type of cycling you engage in there are outdoor options for riding.

eBikes allow riders to get out with limited mobility. If you are a casual rider you may choose to get out on a cruiser or pathway bike. Mountain bikes can help you explore the forest. Gravel and road bikes can take you further distances. Fat bikes can be fun in the winter. 

Cycling can be a year-round way for you to get outside. You just need to have the appropriate riding clothes and bike for the conditions you are getting out in. 

Biking can improve sleep quality

People that ride bikes sleep better (in many cases). Studies have shown that cycling helps you sleep deeper. It reduces anxiety that can be keeping you up and preventing you from sleeping soundly. Cycling also works your body. When you work out your body, both your body and mind are tired at the end of the day, and you are more likely to sleep better. 

The National Sleep Foundation, found through research that cycling greatly benefits those with insomnia, along with other moderate aerobic exercises, like walking. It also can help prevent sleep apnea. 

If you have any of the conditions above, cycling may help you address it. Studies and individuals have found cycling to help improve sleep overall and reduce anxieties that may affect one’s sleep. 

Cycling helps you lose weight

Individuals that are overweight have found cycling can help them shed extra weight. Cycling burns calories, which can lead to weight loss. It also builds muscle and those with more muscle are able to burn more calories over time. 

Cycling is an all body workout. Most individuals burn 450-750 calories an hour depending on the type of cycling they engage in, their size, muscle mass, and the terrain they traverse. No matter what type of cycling you engage in you will burn calories. If you combine cycling with a healthy diet, overtime this will lead to weight loss. If you are looking to lose weight, you may want to give cycling a try.

Conclusion

Cycling is good for you! No matter what your health and fitness goals may be, cycling can help you meet them. Cycling promotes great physical health. It can help you maintain or lose weight. It can help your muscles get stronger and faster. Cycling can improve your sleep, reduce stress and anxiety. It can improve your outlook on life and mental health too. If you are looking for something to improve your life in all ways, cycling is a great option.

There are many different types of cycling for one to choose to engage in. Every type has some benefit for those that choose to engage in it, from eBiking to fat biking to road riding.