If there’s a single form of exercise that medical experts promote above all others – it’s cardio. Your cardiovascular health is incredibly important, and as a cyclist you’re already benefitting. But just how beneficial is cycling for your health? Does it simply improve your internal well-being, or can it have an effect on your external and emotional health too? The answer is actually pretty incredible. In fact after years of research, doctors state that cycling is one of the most advantageous exercises around. Here are the many benefits of cycling for you mind, body, and overall health.
People often overlook this fact, but have you ever wondered why individuals that are physically active always seem so much happier than those that aren’t? It’s not just a coincidence, and it actually has a lot to do with the chemicals inside of your brain. When we cycle, our heart pumps blood to every single blood vessel and cell at a greater rate. With blood comes oxygen, and oxygen plays host to some of the most positive endorphins imaginable!
Endorphins are a microscopic chemical that help us to feel good. The more endorphins we have, the happier we feel. Just a few hours of cycling a week can trigger a consistent flow of these chemicals, and they aren’t just great for your emotions – they have also been linked to fighting illnesses like Alzheimer’s! The next time you take to your bike, try to remind yourself that you’re doing much more for your brain than simply enjoying the ride!
Keeping your organs fit and healthy is very important. When you’re cycling, your heart and lungs are in consistent use and, just like any other muscle, the more that you use them, the stronger they’ll grow. Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can encourage the development of healthier organs, and cycling just so happens to be one of the best forms of exercise!
As briefly mentioned above, cycling is a form of cardiovascular exercise (as is anything that gets your heart pumping at an improved rate consistently). The more that you cycle, the more that your heart and lungs will be in use. As your heart pumps blood around your body, your lungs provide a fresh supply of oxygen, and this is what’s so beneficial to your organs.
Unlike direct muscle-building exercises, cycling is a little more focused on endurance, but with endurance comes strength. The main muscles used while cycling are your quads, hamstrings, calves and even glutes and hip flexors. As you pedal, your leg muscles are being used consistently, and the higher the gear; the more strain will be placed on your muscles.
The more that you cycle, the more often your muscles will be put to work, and the stronger they’ll grow. If you eat the proper amounts of protein, fat and carbs, you’ll soon find that your muscles begin to increase in size, as well as strength.
As enjoyable as cycling is, it’s actually a powerhouse of health and fitness too, and the more that you do it, the healthier you’ll feel. The great thing about cycling is that there really isn’t a limit on how much it can improve your health. Even the unhealthiest individual can climb on a bike, spend 15 to 30 minutes cycling, and start to feel a change. So imagine how healthy active cyclists could be if they consistently went for a ride a few times a week?
A healthy mind can go a long way, and a healthy body will go even further. The harder you push your limits, the quicker your body will adapt to the pressure, and you’ll soon be tackling rides that you struggled with at first. If you’re already at a point where you feel like a pretty competent cyclist, then there’s no harm in pushing your limits to improve your performance.