Benefits of Cycling You Should Know

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Do you know what is the things cycling can bring to people? If you know all about the benefits of cycling, you will love this interesting activity. 

1. Introduction

What is cycling?

Cycling is the use of a bicycle for exercise, recreation, transport and sports. In many cities, people have been using bikes as a mode of transport where they ride from one place to another.  The use of bikes for transport is regarded as green solution since it does not lead to pollution, and in addition, it enables cyclists to exercise from wherever they are. And, may be people don't know that they get a lot of benefits of cycling.

The types of bikes involved

There are many types of bikes in use today. Each of these bikes is designed for a particular surface, speed and using purposes. You can choose the right bike based on your needs, riding style and terrain. The main types of bikes in the market include:

  • Mountain bikes
  • Road bikes
  • Hybrid bikes
  • Cruiser bikes
  • Recumbent bikes
  • Tandem bikes
  • BMX bikes
  • ...
  • 2. Different Cycling Exercises

    Where can you ride?

    Riding a bike is always fun and there are many places where you can ride a bike. This includes the street, biking trails as wheel as on the road. However different bike types are suitable on different kinds of terrains for one to ride on. Also, you can choose to ride in the town or in the woods. Your choice is based on what your riding needs are.

    Couple is cycling through the forest.

    How long should you ride?

    Riding a bicycle is a matter of personal preference. For the best results, you should ride your bike for about two hours a week at least. However, you can adjust this based on your abilities and experience.  

    When beginning cycling, you can begin by doing short distances for a short time first and when you are used to riding the bike, you can then start riding with longer distances. This will help your body to get accustomed the vagaries of riding a bike. Beginners can therefore start it slowly on a downhill terrain or a flat terrain. After that, they can adopt faster moves and try sharp inclines. Therefore, the answer to the question on how long you should ride your bike is depend on your experience, ability, health status and time available. This is because, you may want to ride a bike but the available time is not enough for long distances.

    Your riding needs

    As you look to ride your bike, it is advisable to consider your riding needs this may be based on fun, exercise, competition, profession and others. For example, if you want to ride bike for exercise, you need to go for vigorous moves. Riding is an exercise as it enables you to work on all muscles of your body. Whether you are looking to lose weight or just do normal healthy exercises, you are good to go with biking. A good exercise, road or mountain bike can help you on the process.  On the other hand, fun rides require one to take excursions in the most interesting parts of the city. Alternatively, you can take bike rides along exciting trails in your locality.  

    Those who want to do competition can either ride bike professionally or informally with their friends. You can do competitions along biking trails or in some safe locations in your neighborhood. One of the benefits of riding a bike this way is that you not only enjoy the benefits of riding a bike but also, foster your friendship. As friends, you get bonded further when engaging in fun activities such as riding bicycles and other games.

    3. Cycling Tips You Need to Know

    The Do’s and the Don’ts of cycling

    Cycling is an art that requires you to make some specific moves. And just like in any other type of exercise, you are prone to have accidents and injuries and thus, it is wise to know the Do’s and the Don’ts of riding a bike. In this section, we will go over the things that you are supposed to do when riding a bike.

    The Do’s

    •    Wear the right gear when riding a bike. It is important to have the right gear before going out to ride your bike. This includes a helmet, attire, shoes, protection pads and gloves. The gear will not only make riding easier but also, protect you from injuries in case of an accident. History can tell you about the number of people who survived after bike accidents because they were wearing a helmet.

    wear helmet when riding a bike

    Remember to wear your helmet when riding a bike.

    •    Maintain your bike in the best condition. Another thing that you need to do with your bike is to maintain it in the best working condition. This includes maintaining the brakes, tires, handlebars, chain and seat to ensure that they are in the right working condition. In addition, you should ensure that all moving parts are well oiled. Doing so will not only ensure that your bike is in the right working order but also that it is comfortable, safe, and easy to ride.

    •    Get the right bike size. When you begin your biking, it is advisable to find the bike with the right size with your body so that you can be comfortable with it. There are many different bikes in the market that come in different sizes and dimensions.  Therefore it is advisable to find the best fitting bike available. This will not only make riding easier but also, it will make it comfortable for you to ride your bike. 

    •    Choose the right riding spot. Most people fail to maximize on their bike riding expeditions simply because they chose the wrong spot to do the riding.  It is therefore advisable to choose the best riding places so that you can ride without disruptions. The best places include biking trails in your area that are customized for mountain biking. If you are riding for exercise purposes, it is advisable to choose a regular route that you can follow often. This route will help stabilize your riding pattern as well as make it possible to track your progress.

    •    Rest between sessions. One of the mistakes that people do is to ride continuously without taking breaks. This is dangerous as it causes your body to accumulate lactic acid and therefore get tired quickly.  However, if you take rests between sessions, you will be able to re-energize your body and therefore be able to ride for longer. That will give your body more benefits.

    Take a rest during a long riding

    Take a rest during a long riding.

    The Don'ts

    •   Do not strain your body. When it comes to the don’ts of biking, it is important to avoid straining your body too much. This is important for it enables you to cope with biking easer.  When you strain your body, you get tired so much and in the end, you may even fail to enjoy biking as a sport.

    •    Do not ride along highways. As much as you can, you should avoid biking along busy highways as this will reduce chances of accidents. Most highways are risky especially because they do not have designated lanes for riding bikes. This makes it very hard for bikers to move without interfering with normal traffic. The best places to ride a bike are along streets with very little traffic. 

    •    Avoid night time riding. Just like riding on the street, there are many risks associated with night time riding. This is because visibility is low during the night and in addition, you are not clearly visible by other motorists on the road. If you can, always schedule your ride during daytime.

    Avoid riding at night time

    Avoid riding at night time.

    •    Do not ride faulty bikes. Faulty bikes are not only a bother on the road but also, can be a risk as well.  This is particularly important when considering to do long distances. A faulty bike can be a big inconvenience especially when it breaks down completely in the woods. It would require you to perform some repairs on it. Also, a faulty bike is not easy to ride.  Furthermore, it can be a big risk when you are not able to stop the bike.  Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that your bike is in good condition right before taking it out for a ride.

    •    Do not let small children ride without supervision. As a caution, it is also important to not allow young kids to ride bike without supervision. This is very important for you will be able to guide your child while learning how to ride a bike. Furthermore, you will be able to look after their safety in the process.

    Do not let small children ride without supervision

    Do not let small children ride without supervision

    Advice for beginners

    If you are just beginning in cycling, you need to have the right tips to help you in the process.  First, you should ask for assistance from an experienced person. The experienced bikers can greatly help you in the process. Also, it is important to start biking for short distances first. After you have mastered the art of cycling, you can then move to riding for longer distances and on challenging terrains.

    Experts

    If you are an expert biker, you probably know a lot of things about cycling. This includes mastering complex moves, riding for long distances and maintaining balance in tricky situations.  However, it is important to keep on practicing from time to times that you can maintain your performance and skills and tricks. Practice also will help your body remain fit and thus, be able to handle tough riding sessions. Furthermore, practice makes your riding experience perfect!

    Cycling and health

    Cycling is one of the physical exercises that can provide you with a lot of benefits. It will greatly improve your health in many ways. Cycling is an effective form of exercise that works on most muscles of your body. You will find that cycling improves your cardiovascular as well as other muscles that you have in your body. This is very important for it enables you to have good health.

    On the other hand, it is advisable to avoid riding your bike if you have some health issues. There are some illnesses or conditions that can worsen up when you take up heavy physical activities. You just have to balance the cycling and the state of your body. When you strike the right balance, you will gain the most benefits of cycling.

    4. Benefits of Cycling  

    Cycling is one of the hobbies that can bring you the most benefits. This is because biking is not only affordable and enjoyable but also, is a very easy hobby to get involved in. In addition, many bikers around the world like biking because it does not consume a lot of their time. Below, I have put together a list of benefits if cycling which people can receive by enjoying this attractive activity. I have also grouped them into clusters to help you understand what they are all about.

    Health benefits

    1. Improves mental well being

    There are many studies around the world that shows that physical activity improves your mental wellness. On some of studies was conducted, people found that the one who engage in physical activities have a 32 percent chance of having a better mood than people who did not engage in physical activities at all. It is from such findings that we are able to gauge the mental benefit that cycling brings into your life.

    2. Promotes weight loss

    Weight loss is one of the most debatable health issues in the world. This is because there are millions of people around the world who have a problem with weight and their major challenge is how they are going to lose it. Unfortunately, losing weight is a long process and not everyone is willing to invest in it. However, it is important to note that, for you to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Luckily, cycling is an exercise that enables you to lose weight.  With the right biking exercise, riders are assured of losing between 500 to 1000 calories depending on the weight of the biker and both length and intensity of the exercise. 

    Cycling promotes weight loss

    Cycling promotes weight loss

    It is also important to consider that the amount of calories that you lose when riding your bike is depend on the quantity of calories that you take in.  When you take in food rich in calories, you will find that losing the same number of calories is very difficult.  Therefore, make a ride will bring you good chance in regards to weight loss. Cycling is very helpful because it can enable you to keep fit while at the same time it can maintain your health also. 

    3. Improves muscles

    One of the other importances of cycling is that it helps you build muscle. In addition to helping people lose weight, cycling will greatly help you in building different muscles of the body including around hands, biceps and legs. Other muscles that are built by biking include: glutes, calves, hamstring and quads.  Unlike fat, muscle is leaner and when you have an increased number of muscles around your body, you are able to burn more fat. This happens even when you are sedentary. 

    However, it is important to realize that building muscle requires a lot of hard work. While beginning cycling, you should not expect to build as much muscle as a body builder but instead, aim to build muscle more slowly. However, there is a great deal of muscles that you can build through cycling.  Cycling will help you build a toned muscle.  However, if you are just starting biking, you should first begin by riding for short distances first before going ahead to do longer distances. This will help in acclimatizing your body to the exercise

    4. Lowers heart disease and cancer risks

    Another importance of cycling is that it raises your blood flow throughout the body, increases heartbeat rate and triggers the body to burn off more calories. All these situations combined reduce chances of being overweight and thus lower your chances of contracting heart disease and cancer. Actually UK NHS recommends cycling as a means of lowering chances of contracting heart disease and cancer. 

    This fact is backed by a research that was conducted by Glasgow University for a period of five years where they established that cycling to work alone can cut your risks of developing heart disease and cancer by half. The benefits of cycling on lowering heart disease and cancer risks can be gotten even when bikers cycle for a part of their commuting. Experts say that even cycling for a distance of one kilometer daily is enough to bring these benefits. 

    5. Strengthens immune system

    Cycling plays a major role in boosting the immune system in many ways. First, cycling helps strengthen the upper respiratory system thereby reducing chances of developing common cold. Common cold occurs when the upper respiratory system becomes weak thereby becoming susceptible to diseases and infections.  Doctors say that you can avoid 40% of infections by doing routine exercises every week. They attribute this to improved immune systems so that it can fight diseases with ease. 

    Intensive cycling can improve your immune system by both triggering inactive white blood cells and at the same time triggering the production of essential proteins in your body.  Although you may not know this, cycling to work or school can greatly improve your health since it can take you’re from pathogen infested buses and trains.  Although intensive cycling may sometime lower your immune system, resting well and taking a balanced diet can greatly help in getting the immune system back to normal.

    6. Improves brain capacity

    Cycling is just like any other form of exercise that leads to better health. When it comes to our brains, cycling reduces the effects of cognitive changes that cause dementia in old age.  The reason why cycling improves brain power is because it leads to an improved blood flow into the brain during cycling and when you are done, your blood flow remains high for hours. This results in increased supply of nutrients and oxygen into our brain that results in a better general health.   To get the maximum benefits, you should cycle for about one or two hours every week. This will result in the best outcome for your brains. 

    7. Enhances lung health

     Although this is a very controversial point, research has actually established that people who travel by bicycles are exposed to fewer fumes and poisonous emissions when compared to those that travel by car.  In this research conducted by Kings collage in London, air detectors were fitted on a pedestrian, a personal car driver, a bus commuter and a cyclist using a busy avenue in downtown London.  The results of this research were astounding with the car driver being exposed to the highest level of poisonous air.

    From the above research, we can find that riding a bike is very healthy for the lungs. Furthermore, the act of riding the bike opens up your lungs since it causes you to gasp for more air.  This makes your body active while at the same time preparing you for the day.

    8. Improves sex life

    Sex is an enjoyable thing. However, many of us do not know the benefits that sex can bring in our lives. You can improve your sex life by cycling around. This happens because cycling engages the same muscle groups that are involved in sex. The stronger these muscles are; the longer and more enjoyable sex will be.  The good thing is that sex can prolong your life.

    9. Cycling is a quick exercise that saves time

    One of the other benefits of cycling is that it saves time. Consider may different situations where you have to move from point A to point B. if you chose to drive to your destination, you risk getting into traffic jams, failing to get parking and just getting difficulties along the journey. Similarly, taking the bus can bring you other challenges. First, the bus may arrive late, take you through different stops and finally drop you off hundreds of meters from your destination. That can consume a lot of your time. However, riding a bicycle is fairly fast. This is because you just have to pick up the bike, negotiate through traffic without any delays and finally get to your destination. That is fast and efficient when compared to other methods of transport.

    Cycling on street

    Using a bike for moving purpose, you also do exercise.

    It has also been noted that shorter journeys contribute to emissions because cars spend most of the time in stationary traffic while their engines are running. You can save a lot of money, fuel and emissions by riding your bike to your destination.

    Psychological benefits

    10. Enjoy second breakfast

    Cycling presents you with a chance to enjoy your second breakfast. Normal cycling to work or school will take you a period of 30 minutes. This will burn you between 300 and 500 calories. With that amount of calories removed from your body, you will feel that you have lost a considerable amount of energy from your body. As a result, you have a chance to take some more snacks and breakfast at work or at school. Although many people do not want to overeat, they may do just fine with a simple snack after riding a bike.

    Enjoy 2nd breakfast


    For those who want to burn fat, you can opt to start biking without taking breakfast. That will enable your body to burn stored fat at a much higher speed. However, this habit should only be followed by people who are well knowledgeable on what they are doing. This is because, if your energy supply is too low, there are times when you will find difficulties in riding the bike. 

    11. Cycling is a low impact exercise

    We have dwelled a lot on the benefits of cycling as an exercise game. However, if we just needed some exercise, we could just do with normal running. However, running is a weight bearing activity that is prone to causing some injuries. On the other hand, cycling is a low impact activity that is not weight bearing.

    This finding was established by a group of scientists who compared a group of cyclists and long distance runners. The researchers found that, the long distance runners had more chances of developing muscle damage and inflammation when compared to the cyclists.

    However, cyclists are urged to get the best fitting bikes so that they can benefit fully from their exercise. Unfortunately, there are bike owners who do not put this into consideration but end up getting bikes that are ill-fitting only to develop some health issues as a result of their extended use. In the worst case scenarios, they end up going for physiotherapy so as to rectify the situation.

    Unfortunately, cycling does very little to increase your bone mass and as a result, it is important to include other activities such as walking or running in your exercise program.

    12. Improves navigational skill

    Today, many drivers rely on their satellite navigations and Google maps to get to their destinations. This does very little in improving their navigation skills which can make it difficult for you to maneuver through the city in the absence of the technological devices. Although there are navigational devices designed for your bicycles, most bikes do not have these devices. Therefore, biking around town will help improve your navigational skills. By riding often, you will be able to drive to new locations even without the assistance of navigational tools and systems.

    13. Enables you to have better sleep


    It is simple logic that riding a bike can tire some muscles in your body and this will translate into better sleep. A research conducted by the University of Georgia reveled that major drops in your physical fitness can greatly affect your sleep.

    On the other hand, researcher Shave discovered that exercises such as riding a bicycle can reduce anxiety and therefore lead to improved sleep. Also, bike exercise can reduce chances of becoming overweight as you age thereby minimizing chances of developing sleep problems.

    Sleep well

    Riding a bike can help you have a better sleep.


    14. Improves handling

    Regular cycling is very important for it improves your handling. This is because; riding a bike is not just a matter of making the wheels move from one point to another. It is more than just that. When riding a bike, you handle hill climbing, descending cornering, balancing and acceleration. All these aspects are very important in handling as they involve using your body weight to get your bike moving in the right direction. As you continue to ride your bike, you will notice some performance improvement and this will greatly boost your confidence on riding the bike.

    Other Benefits

    15. Enables you to socialize

    Most of the time, cycling is a social event that enables you to socialize with friends and other bikers. Biking along a trail can take about an hour or two and that provides ample time for you to talk with your friends and teammates.

    If you want, you can join a cycling club and this will help expand your social circle. And if you are very new to cycling, you will find a lot of assistance from these clubs. The more experienced members can help you with knowledge on training, servicing and riding a bike for long distances.

    16. Saves money

    Compared to many other exercise activities, cycling will save you a lot of money. This is because, it has very little maintenance needs. Furthermore, neither needs to neither fuel nor pay for your bicycle’s parking. All these factors make cycling a money saving activity. This is very important especially in the hard economic times that we are facing.

    If you choose to adopt cycling when going to work, you will find that you are making further savings. This is because you will neither need to drive your car or take the bus to work. Research has actually proved that doing this not only makes you reach the destination faster but also, it reduces greenhouse emissions.

    17. Helps protect the environment

    Cars are listed as one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse emissions in the world. In fact, scientists advise people to avoid driving for as much as they can in order to cut down on the level of emission. Therefore, if you use your bike to cover short distances, you are doing something good for the environment. This is because cycling does not have any emissions and therefore it is good for the environment.

    Cycling is a environment friendly activity

    Cycling is an environment friendly activity.

    5. Final Verdict

    A summary of the benefits

    Cycling brings many benefits to bike riders. The benefits come in the form of environment, health as well as conditional benefits. By taking your bike out for a ride every few times a week, you will fully benefit from what cycling offer to you.

    My recommendations

    I would advise anyone thinking of cycling to get the best fitting bikes before starting riding. This is because the well fit bikes will not only be more comfortable to ride but also, enable you to maximize on your riding expeditions.

    In addition, if you are a beginner in cycling, it is advisable to begin with softer moves first. This includes doing shorter distances at much lower speeds. However, when you start learning the ropes, you can then begin doing longer distances at much higher speeds. Different people have different learning periods and this is dictated by the type of your body as well as your urge to learn.

    Last but not least, we would recommend that you should go through learning materials as much as you can. You can find nice books about biking and when you go online, there are good sites with valuable articles about cycling. Better still, if you can join a cycling club in your area, you can find fellow bikers with a lot of information about the sort. Such people can be of much help in regard to both riding and servicing your bike.

    How to achieve the benefits of cycling

    As the saying goes that good things do not come for free, it is important to realize that you need to work hard in order to benefit from what cycling has to offer. For example, for you to lose considerable weight from cycling, you need to cycle your bike for about one to two hours every week. This is an enough price to pay for getting the benefits of cycling.

    Cycling offers a lot of benefits.

    Tips to get the most out of cycling

    There are some tips that you need to have before gaining the most out of benefits of cycling. This includes:

  • Be focused on your riding goals.
  • Remember to take a break.
  • Always take safety precautions before taking a ride. This includes wearing a helmet and reflective jacket.
  • Ensure that your bike is in good mechanical condition.
  • 6. Conclusion

    Cycling is an enjoyable activity that is done by millions of people around the world on a daily basis. The good thing is that cycling brings a lot of benefits to both normal bikers and enthusiasts. In this article, I have outlined the top 17 benefit of cycling and those explain why cycling is useful for your life.

    However, for you to gain the most out of benefit from riding your bike, you need to arrange your time not only for working hard, but also spending time for cycling.

    If you have something to add to the topic, please feel free to talk to us through the comment box below.

    Lauren Anderson
     

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