What are the health benefits of cycling?
As a low-impact aerobic exercise, cycling is a great way to stay active. It can help promote a healthy lifestyle, physically as well as mentally. Apart from being environment-friendly, cycling is also suitable for all age groups as it can be easily varied in intensity. Here are some ways in which cycling can help enhance your fitness level and well-being.
Cycling can boost your brain power
Regular exercise has been linked to brain health as it improves blood flow in the brain. Good blood flow ensures that all the necessary nutrients reach our brain and help it function properly. A 2013 study found out that during cycling, blood flow in the brain of cyclists rose by as much as 28% and remained up by 40% even after exercise.
It strengthens your leg muscles
If you are looking for a low-intensity workout for the leg muscles, opt for cycling. When you start pedaling, you help build up muscles in your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Meanwhile, if you wish to make your legs even stronger, try weightlifting exercises such as squats and lunges a few times per week. It will enhance your cycling performance too.
It tires you out and helps you sleep better
Cardiovascular activities like cycling can boost fitness, thus making it easier to fall and stay asleep. Notably, a study by University of Georgia discovered a strong correlation between the decrease in fitness levels and the inability to fall asleep and other general sleep complaints. As you experience exhaustion and soreness after a bike ride, this tiredness will help you sleep better and quickly.
It lowers risk of developing heart disease
Cycling raises your heart rate and gets the blood pumping throughout your body, which makes it a great way of protecting the body from major illnesses including heart disease. Researchers at the University of Glasgow studied over 2,60,000 individuals for five years, and found out that cycling to work can cut the risk of developing heart disease by half.
It gives you better immunity and longer life
Regular, moderate exercise makes your immune cells more active, so that they are better equipped to fight off illnesses and infections. In fact, a study conducted by the University of North Carolina found out that working individuals who cycle for 30 minutes for five days a week take about half as many sick leaves as compared to others.