Want to be fit and healthy? Then a regular activity may help you with it. One of the best ways is biking. The benefits of biking can be stated into categories as physical, environmental, economic, and social.
Biking may be the right decision to start a physical activity. One of the benefits of biking is making good friends, creating memories, and spending time together, which may last for a longer time. The other benefit of biking to work daily is saving a lot of money when you own a bike.
The cost of maintenance is low, and there is no need to pay for fuels. It also has a significant role in reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. As we know, the significant benefit of biking is health reasons. If you start biking, considering either one of the benefits, other benefits will follow.
A study had stated that around one billion people ride cycles as part of sport or recreation or a mode of transport. Biking may also be considered as one of the Aerobic training. It can easily fit into daily life by riding to the nearest place, working, or going on a trip with friends.
Benefits of Biking
You may take biking as your daily or casual workout or a competitive sport. It also improves your mental health. A physical therapist from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Clare Safran- Norton, says,” It’s (biking) socially oriented, it’s fun, and it gets you outside and exercising.” As there are many benefits of biking, let’s look up to the health benefits of biking.
Regular biking has a significant impact on reducing the risk of health problems. Riding a bike is found to be fun and enjoyable when a trip with our family or friends. It also reduces mental and physical illness. It has a low impact on getting hurt or injured compared to other activities.
It improves the mobility of the joints, strengthens the bones, improves muscle strength and flexibility. Research made in Finland has proven that a person who cycles for half an hour a day has a 40% lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It also builds blood vessels in your brain and improves the thought processes and memory.
It plays a significant role in restoring your neurons in your brain. Health benefits of biking exercise also include proper regulation of digestion and also reduces the risk of digestive tract cancer.
Cycling at a slower pace during pregnancy is good for both mother and baby. Cesarean sections and preeclampsia can be significantly reduced by exercising. It is also proven that cycling stimulates the nervous system.
Health experts state that cycling boosts sex drive. Research from Harvard University showed that men of age above 50 who regularly cycle have fewer chances of impotence.
Easy to Use
You don’t have to be a sportsperson or need a trainer to ride a bike. It is more comfortable to ride, and you don’t forget once you learn. It is easy to adapt to our daily life.
Riding a bike is more fun, and it reduces stress and develops inner peace. Biking is an easier activity, followed by any age group.
When you jog or run, your whole body weight is put on your legs, and injury rates may increase. But this is not the case in riding a bike, as it is not weight-bearing.
If you want to recover from an illness or an injury or start a new fitness activity, then riding at a slower pace is more easy and comfortable.
By practicing, you start to balance well on the bike. To maintain balance, you have to develop a correct posture. Improving your posture may reduce the risk of developing back pain.
Balancing your bike makes your body and brain coordinate together and to make them steady and balanced. You have to use your body weight when you climb, descend and corner and balance your bike. On doing these correctly, your confidence level is boosted massively.
It can also improve your skill to move dodgy shopping trolleys. Dr. Safann-Norton said,” The benefits carry over to balance, walking, standing, endurance, and stair climbing.”
Good for Strength and Stamina
One of the health benefits of biking is to increase your stamina. It can be obtained as time goes and eventually improves your strength.
Riding a bike in the highest gear may build your brute strength, especially in quads. Biking gives more strength to your lower body, similar to weight-lifting.
As said by Dr. Safran- Norton, “That (biking) makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness.” While biking, you put your weight on ischial tuberosities, a pair of bones in the pelvis. It also regulates your body temperature and stays hydrated as it forces you to drink water in large quantities.
It can be a better way to reduce fatigue. Stress, anxiety, depression can be reduced by riding a bike at regular intervals. Intense cycling increases your mitochondrial capacity, which improves anti-aging benefits.
Sitting on your motor vehicles or public transport may be replaced by sitting on your bike, which may benefit you. In bad traffic, you don’t have to wait along with other motors, and you don’t have to spend time searching for a parking area.
You can travel easily on your bike path even in rush hour. The benefits of biking to work can save time in peak hours as well as money wasted on fuels.
Helps in Building Muscles
The primary benefits of road biking are the improvement in muscles and bone joints. Major muscle groups are used while pedaling the bike, which improves your muscles.
It can be an excellent workout for your legs. Biking in higher gears, going uphills, or having sprints may build your muscles at a faster rate. You can also try at low resistance according to your convenience.
Also read: Best Hydration Pack for Road Cycling
Riding a bike has a low impact on your knee joints compared to running over a period of time. It is also proven that regular biking reduces the development of arthritis.
Apart from burning fat, it builds muscles like calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes. To build quads, you have to spend more time riding at high gears or being more adventurous.
It has more benefits and is safer than people who run or jog.
A comparison between runners and cyclists showed that the former showed more damage in their muscles than the latter. Dr. Safran-Norton quoted,” Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density.”
Improves Lung Health
Regular biking improves the health of your lungs. When you ride a bike, the muscles of the lungs contract and expand, making you breathe easily.
Practicing biking on top hills gives you a greater opportunity to increase your lung capacity and enables the air to move in and out more easily.
This reduces the risk of malfunctioning of lungs as your age grows. A result also showed that a person who rides bikes experiences less pollution than motor drivers.
This may significantly improve your lung health. This is proven by the study conducted by Healthy Air Campaign from Kings College, London.
Reduces Heart Disease and Cancer Risk
Regular biking burns calories reduces weight and improves the heart, blood vessels, and lungs’ health. This may prevent you from risks of heart attack, blood pressure, and stroke. Research conducted for 14 years has proved that regular cycling reduces the risks of heart diseases for people aged 20 to 93 years.
It also improves the circulation of blood throughout the body, which gradually lowers the blood pressure. A researcher from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences said, “cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with a substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes.”
Many studies have proven that exercise can greatly reduce the risk of cancers. Regular cycling may also reduce the risk of colon cancer, bowel cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.
Research from 2019 proved that riding a bike reduces the side effects of cancer treatment.
Strengthen your immune system
A study has proven that a person who exercises regularly has a lesser chance of falling sick. Another study had revealed that a person who exercises regularly has a 40% lesser chance of catching a cold than a person who doesn’t exercise.
So, riding a bike significantly improves one’s immune system.
Professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, Tim Noakes, said that exercising increases protein production. This also stimulates the white blood cells, which eventually increase the immune system of the body.
One of the health benefits of biking to work or school is reducing your chances of getting infected from public transport. But there is also a study which revealed after an exercise the immune system is lowered.
So eating and adequate sleeping will improve it. It also reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Helps to Grow your Social Circle
Riding your bike in the neighborhood paves the way for meeting new peoples and making friends. You can also join clubs or associations to spend some time with other members during events or weekends.
You can go on a bike trip with your family or friends disconnected from the crowd and stressful world. It can be a greater opportunity to create memories and cherish them forever.
Since biking is suitable for all age groups, you can spend time with your kids and family. As it is a friendly sport, you can arrange for an event on your own and invite your known people.
Either you can arrange an event with an entry fee to donate those amounts to people in need and make it a charitable and also a fun event.
If you still want to read more about Health Benefits of Biking then you can read this article by Harvard.
Can you lose belly fat by cycling?
Yes, it reduces belly fat also. Cycling not only improves the functionality of the heart and lungs but also burns calories. Burning more calories reduces the fat stored in your body. It also reduces abdominal fat. Regular cycling makes a considerable change in your body’s fat level. Therefore, it helps you to gain and lean and fit your body.
Is it OK to bike every day?
Yes, it is OK to bike every day. Cycling can easily fit into our daily routine. You can ride your bike to nearby shops, school, or work. Cycling every day increases your benefits in various categories like health, economic, and social. But make sure the amount of time you spend on cycling at the beginning stage of your activity.
What muscles do you tone when riding a bike?
Most of the muscles coordinate and work while cycling. Calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes are the muscles which are built during intense cycling and cycling in high gears. Especially your leg muscles are built, and they get stronger by cycling regularly.
Is biking better than running?
Biking is better than running. A person who runs for a long time is more prone to muscle damage than a person who cycles every day. While running, you put your weight on your legs, and the muscles get damaged over a more extended period. An athlete has more chance of having tears in the knee- joints than the person who cycles.
How long should I bike for a good workout?
It is enough to ride your bike 30-60 minutes a day. If you can’t go cycling every day, then you can go for 3-5 days a week. Always remember to start your cycling at a slower pace for the first 5- 10 minutes. Then you can gradually increase your pace. When you are about to end, slow down and ride at an easy pace for 5 minutes to cool down.
What happens when you cycle every day?
You get used to the places around you and also meet new people. It is also said that regular cycling relieves stress and depression. You can save your money on fuels or public transport. It regulates your blood circulation and functions of the heart. It enhances the effective working of the lungs.
What happens to your body when you start cycling?
Cycling every day will considerably burn your calories and help in reducing weight. It improves the lower body strength and immune system. It reduces the risk of heart diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and blood pressure. The side effects of cancer treatment can be considerably reduced.
The benefits of biking every day may significantly improve your physical, mental, social, and environmental health. Though riding a bike is easier, you have to be cautious. You can even track your riding and health stats with the help of a fitness tracker of smartwatch, we have covered a detailed guide about Best Fitness Tracker for Biking.
Never forget to take precautions before starting your ride. People who suffer from heart diseases or arthritis should get recommended before starting biking as an activity.
Dr. Safran-Norton advised, “If you have osteoporosis, consider riding a tricycle, which is more stable than a two-wheeler, posing less of fall risk.” He also said a caution, “Don’t ride a bike at all if you’ve had a recent fracture. Another fall could make it worse.”
Here are the few things to remember before a bike ride. Always wear a helmet and carry water bottles to stay hydrated. It’s always advised to go in groups or with a partner to lend a helping hand in an emergency.
After your bike ride, stretch your muscles to avoid them tightening. Choose a bike that would suit your body and put less stress and provide comfort.
If you haven’t thought of biking as an activity to improve your health, why don’t you give it a try? Just get a bike that suits you and start your activity with your loved ones and stay fit and healthy. We also reviewed some bikes here as well, you can read their reviews as well.
Below are the best selling cycles from amazon.