Cycling is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways of doing sport because of the enormous variety of experiences and environments you can discover. Whether you practice any of the mountain biking disciplines, road or downhill cycling or you are a triathlete, this sport offers a wealth of benefits.
As well as helping you discover unique places or to improve your social life, cycling consistently provides a range of health benefits.
Strengthen your heart
According to the WHO, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of mortality in the world. Considering the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet or smoking, taking care of our heart with regular exercise will considerably reduce the risks of suffering from heart disease.
Cycling not only strengthens our heart, lungs and circulation, it also reduces the amount of fat in our blood.
Increase lung capacity
Another of the great life and health benefits of daily cycling is the increase of lung capacity. Little by little, you’ll notice how it gets easier to climb stairs or sprint, thus improving your quality of life.
Improve blood flow
On top of the above, another benefit is improved blood circulation. Physical effort causes increased blood flow to the muscles, with the positive effect of activating blood circulation.
One of the main benefits of cycling, which helps all of the above, is the reduction of LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol” that accumulates in our arteries. At the same time, we improve HDL cholesterol, which is the “good cholesterol”.
Burn excess fat
One hour of cycling at a moderate pace burns up to 500 calories, making it an ideal sport to lose weight. Also, saddle support allows us to start pedalling to increase our metabolic rate and begin to develop our muscles without previously having to lose weight.
Strengthen your immune system
Moderate exercise makes our cells more active, so they are ready to fight off any infection. In line with this, the University of North Carolina states that people who cycle for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week are up to 40% less likely to get sick.
Cut the risk of cancer or diabetes
There are cells –called phagocytes– that start multiplying when activated and attack bacteria and cancer cells.
Boost your brain power
We have known for some time that thanks to practising sport we generate endorphins that increase the supply of oxygen to our brain and enhance well-being. Not only this, but a study from the University of Illinois has shown that increasing our cardiorespiratory fitness by only 5% can result in up to a 15% improvement in brain function.
According to this study, it is the increase in blood flow to the brain that has this effect.
Prevent bone injuries
By strengthening your bones, you lower the risk of bone injuries. As cycling is low impact in most of its disciplines, it is one of the best-suited exercises for people suffering from osteoarthritis.
Pedalling, attention to brakes, direction… keeping up with all this helps us improve our coordination and balance.
These are some of the many health benefits that come with regular cycling, along with others we have discussed previously. So, if you are still not sure , now is the time to start pedalling to try these benefits for yourself!