With the Tour de France just wrapping up it got us thinking about the many health benefits of cycling.
While the average person isn’t cycling in order to compete and earn glory on the world-wide stage, there are still benefits to starting or increasing your cycling workout. Cycling is an aerobic exercise, which means it works out your cardiovascular system. We’ve already covered the benefits of cardio, but there are some unique benefits to cycling that are important to note.
Low Impact: When most people think of cardio exercise, they think of running either outside or on the treadmill. While these forms of cardio are great, they’re also tough on your joints. When riding a bike, your weight is more evenly distributed and supported, making it a good choice for those with knee or ankle issues.
Improve Balance: When you’re riding a bike you’re working a lot of muscles including those that help you keep balance while navigating and simultaneously moving forward, turning, stopping, and avoiding hazards in the road. As noted on Cyclingweekly.com, these skills can transfer to everyday life, helping you stay upright and avoid injury by improving balance and learning how to control your body.
Life Expectancy: According to a study completed by King’s College London, cycling can increase life expectancy and boost physiological function in general. The study focused on cyclers, and results of the study showed signs of aging in participants were not typical and often reflected those expected for a younger person.
Help the Environment: Bikeradar.com notes that choosing to ride your bike could protect the planet. Before hopping in your car to run an errand down the street, think about hopping on your bike instead. Cycling will get you there about three times faster than walking and will reduce your carbon footprint too. Of course sometimes only a car will do, but biking when possible saves energy and reduces pollution.
These are just a few of the added benefits of cycling as part of your aerobic routine. Exercise in general is recommended by the CDC and you could also find other cardio activities that you may enjoy. Just remember that staying active has a host of benefits for your physical and mental health.
You know your body best! If you have chronic pain, injuries, or other health concerns, please consult with your physician or a certified instructor before attempting any new or more intense workouts.