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7 health benefits of cycling daily

Team AckoSept 22, 2022

In today's time, the term "lifestyle-related diseases" is becoming quite common. Such diseases occur when people lead sedentary lifestyles with little or no physical activity leading to obesity and heart-related issues. In such a scenario, cycling can be a fun way to avoid such ailments. It helps keep you mentally and physically active while strengthening your body. Check out the various health benefits of cycling mentioned in this article to lead a healthy life.

Benefits of Cycling

What are the benefits of cycling?

Following are a few long-term benefits of cycling.

1) Higher level of cardiovascular fitness

Your cardiorespiratory fitness, commonly known as your CRF, determines your health status and the likelihood of certain health issues. CRF assesses the efficiency with which your body absorbs oxygen and distributes it to your muscles and organs after extended activity. In general, the greater your CRF level, the lower your chance of contracting diseases. This is one of the top benefits of cycling.

2) Reducing joint pain

One of the benefits of cycling is that it significantly reduces joint pain, stiffness, and functional limitations in middle-aged and older people with Osteoarthritis. This was proved by a study published in the Journal of Rheumatology. Another study discovered that Rheumatoid Arthritis patients who frequently exercised on stationary bikes improved their cardiovascular health and blood pressure, and experienced fewer symptoms of joint pain. 

3) Enhanced flexibility and muscle strength

One major cycling benefit is that it helps maintain daily functionality and delays the pace of bone and muscle loss associated with ageing. Health experts believe that increased flexibility can help you stand more upright, experience fewer pains and aches, and minimise the chances of injury. 

4) Relaxed mind

Cycling can have a calming effect on the body and mind. Thus, it might help you relieve stress from work or other situations. Endorphins, or "feel-good" hormones, are released during cycling. These hormones help to elevate your mood and calm your mind. Your anxiety levels can also drop by cycling regularly. 

5) Increased balance and posture

Cycling enhances coordination, balance, and strength. You might also avoid falls and fractures from improved coordination due to regular cycling. If you have Osteoarthritis, riding a bike can be one of the best exercises for you because it is low-impact and doesn't put too much strain on your joints.

6) Weight loss

Activities like cycling, which are cardio exercises, can aid in fat and weight loss. To benefit from cycling, you must regularly engage in it for a specific period of time at a specific speed. According to research, you should be expending at least 2,000 calories through exercise each week. Out of these, on average, about 300 calories can be burned every hour while cycling slowly.

7) Healthy brain

Your brain's physical makeup, cognitive processes, and functioning can be enhanced by cycling. Creating new neurons and expanding the hippocampus can even slow down the ageing process and make your brain more effective.

All forms of aerobic exercises, in fact, can benefit the brain because they assist in maintaining the blood supply to the brain and provide it with nutrients. People who exercise regularly often discover that their reasoning, learning, and judgement hardly deteriorate with age.

Top health benefits of cycling every day

Following are the top physical and mental benefits of cycling daily.

  • It helps with managing your weight

  • It helps improve your focus

  • You get stronger legs with regular cycling

  • Your stamina increases

  • Your heart health is enhanced by cycling regularly

Is cycling better than running?

If you want to lose weight, remember that the intensity and duration of the activity affect the number of calories you burn. Running may aid in weight loss as it burns a few more calories per hour than cycling. 

According to American College of Sports Medicine estimations, running typically burns 550+ to 800+ calories per hour, and cycling at a vigorous pace burns 490+ to 700+ calories per hour. Note that your calorie expenditure is also influenced by your age, weight, gender, and other characteristics. Thus, the answer depends upon these factors and your fitness goals.

Indoor vs outdoor cycling

There are several benefits of cycling in a gym or an indoor setting. You can profit from direct instruction and group interaction in an indoor cycling class. Some people find extra motivation when they work out around others. 

On the other hand, outdoor bikes are convenient and often less expensive than indoor cycles. Short bike trips are also an easy way to add more exercise to your busy day.

Here are some more differences between indoor and outdoor cycling. This table also lists the benefits of riding cycles.

Indoor cycling Outdoor cycling
You can cycle for a longer duration without worrying about the weather. Weather can be an issue; for example, heavy rains. However, outdoor cycling provides fresh air and new scenery for your workouts.
Simple to manage resistance. Resistance management can be comparatively difficult.
You must dedicate a special time slot for this activity. You can add short bike rides to your daily routine, such as using it for visiting a neighbourhood store, meeting a friend, etc.
No navigation required. You need to keep an eye on the road, traffic, etc. while cycling outdoors.
You must have a gym membership (a gym that features a stationary cycle) or purchase a stationary bike to cycle indoors. You need to buy or rent a bicycle for cycling outdoors.

Who should avoid cycling?

Here’s a list of people who must discuss with their doctor before picking up cycling as a workout.

  • People who have suffered from a knee and wrist injury

  • People with acute asthma 

  • People with chronic heart issues

  • People who have recently undergone surgery may be asked to avoid exercise, including cycling

  • People who are diagnosed with low bone density

  • People who have difficulty with coordination

  • People who have Alzheimer's disease

Things to keep in mind about regular cycling

Even if cycling has many advantages, there are a few things that one should constantly keep in mind regarding cycling. 

  1. Never cycle outdoors without a helmet. Also consider other safety gear.

  2. Longer bike rides need a lot of energy, so keeping the body fueled and hydrated is crucial.

  3. Speak to a physical trainer or a doctor if you face any discomfort due to cycling.

Frequently asked questions

The following list includes some typical questions and answers about cycling.

How many times should I go cycling to see the long-term effects?

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You should go cycling at least three times a week if you want to see long-term results. Begin cycling for shorter durations to increase strength and increase the time and frequency gradually.

Which parts of the body benefit most from cycling?

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Regular cycling can be helpful for the heart, lungs, and blood circulation. As a result, your risk of cardiovascular diseases decreases. Regular cycling can also reduce body fat levels and the resting pulse rate, and strengthen your cardiac muscles.

When should you ride a bike to get the most out of it?

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Usually, biking in the morning (early morning) is much better than riding in the afternoon or night, as the weather might be conducive, there might be less traffic, and you might be fresh early in the day. Cycling in the evening can also be considered based on your location, traffic, etc.

How many kilometres should I cycle in a day?

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The answer depends upon your health profile and your health goals. Please consult a physical trainer or a doctor to know how many kilometres you should cycle in a day.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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