As we jump from trend to trend and from gadget to gadget, still we ask ourselves the question – what’s the best way to get fit? Of course, the answer depends on a lot of factors, but still, we know that there are some true and tried ways to slim down, improve our health, and become stronger. Does cycling fit the bill? Yep! Even with a thing like “mermaid fitness” overtaking the social media and becoming popular, old-school workouts still take the cake in terms of consistency and effectiveness. Have an old bike lying around the garage that you don’t know what to do with? Take it for a spin and we’ll tell you the great benefits you can reap from it!
It engages several muscle groups
Cycling is a pretty well-rounded workout as it engages a lot of muscle groups. While the focus is on the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, hip flexors, and foot flexors, you’ll also be building up your abs, lower back, chest, and even arm muscles. You can always combine it with weight lifting and various other forms of strength training if you’re worried about your upper body, for example, this set of dumbbell exercises.
It aids weight loss
Cycling is a great form of cardio! You can burn 500-600 calories an hour with moderate-level pedalling, and the pounds will just melt off if you do this at least several times a week.
It builds stamina
As any form of vigorous cardio, it builds stamina over time and makes physical exertion a lot easier to endure. Since it improves lung health and helps circulation, you’ll no longer keep running out of breath when you strain yourself. You can look forward to a lot more energy as well!
It improves cardiovascular health
High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and generally poor heart health can be vastly improved with regular exercise. Since it also helps you lose weight, it cuts down the risk of heart disease caused by obesity and diabetes because it’s one of the best cardio exercises around. Why not make yourself and your cardiologist very happy and hop on a bike?
It’s better than a stationary bike
While there’s nothing particularly wrong with stationary bikes, the old school bicycle is a much better way to exercise, mostly because it lets you do it outside. For once, we have to unglue ourselves from our stuffy homes and get outside to grab some fresh air and catch the sun. If you don’t have an actual bicycle, we urge you to get one because there’s genuinely nothing more fun than cycling outside (especially if you’re with friends). You don’t even have to go shopping if you hate that, you can find really great bicycles online and finally have a cool bike to ride every day. Most people spend barely 5% of their time in nature, so if you need motivation to actually get out, this will help.
It’s easy on the joints
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that’s great for people who struggle with arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases. It won’t strain your knees, feet, or your lower back like running will, but do always remember to wear protective gear to prevent other forms of injury.
It lets you be active all day long
You don’t actually have to use your bike just to exercise – why not ride it to work? Why not reduce your carbon footprint and use it as a form of transportation? Once you get addicted to the rush it will become easy to just hop on a bike and get anywhere you need to be, and you no longer have to worry about traffic jams or road rage.
It improves your coordination
Balance, coordination, and general spatial awareness are very useful skills that are easy to practice when you’re on a bicycle. All the climbing, descending, and rounding corners will teach you how to handle the bike well and how to use your body, so if you want to become more dexterous, this is the way to go.
Whether you’re an experienced athlete or just a beginner, cycling can easily be modified to suit anyone’s needs. Put your helmet on, hop on a bike, and enjoy the ride as you cycle your way to health!
Guest Blog written by Luke Douglas, editor at Ripped.me