The Activity that Gives Back
It's true. Cycling (especially when first starting out) is not an inexpensive hobby to pursue. However, cycling is a gift that keeps on giving. There are numerous health benefits that make it one of the best physical activities regardless of age or level of fitness. Physicians recommend at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, and the bike is one of the easiest ways to accomplish that. The bike is approachable for anyone, is low-impact and gives benefits generously. Not to mention it's great for multi-tasking! Bike to work and get your workout in during your morning commute! Read on to check out just five of the health benefits of cycling.
Strength and flexibility
Cycling is a great way to build strength in your lower body. In particular, your hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes get a fantastic workout. In addition, cycling helps loosen your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and hips, allowing an increase in flexibility over time. While the lower body gets the biggest workout, your arms and core are also used in cycling.
Balance and Coordination
While cycling, you must maintain a certain position. This exercise can help encourage better posture in general. Cycling also helps to stabilize your core, improving coordination. It's that center of balance that keeps you upright while on the bike. Studies have shown that improved balance can also lead to improved memory and cognition over the long term.
Indoor cycling for the win! Once you become comfortable and confident, it's easy to work in exercises targeted to other parts of the body while cycling. Try adding in a pair of light hand weights while cycling or even doing different arm exercises.
Improved Mental Health
Cycling creates positive endorphins in your brain that can improve your mood. It has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Being outdoors and/or cycling in community both have a positive impact on your mental landscape.
Helps with Arthritis
Because it is a relatively low-impact exercise and does not put pressure on your joints, cycling can also help with conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis. The upright position maintained during cycling helps engage your core. When engaging your core, you begin to flatten your back, which then can decrease back pain. While cycling, you are moving your legs and joints which helps increase blood supply. All of this can lead to less joint pain caused by arthritis.
The Perfect Gift
Investing in cycling this holiday season? It's a wise choice - it's the gift that will keep giving.
Information found on health.cleavelandclinic.org.