Thinking about joining the cycling family? The benefits of cycling are as endless as the country lanes you could soon be exploring. If you’re considering taking up cycling, and weighing it up against other potential activities, then we’re here to tell you that cycling is hands down the best option. Here are 5 reasons you should get on your cycle:
1. Improves Mental Well-being
people who had a physically active lifestyle had wellbeing score 32 per cent higher than inactive individuals. There are numerous ways that exercise can boost your mood: the release of adrenaline and endorphins, and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things like completing a sportive or getting closer to that goal. Cycling is a combination of physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. You can choose to ride solo – giving you some “me time” or ride with a group which broadens your social circle.
2. Promotes Weight Loss
The simple equation, when it comes to weight loss, is ‘calories out must exceed calories in’. So, you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight. Cycling burns between 400-1000 calories an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight. Of course, there are other factors: the make-up of the calories you consume affects the frequency of your refueling, as does the quality of your sleep and the amount of time spent in burning calories will be influenced by how much you enjoy your chosen activity. Assuming you enjoy cycling, you’ll be burning calories. And when you eat well, you should lose weight.
3. Builds Muscle
The resistance element of cycling means that it doesn’t just burn fat: it also builds muscle – particularly around the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. Muscle is leaner than fat, and people with a higher percentage of muscle burn more calories even when sedentary. To clarify – you won’t end up with quads like a track sprinter unless you invest a serious amount of time at the squat rack. But you will develop a nice toned derriere.
4. Enjoy 2nd Breakfasts
If you decide to cycle to work, you’ve got a great excuse to add a couple of guilt free snacks to your day. A half hour ride to work would be burning 200-500 calories, you’ve got a license to enjoy a lovely second breakfast at your desk. If you’re serious about burning fat, you could do your morning ride fasted (sans breakfast) – but that’s mainly a habit reserved for the most dedicated of nutters.
5. Better Lung Health
You won’t be alone if this point seems contradictory to common sense. However, according to a recent study, people who ride a bike are actually exposed to fewer dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. Surprising much?
A study by the Healthy Air Campaign, Kings College London, and Camden Council, saw air pollution detectors fitted to a driver, a bus user, a pedestrian and a cyclist using a busy route through central London. The results claimed that the driver experienced 5 times higher pollution levels than the cyclist, as well as 3 and a half more than the walker and 2 and a half times more than the bus user.
Long story short: the cyclist won. Cycling results in better sleep and cardiovascular health. It improves navigation and spatial skills, awareness, improves immune system, boosts brain power, saves time and money.