Tired of the treadmill and had enough of Zumba? Give your fitness routine a spin by getting onto a bicycle. We give you 10 reasons to start cycling today.
1. It’s one of the easiest ways to exercise
Cycling doesn’t need inordinate skills; just one that you picked up in childhood. You can ride a bicycle at any time, almost anywhere and at most times of the year. It also ensures that you get your “outdoor” time.
2. It’s easy on the body
Everyone may recommend running but cycling is much easier on your legs, knees, ankles and feet. In an interview, Andy Clarke, the president of the League of American Bicyclists, has said cycling “is far lower impact and engages the muscles in the legs without as much force coming down on the knees”.
3. It improves cardiovascular health
4. It keeps the heart-healthy
The British Medical Association has said that cycling 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.
5. It helps build strength
If you thought cycling only exercised your legs, think again. Cycling builds strength holistically as it involves every single part of the body. It is especially good for strengthening leg muscles.
6. It enhances muscle tone
Ensuring that you schedule cycling sessions regularly, the activity enhances the muscle tone of the hips, thighs and legs. But you won’t see quick results as it improves muscle function gradually.
7. It builds endurance
Cycling can help you build stamina over time, more so because it is an enjoyable form of exercise. Improve your stamina by combining longer sessions with set training programs and a few lifestyle changes.
8. It helps burn calories
Steady cycling can help you burn between 300 and 350 calories per hour. Cycling 30 minutes every day could lead to a drop of over 5 kg a year. It’s a fun way to lose weight without going to the gym. After all, finding a workout that you love will ensure that you work out five days a week.
9. It helps reduce stress
Any exercise reduces stress and depression and enhances the feeling of well-being. Many studies have shown that bike commuters tend to have lower stress levels than people who use the car or take mass transit systems.
10. It improves co-ordination
Riding a bicycle is a balancing act and an activity that involves the whole body. It leads to improvement in arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination.
11. It’s a fun way to exercise
Getting on a bicycle brings back memories of being a child. Cycling allows you to make fitness a part of your day in a fun manner. The best part? It lets you explore the area around you thoroughly!
Find the right bicycle
If your bicycle is too big, it may lead to neck and back problems. Seat height is a critical component of easy riding sessions. A seat that’s set too low or too high may put stress on the knee and lead to kneecap pain. Ensure that the seat is positioned in a manner that when you pedal downwards to the lowest point, your leg is almost straight. There should be a small bend – about 10-15 degrees – in your knee.