11 reasons to start cycling

Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram

October 29, 2020

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

Cycling uses the largest muscle groups – the legs – and raises the heart rate effectively. Research has shown that riding a bicycle to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7 percent.

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.

About the Author

Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for bodybuilding. Combining his love for fitness with his career, Sharu did his certification in Sports Nutrition, and Rehabilitation and Healing Nutrition. Currently a Master Trainer with HealthifyMe, he specializes in Weight Management, Marathon Training, and Physical Rehabilitation. In his 20+ years of experience, Sharu has always maintained that one’s mind must have control over their body in order to lead a healthy life. At HealthifyMe, he continues to follow his passion while helping those around him realise their fitness goals.

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24 responses to “11 reasons to start cycling”

  1. Valuable inputs. Sticking to the basics in life i.e. do what you like doing and there is nothing to regret ever.

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