30 Great Benefits of Cycling
All of us know that cycling presents us with various benefits. Whether it’s something concerned with our health, environment, or our bank balance, cycling helps us a lot to become a concerned citizen. Hence, if you want to replace your car with that cycling lying in the warehouse, be confident as it’ll be one of the best decisions you are ever going to make.
Not convinced? No problem. We have compiled 30 brilliant benefits of cycling to lure you around. They spread across your fitness, relationship, environment, and happiness. Check them out.
#1: You’ll get to your destination faster
It’s an urban myth that as long as we aren’t on a four wheel, we will not be able to reach our destination on time. Thanks to traffic jams, many people are beginning to see the loopholes in this argument. Consider a situation in which you’re stuck in a traffic jam with bumper to thebumper situation.
Where would you rather be? On your automobile seat or riding your cycle? Of course your bicycle. Your car won’t take you an inch away from the traffic jam. Your cycle, meanwhile via taking advantage of those little spots left inadvertently between cars, will move forward with aplomb.
#2: Deep Sleep
All of us know the benefits of deep sleep. Not only it refreshes our mind but also prepares our body for the day ahead. How does cycling come into that? To find out the connection between cycling and deep sleep, a study was carried out by Stanford University, School of Medicine researchers.
The participants were those people who were suffering from insomnia. They were asked by the researchers to accommodate 20-30minutes of cycling in their daily routine. The result? They begin to go to sleep in half of their previous time while their overall sleeping time INCREASED by an hour.
#3: Look Younger
When we are cycling, increased amounts of oxygen gets pumped throughout our body which, in return, removes the harmful toxins to make space. Similarly, exercise allows the body to optimize the production of collagen, reducing wrinkles and fine lines on your face. Similarly, the healing process also goes through the roof forcing long-lasting scars to fade.
#4: Boosts Bowels
The bowel is that part of your digestive system which serves as the last resort of faeces. They are ultimately responsible for whether your body produces hard stools which are difficult to remove or soft ones that go out with ease.
When you exercise, it takes less time for food to circumnavigate your large intestine, while taking fewer amounts of water. This ultimately helps in producing soft stools which are easier to remove.
Moreover, since you’re subjecting your body to anaerobic exercise while cycling, your intestinal muscles start to contract. It saves you from feeling bloated and decreases the chances of your bowel developing bowel cancer.
#5: Boost your Brain Power
According to researchers from theUniversity of Illinois, people who became five percent more fit in terms of cardio-respiratory fitness fared 15percent better in mental tests. This is because cycling helps build new neurons in hippocampus – the area of thebrain which is responsible for memory. This area, if left unattended, starts to decline from the age of 30. The same phenomenon allows cycling to decrease your brain’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
#6: Defeats Illness
We are told that an apple a day keeps a doctor away. Replace “apple” with “cycle” and the sentence is just right. This is proved by a research from theUniversity of North Carolina which compared the fitness of those people who cycled for 30 minutes, five days a week, with those who were couch potatoes.
The results of this research found out that the former group of people were sick for less than half as many days as their couch loving counterparts.
#7: Live Longer
To find out the connection between one’s lifespan and the influence of regular cycling, King’s College London compared performances of over 2400 identical twins. The twins were divided into two sets: one which did an equivalent of three 45-minute rides a week and the other which didn’t. The results were astounding.
It was reported that the former group looked nine years “biologically younger” than their identical twin even when the researchers discounted other factors such as smoking and body mass index.
#8: Save the Environment
The next time you see a car parked in a parking lot, envisage the fact that twenty bicycles can be parked in the same area. The next time you see a car rolling around, think the fact that only 5percent of the materials and energy, which was used to build that car, would make one bike. Also, in stark contrast to a car, a bike produces zero emissions. Nil.
#9: Stimulate your sex life
All of us know that if we are feeling tired, we just can’t have sex. A study from Cornell University, USA, concluded that male athletes have the sexual competency of men 2-5years younger whereas female athletes delay their menopause by the similar amount of time.
Another research, this one carried out by Harvard University Professors, found out the benefits of cycling for men over 50. The study found out that men who cycle for at least 3 hours a week, they have a 30percent less chance of getting impotent as compared with those men who do less exercise than that.
#10: You can breed easily
This one is, of course, for the ladies. Michigan University researchers found out that women who exercise regularly during their pregnancy have fewer complications during labor, reduced recovery time, and have fewer mood swings during the nine months of pregnancy. Similarly, they have a 50percent less chance of being obese after giving birth.
#11: Protects your heart
British Heart Federation is of the opinion that 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be prevented if populace starts to get itself, fitter. In the same research, BHF points out that for those people who cycle 20miles a week, they are fifty percent less likely of contracting heart diseases as compared to those who do no exercise. Purdue University paints a similar scenario as it shows that a cycling habit can decrease the risk of developing a heart disease by 50percent.
#12: You’ll feel valued at work
Nope. It doesn’t mean being valued by your boss in “that sense”. A study carried out on 200 people by theUniversity of Bristol surmised that people who exercised either before work or at lunchtime were more likely to improve their workload management or had an expanded ability to deal with stress. Similarly, they were more motivated to do the job.
#13: Ride away from Cancer
There are two studies which specifically cite cycling in the list of exercises which boost your chances of not contracting cancer. The first one was carried out by Finnish researchers who pointed out that men who indulged in “moderate exercise” for 30 minutes a day were half as likely to develop cancer when compared with those who didn’t exercise at all.
Another one found out that cycling frequently reduces the chances of women developing breast cancer by 30 percent.
#14: Lose Weight
All of us know that if we want to lose weight, exercise does come handy. What most of us don’t realize is that jogging shouldn’t be on top of the list for those persons who weigh much, and I mean very much! Hence, if your weight belongs to the upper echelons, start out on a bike. While it would be your legs bearing the brunt of your weight while you’re jogging, the poor saddle will do the same while you’re riding. Keep running for a later part.
#15: Make more money
It isn’t that cycling on a deserted trail would lead you to a bag full of money. Instead, as pointed out in a research carried out by an Ohio State University researcher, there is a direct connection between thedecrease in obesity and increase in wealth.
The result pointed out that for every one unit of BMI increase due to exercise, the participants encountered a $800 reduction in their wealth. Hence, shed off those BMI points to start earning.
#16: Say Goodbye to pollution
Ever wondered what your carbon footprint is? Well, even if you didn’t, I can vouch that it isn’t negligible. Hence, if you want to care for the environment and do something which your upcoming generations would thank you for, go on a ride.
#17: Perfect excuse for eating snacks
Do you have a missus or a mom who don’t let you eat your perfect snacks because you do alittle exercise? Well, here’s an excuse for you: tell them that you have shed many calories to give your taste buds a treat. Better go for crisps because the sodium in them would serve as a perfect leveler to the water which you drink during your ride. For, drinking water without sodium can lead to illness, disorientation or even worse.
#18: Enjoy family time
By adjoining a tow-along buggy or a bike seat with your bike, you can make cycling an activity which your whole family can do together. Also, if you want the next Sir Bradley Wiggins to be from your family, getting your butt on a saddle is a very good idea.
For, various studies point out that most kids are influenced by the exercising choices of their parents’. Put simply, if you use your bike to get to theoffice every day, it is very likely that your children might do the same.
#19: Get fit for any sport
Unless you are planning to play darts, cycling will help. Not only will it tone your legs and thighs but your upper body strength will also improve. Thus, whether you’re fond of jogging or are finding a way to improve that forehand in tennis, cycling might come handy.
#20:Get out of mental blocks
As a writer, there are very few times when my mind isn’t plagued by mental blocks. They could be anything from depression to anxiety to an old memory. But all those mental blocks have one thing in common: they are useless and awaste of my time and energy. So, how do I get out of them? You guessed it, cycling.
This behavior of mine is proved true by a study which concluded that if you exercise 25 minutes a day, at least one measure of your creative thinking will improve.
#21: You can help others
In the 37 years of its inception – from 1980 to 2017, the London to Brighton bike ride has gifted over £40million to the British Heart Foundation. Countless other rides have contributed to noble causes and you could do the same by organizing a bike riding charity event for to help a local charity.
#22: Little Exercise, More fitness
Ever since I started cycling a month ago – to this date, the membership fees of local gyms have gone throw the roof. Thankfully, since I’m on my bike most of the time, I don’t have to spend a penny doing something like lifting weights which I abhor. Despite not lifting weights, I enjoy the fitness level of that person who is 10 years younger than me, according to a study carried out by National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation.
#23: Boost your Lungs
When you are cycling, you’re using 10 times as much oxygen you’d spend in the same period sitting on your sofa set. More importantly, cycling boosts our cardiovascular system over time. Without going into technicalities, this means that it enables our lungs and heart to work better and pump oxygen in less time to those body parts where it is needed the most.
#24: F**k those fats
You know what’s better than burning calories when you’re cycling: burning calories even after you’ve stopped cycling. This isn’t my wish rather a research carried out by Sports Physiologist Mark Simpson from Loughborough University. He says that even several hours AFTER we have stopped cycling, our body’s metabolic rate makes sure that we’re still burning calories. How does that sound?
#25: Positive Addiction
We’ve been told from our childhood that addiction of any kind is bad. Well, yes, bar one: cycling. The time you’ll spend cycling will be the time you WON’T spend smoking cigarettes or drinking or watching porn.
#26: Defeat diabetes
We know that type 2 diabetes is on the rise and has proved to be a serious health concern for thegeneral public. The reason for its outbreak? Inactive lifestyle. A research carried out on a large scale in Finland found out that people who cycled for more than thirty minutes a day had a 40% less chance of developing diabetes.
#27: Make friends
One of the major benefits of cycling is that you meet like-minded people on the road. These people have the same apprehensions as you regarding cycling so both of you could learn a lot from each other.
#28: Get happy
Inside our body, the feel good endorphins are always in great demand. They are the hormones that tell your body that it is working very well which, in turn, allows it to give you an injection of confidence. Any idea how these hormones are released? Yes, cycling – or any other exercise for that matter, is the “culprit”, as pointed out by Andrew McCulloch, CEO of Mental Health Foundation.
#29: You’ll forget tiredness
A review was carried out of 12 studies which provided the link between fatigue and exercise. This review pointed out that when it comes to fatigue levels, exercise directly contributes to lowering their levels. Hence, while it might sound counter-intuitive to you, the next time you feel tired, pack up and go on a ride.
#30: Go on a riding date
Feeling something is missing in your relationship? Want to reinstate the feel good factor between you and your loved one? Take her on a ride. For, as stated above, exercise releases feel-good hormones. Hence, when both of you will be doing it, after some time both of you will likely develop a warm feeling towards each other.