Make 2020 the year you get back on a bike. Here are some of our favourite benefits of cycling, but really they’re endless. Reasons Why Cycling Helps Your Health and The Environment
1. Building Muscle
Cycling is a fantastic workout. It’s great for your quads, glutes and your hamstrings too. It’s also ideal if you want to build up new muscle fibres. If you’re returning to cycling after a break, you’ll need to cycle at a very low resistance. When you do, you will build leg strength without pushing yourself too hard. When you have done this for a little while, you can then try and ride uphill and riding in a higher gear. Sprint intervals are also ideal here to help build up your stamina and you’ll see changes in your body fairly quickly.
2. Losing Body Fat
Low-intensity exercise is easily one of the best ways for you to lose body fat. This is especially the case if you do it on a regular basis. If you can push yourself to cycle for around an hour or so a day then you may find that you start to lose fat and feel energised after.
Replace that energy by having a small snack at the end of your ride. But remember that if you eat too much at this point, you will be undoing all of your hard work so be careful. Of course, if you want to protect your investment then it’s a good idea for you to get your bike insured. The best way to insure a bike would be for you to go to an online provider, such as Lemonade.
3. Saving Your Knees
Running and other team sports break down your knee joints over time. This is the last thing that you need if you aren’t as young as you once were, but one way for you to stop this from happening would be for you to cycle. When you do cycle, you will soon find that you can save your knees while also working out. Cycling doesn’t put the same pressure on your knees, and you may even find that it helps you to vary the intensity if you buy an exercise bike at home.
4. Setting an Example
Riding a bike is a great way for you to get fit. It also helps you to set a good example for other people as well. If you are able to do this then you can help your co-workers or friends take up cycling and this can have a knock-on effect. The more we’re all on two wheels rather than four, the more the environment and our own health will thank us.
5. It’s Great for the Environment
When you go cycling, you can easily reduce the amount of pollution you are responsible for. When you go out cycling, you encourage other people to do the same and you can also live a healthier lifestyle. If more and more people cycled, then this would easily reduce carbon emissions across the planet!
Cycling creates ten times less CO2 emissions than driving does and if the whole of Europe cycled as much as the Danes, we could bring down the continent’s emissions by a quarter.
Can you also choose to cycle abroad, rather than explore by bus or car? Here’s how you cycle around Myanmar or Cambodia.
6. Breathe Deep
When you cycle, you train the muscles in your legs. Did you know that you can also train the muscles in your lungs too? Cycling is a fantastic way for you to increase your breathing capacity and it can also help you to be healthier overall. If you want to help yourself here, then you really need to push yourself and you also need to make sure that you are not giving in when your body starts to ache. After all, when your muscles ache, it’s because they are under stress. You need to push them beyond this point if you want them to become stronger.
7. Cheer Up
Just 30 minutes of cycling or even any other type of aerobic exercise can improve your mood. Working out can keep depression and anxiety at bay, thanks to focusing on what you’re doing in the now, rather than anything else. Cycling by its nature gets you outside and often into nature, which can also be helpful in finding more calm, being mindful and letting go of stress. You can even use cycling as a form of meditation, there is no end to its benefits.
It doesn’t all have to be lycra-clad racing around country lanes, a gentle peddle along a towpath or amongst trees is also good for the soul.
So what are you waiting for? Dig out your old bike, join a Ride To Work scheme and get pedalling.