The Health Benefits of Cycle Training

Cycle Training

Cycling is great for your fitness and your health and it only takes a short period of time per week for you to see an improvement in your health and well being.

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Health benefits of cycling

Here are some simple reasons why cycling has many health benefits:

  1. It is low impact. This means that it causes fewer injuries and less strain than other exercise types like running,
  2. It gives your muscles a good workout. Cycling uses all major muscle groups.
  3. Cycling is actually quite easy once you learn how to ride a bike! Unlike other sports that need skills, riding a bike is pretty straight forward. It is a skill that, once learnt, isn’t forgotten.
  4. Cycling is great for stamina and strength. It will also increase your aerobic fitness.
  5. Cycling is as intense as you make it. It can be an easy recovery exercise or a hard and demanding workout.
  6. Cycling is fun! You get a true sense of adventure and enjoyment from being outdoors or coasting down long hills. This means that you are likely to continue with it and not give up.
  7. Cycling is also great for commuting. It can replace driving or using public transport and gets you fit at the same time.


Regular cycling and its health benefits

Generally speaking, cycling is an aerobic exercise. This means that your lungs, heart and blood vessels get a workout. When cycling, you will take deeper breaths, you will sweat and have an increase in body temperature – all of this will help to improve overall fitness. The main benefits of cycling regularly are:

  • An increase in cardiovascular fitness
  • An increase in flexibility and muscle strength
  • Improvement in joint mobility
  • A decrease in stress
  • Improvement in coordination and posture
  • Stronger bones
  • A decrease in levels of body fat
  • Management or prevention of certain diseases
  • A reduction in depression and anxiety


Specific health issues and cycling

Cycling is great for both mental and physical health. It can also lower the risk of developing a lot of different health conditions or problems.


Weight control and obesity

Cycling is an excellent exercise for reducing weight because it burns body fat, builds muscle and increases your metabolic rate. If you want to lose weight, you need to combine cycling with healthy eating. According to research, if you cycle for 30 minutes each day, you will burn almost 5kg of fat in a year.


Cardiovascular disease

This includes heart attacks, high blood pressure and stroke. Cycling regularly improves your circulation and the condition of your lungs and heart, which reduces your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases. What’s more, when cycling, you are strengthening the heart muscles which means that you will have lower blood fat levels and a lower resting pulse rate.

You might worry about the car fumes when commuting to work but cyclists actually have up to three times less pollution exposure than car drivers.


Cancer

According to research, there is evidence to suggest that those who cycle regularly have fewer incidences of bowel cancer. There is also evidence to suggest that the same is true for breast cancer.


Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is becoming a serious health concern in the UK with lack of activity being a major contributing factor. Finnish research discovered that cycling over 30 minutes a day reduces your risks of developing type 2 diabetes. Combine cycling with a healthy diet and you will be able to ward off this condition in the vast majority of situations.


Bone problems

Since cycling improves balance, coordination and strength, it can also prevent fractures and falls. If you have osteoarthritis then cycling is a great exercise as it is low-impact and won’t stress your joints.


Mental illnesses

Regular cycling can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression.


Hand cycling

Hand cycles are great for those who might not be able to or want to use a traditional cycle. You can still get fantastic aerobic benefits from hand cycles!


Final thoughts

As seen in this article, cycle training can help you to protect yourself from a variety of illnesses and conditions such as heart attack, stroke, some types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, obesity and depression. What’s more, it is an exercise that the whole family can enjoy as it is fun, healthy and low-impact. You can also fit cycling into your daily routines. If you tend to go to the shop by car, you can begin riding your bike. The same goes for work and school and other short, commutable journeys.

Finally, if you do have medical conditions and aren’t already cycle training, you should book an appointment with your GP to have a full health MOT. It’s not worth the risks of injury or aggravating illness!