No matter your current age, or fitness level, getting on your bike is good for you. The benefits of cycling Conwy can be enjoyed by all – this is something getting a lot of attention as cycling has soared in popularity in recent years. People are actively choosing to cycle to work, university or cycling simply for leisure and fitness. So, what are the benefits of cycling?
Low Impact, Enjoyable Exercise
Unlike other cardio-heavy activities like running cycling isn’t weight bearing. The chances of suffering muscle damage or general inflammation is significantly lower – particularly as you don’t put as much stress on key joints; ankles, knees, hips and your back. If you have previously suffered an injury or if you struggle with joint problems, cycling is a great way to ease yourself back into physical activity and start enjoying the health benefits that come with it.
If you are a fitness fanatic, low impact doesn’t mean low intensity by any means; you can still get a great workout done when you’re cycling. Concentrating on raising your heart rate and challenging your limits. Intensify your cycling sessions by; upping the incline, adding in resistance and increasing the time and distance.
Health Benefits of Cycling
It’s not just about the glaringly obvious health benefits – weight loss or maintenance, and improving your cardio fitness levels – it’s more the longer term effects. Better overall lung health, improved immune system, reduced risk of heart disease; without a doubt, cycling is great for your health.
Being more physically active means that you’re less likely to develop high blood pressure. Cycling also helps to build muscle and bone density which helps to increase strength and stamina. While the muscles in your lower body tend to work the most – predominantly your quadriceps, calves and glutes – cycling ensures that your upper body and core get involved too.
Your posture and coordination will improve, along with improving your brain health due to the improved blood flow and the requirement to stay alert on your bike. Cycling is an aerobic activity, your heart, blood vessels and lungs will get a valuable workout and within no time at all your fitness levels will improve.
Great for Mental Health
Not everyone who cycles does so just for the physical activity. More people have found that it helps with their mental health – regardless of the reasons why they get on their bike in the first place. In a study, 91% of cyclists said that cycling was fairly important to their mental wellbeing.
On the surface, it’s fairly easy to understand why riding a bike is so relaxing; the fresh air and the freedom to go wherever you choose can offer a welcome relief from a stressful day at work. There are two key hormones that are involved with cycling – cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced and endorphins, feel-good hormones, are released. Cortisol is the hormone your body releases when it is facing stress. A certain amount is quite healthy, as cortisol helps your body perform in times of crisis. But it also works to increase your heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, as well as causing muscle tension, so too much of it isn’t good for you. Luckily, cycling reduces cortisol and has a relaxing effect on your mental state.
Any aerobic exercise also releases endorphins, which you might have heard referred to as ‘runner’s high’. You get the same “buzz” from cycling, and it’s been proven to reduce anxiety and make you happier.