Cycling helps the mind and body in many ways. Here’s some of the main benefits of cycling that you might not know about, plus a couple of the obvious (but very important) ones.
The Australian Department of Health recommends that adults get 2.5 - 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. That sounds like a lot, but riding a bike makes it easy! Instead of sitting in traffic or a crowded train, just choose to ride a few times this week instead.
Here’s how you’ll benefit.
1. It builds aerobic fitness
Cycling builds great cardiovascular fitness. The bicycle is probably the world’s most efficient way of converting the beat of your heart into forward momentum. Every breath and beat translates beautifully into speed, giving you an instant reward for working out your heart, your lungs and your overall cardiovascular system. Yes, you can achieve a similar result on a stationary bike, but always remember that riding a spin bike gets you nowhere…
2. It builds muscular strength
It’s obvious that your legs - specifically calves, hamstrings, glutes and quads - get a great workout from cycling. However, throw in some technical terrain through mountain biking, urban commuting or even just sprinting out of the saddle on your roadie and you hit arms, shoulders, back and key core muscles.
3. It’s low impact exercise
Cycling is a low impact exercise. It doesn’t have the bam-bam-bam of running, which helps to protect your joints. Low impact activities like cycling that stimulate circulation may actually promote the healing and recovery of damaged joints, allowing you to return to higher impact activities more quickly. For people with joint injuries that prevent them running or playing other sports, cycling can be a great low impact alternative that keeps them active.
4. It’s good for hand-eye coordination
By coordinating the action of feet, hands, speed, terrain and balance; you build and reinforce neural pathways that control hand-eye coordination and general control. This has a great benefit for cross training as well. Yes, cycling can make you better at playing other sports.
5. Cycling puts a smile on your face
Spending more time outside, being fitter and stronger, having a dramatically reduced carbon footprint and being your own self-reliant mode of transport are just some of the ways that bike riders become happier people.
So ride more and you'll be fitter, faster, stronger and more awesome.