For those of you looking to take up a new hobby in order to improve your fitness, cycling may be the safest and most rewarding option for you. This form of exercise is a great way of keeping fit and healthy, without putting too much pressure on your body.
Fortunately, it appears that many of you already are already getting out there on your bike. It has been reported that over two million people now cycle at least three times a week here in the UK. This is encouraging, as the NHS recommend that we do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
Today’s post looks at the top five benefits of cycling, including health, social and financial examples. For other sport and fitness hobby ideas, please take a look at our main article.
5. It keeps your immune system young
A new study has suggested that cycling can hold off the effects of ageing and can rejuvenate your immune system. In the study, tests were carried out on 125 amateur cyclists aged between 55 and 79, and compare them to other healthy adults from a wide age group who did not exercise on a regular basis.
The results from these tests indicated that the cyclists preserved muscle mass and strength with age, whilst maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol. Males involved in the study also kept high levels of testosterone. Interestingly, the anti-ageing effects of cycling appeared to extend to the immune system. The Guardian explains further:
An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T-cells, normally starts to shrink from the age of 20. But the thymuses of older cyclists were found to be generating as many T-cells as those of young people.”
4. It’s a low impact exercise
Older people can suffer from exercising, especially if they have problems with their joints (such as arthritis). Fortunately, like swimming, cycling is a low impact activity which causes very little stress on the joints.
This is because the activity involves smooth and steady circular movement which ensure that energy and nutrients are transported evenly around the body. This compares to the intense pressure placed on your joints when you go out for a run.
Cycling is often used as a form of exercise for those who are recovering from an injury, due to this gentle impact on the joints.
3. Cycling is a sociable activity
Although cycling alone is a great way to get away from the world and relax mentally, cycling in teams or groups is also very popular. There are several cycling groups around the country, and let’s not forget that teamwork is a huge part of the Tour de France.
Cycling as a group is a great way of meeting new people and can also help you to push yourself further as you look to keep up with your new cycling friends. Different members of the group can outline new circuits and come up with new ways to motivate everybody.
2. It’s good for the heart and body
Cycling is great for your cardiovascular health. Not only does cycling reduce the risk of death from all causes by more than 40%, it also cuts the risk of cancer and heart disease by 45%. In fact, according to the Loving the Bike website, committing to riding a bike regularly can increase your cardiovascular system by 3-7%.
Another interesting fact is that if you cycle for around 30 minutes each day, you also reduce the risk of several other conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease. This is caused, partly, by the fact you can burn at least 300 calories an hour on your bike.
Cycling works as the perfect cardio workout, as it helps burn fat and builds-up muscle – especially in your legs and hips. As you cycle for longer, you’ll soon realise that you’re able to ride long distances at an improved pace. Overtime your stamina will improve and your muscles will allow you to bike harder for longer. It is one of those sporting activities that you can easily see results of.
1. It can save you money
Aside from all of the health and social benefits, cycling can also have a positive impact on your finances. Getting on your bike is a much better idea that always jumping into the car and….
- Paying for petrol.
- Paying for parking.
- Paying congestion charge.
It’s also going to be a lot cheaper than paying for public transport. Of course, if you’re going for the weekly shop you’ll have no choice but to use the car. However, if you’re heading into work or to meet up with friends, why not save your money and cycle into the city?
After a month of choosing cycling over motorised transport, we think you’ll be shocked at just how much money you have saved. It can also save you plenty of time as well:
Cyclists are less likely to get caught up in traffic, and it has been suggested that in major cities cycling can cut the time it takes to commute by up to 50 percent. The ability to rely on the time of a journey is important for the majority of people, and is especially a factor if the journey is a commute to work. – Simply Supplements
Alongside the savings on your money and time, ensuring that there is one less vehicle on the road is also good for environment.
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