The benefits of cycling



Did you know that cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK? In celebration of National Bike Week, we’re exploring the many benefits of cycling – so if you haven’t taken it up already, read on!

Enjoyable & easy

Cycling is an easy sport to enjoy. As long as you’ve got your bicycle, you can cycle almost anywhere and at any time of the year, without spending a fortune.

If you’re someone who is put off sport and exercise by the idea of pressure or technical skill – then you needn’t worry with cycling. Most of us know how to cycle and once you’ve learnt, you don’t tend to forget.

You can also cycle at whatever pace you like – you don’t have to cycle at break neck speed either, unless you want to take part in races of course.

Fitness for beginners

Most people turn to jogging, running or the gym at the start of their fitness journey. But have you ever considered cycling?

It’s actually a much gentler alternative when you’re just beginning – instead of your body weight crashing down on you when you jog, your weight will be taken by the saddle, which will ease you into a fitness regime.

The only thing you need invest in is a bicycle and helmet, then you can cycle at your leisure at low-cost, if it’s an expensive gym membership that makes you nervous.

Stamina, strength and muscle tone

Contrary to popular belief, cycling doesn’t just work the legs. It actually builds strength in a holistic manner because every single part of the body is involved.

Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is excellent for helping with the mobility of hip and knee joints. With time, you will definitely see improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs and hips.

Cycling is also a fantastic way to build up your stamina. If you’re enjoying your cycling trips then you probably won’t realise how much stamina you’re building up – but by cycling for longer and faster, you will gradually see improvements.

Calories

If you’re looking for an enjoyable but effective way to burn calories or shed some unwanted pounds, then look straight to cycling.

Cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour and as it helps to build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your bike ride!

Stress-busting

Cycling – like a lot of forms of exercise – can really help to reduce your stress levels.

Cycling outdoors can get you out into the fresh air and allow you to cycle through lots of different places, which helps to take your mind away from everyday stresses.

Regular cycling can do wonders for your self-esteem, as not only will it help with stress but it will in turn boost your confidence when you start to see results and feel fitter.

Brain power

Cycling also helps to boost brain power!

Researchers from Illinois University found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests.

That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30.

Commuting

Cycling can even help you with the morning commute.

Depending on where you live in relation to where you work, you might actually get to work faster by bike than by car.

Research suggests that by travelling by bike rather than by car in some of the UK’s major cities, you’ll halve your journey time!

Next level

If you find yourself falling in love with cycling, then you can always take things to the next level.

Whether it’s joining a local cycling club, training further or starting racing – there are lots of options if you want to pursuit the sport further.

This week at our Suffolk based HQ, we were lucky enough to watch the cyclists from the Aviva Women’s Tour cycle through – a great way to celebrate the sport and National Bike week!

For more information on exercise, fitness and health tips, make sure you explore the rest of our site.

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