Riding a bike outdoors or taking an indoor spinning class are great activities for your health because it gets you moving. In fact, it can prolong your life expectancy by up to 10 years, according to a study in the American Journal of Cardiology. One of the reasons is that cycling has been shown to help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Biking also optimizes your heart rate variability (HRV), which helps fight against stress-induced illness and depression. HRV is measured by looking at levels of variation in heart rate over time, which provides insight into how adaptable your nervous system is when faced with challenges like exercise or chronic stress.
Here are 7 other reasons why cycling is good for your health:
1Provides Oxygen to Your Cells
Muscles need oxygen to function, and every time you pedal or push a bike, you are improving circulation to your muscles and promoting blood flow to your organs.
2Enhances Your Cardiovascular Health
Taking a spin on your bike also plays a big role in cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. It lowers “bad” cholesterol and can help prevent obesity by burning off excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat in your body.
3Helps You Lose Weight
Using a stationary bike such as a Weslo Exercise Bike on a regular basis also helps lower body fat levels, making you leaner and lighter and giving you more energy.
4Builds Your Muscles and Bones
Cycling is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put pressure on your joints, making it the perfect exercise for people who are injured or have joint pain. A study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that people who biked for transportation had better leg strength and muscular endurance than a control group that didn’t bike to work.
Biking can also help boost your bone health by increasing bone marrow cells called osteoblasts while decreasing the number of cells that cause deterioration of bones, called osteoclasts. Low bone density is associated with an increased risk of fractures. It can also prevent neck pain from cycling.
5Improves Mental Health
Cycling or spinning is good for your mental health because it helps relieve stress and anxiety, and promotes positive thinking, according to an Australian study on the anxiety-lowering effects of exercise.
Researchers have discovered that doing aerobic exercise, such as cycling, is a natural way to boost your mood and relieve depression. It can also improve depression symptoms by triggering the release of endorphins. These hormones are responsible for making you feel happy, relaxed and pain-free.
Riding a bike for exercise can also improve balance, posture, and coordination. When you are not pedaling, you need to keep both hands on the handles or the brakes in order to stay balanced.
7Builds Social Connections
Finally, riding a bike can also be a fun social activity that involves going on rides with other people and places you in pleasant settings, such as parks and along beaches. It’s a great way to get out and meet other people who are interested in exercise, too. This is especially helpful if you are new to an area and don’t know many people yet.