A leisurely bike ride is a great way to get some fresh air, get yourself out of the house whilst enjoying a warm spring afternoon. Sure, there are other activities you could be doing but a bike ride is an excellent way to burn off some calories and a great way to supplement an active lifestyle.
Actually, a relaxing bike ride (<10 mph) burns more calories (281 calories versus 176 calories per hour) than an easy walk (2 mph), according to NutriStrategy. To burn even more calories why not try to challenge yourself by pushing your speed over 10 mph and powering your way up hills. One of the great things about taking up cycling is the cost, you can buy the best mountain bikes for under $500 if you shop around.
Top Reasons to Starting Bike Riding Today
It’s not just about the calories you know, there are many other health benefits of cycling. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major benefits.
1. Cycling Builds Strength and Muscle Tone
Believe it or not but cycling is not just a fitness activity for the lower body. Regular cycling will help to build strength in a holistic manner because almost every part of your body in being used whilst on a bike.
2. Cycling Is One of the Easiest Ways to Exercise
One of the best aspects of going on a bike ride is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to reap the benefits. Not only that, but you can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year. Unlike a lot of other sporting activities very little skill is required to jump on a bike and for those who can’t commit to other team sports due to work or other commitments biking is a great option.
Almost all of us know how to ride a bike, right? It’s one of those things you pick up as a kid and never forget. All you need is a bike, a bit of confidence and a half an hour here or there and you will be able to enjoy the health benefits of a bike ride when it suits you.
3. Cycling Eats up Calories
Have a few pounds you want to shift? Why not jump on a bike. A leisurely steady bike ride typically burns around 300 calories per hour. So if you could find a spare 30 minutes in each day you would potentially lose around 11 pounds of fat in a year. A good bike ride also help to build muscle and will boost your metabolic rate even when you have finished your bike ride and you have your feet-up your body is still busy working.
4. Cycling Increases Muscle Tone
If you want to increase your muscle mass but don’t want to lift weights regular cycling helps to improve general muscle function overtime with very little risk of strain of over exercise as is commonly associated with weight training. Once you get into a cycling routine you will start to see changes in your leg muscles, thighs, hips, and bottom.
5. Cycling Improves Coordination
Regular biking will improve your overall coordination. Because cycling utilizes the whole body you will start to notice an improvement in arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination.
6. Cycling Helps Build Stamina
Nothing really is as effective at building stamina as a good bike ride. You will find yourself going much further each time you head out the door on your bike without even noticing that you have pushed yourself and broken your own personal goals.
7. Cycling Helps To Reduce Stress
Fact, stress kills. Any form of exercise will help to reduce stress as well as depression along with improving your self-esteem and general wellbeing. And you guessed it, cycling is a great way to distress, fill your lungs with fresh air and be one with nature. If you want to forget the day’s troubles nothing really beats a bike.
8. Cycling Improves Cardio-Vascular Fitness
You don’t need to go all crazy in the gym to improve your cardio-vascular fitness. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness. A moderate bike ride will make the heart pound steadily which helps to circulate the blood and will improve cardio-vascular fitness. In fact, studies have shown that just cycling to work will help to increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%.
9. Cycling Improves Heart Health
British Medical Association say that cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. Also bicycling has been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure. In fact, a major study of 10,000 civil servants showed that those who cycled roughly 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues. Don’t forget that heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States.
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