23 Jan Cycling is good for you: 7 good reasons to practice cycling
We all know the benefits for our health deriving from the practice of sports activity. In the next appointments, I will examine the different sports disciplines to help you identify which one might be the most suitable for you.
Today I would like to consider cycling, the activity that most of all manages to combine fun and physical fitness. Pedaling is good for the heart, lowers blood pressure, and helps shed extra cash. Continue reading: Affordable mountain bikes for beginners
In recent years, several countries have enacted laws that encourage the use of bicycles for daily commuting. For example, in some countries, there has been an incentive of 22 cents per kilometer for some time now for the use of bicycles on journeys from home to work. In France, the first bike-sharing service was introduced 8 years ago and was subsequently copied all over the world. This is not only to combat pollution but also because cycling is good for the country’s economy: according to a recent study published by the economic commission for Europe un and the regional office for Europe, if major European cities invested in “Green and healthy transport,” more than 76,600 people could find work (in bicycle retail, maintenance, clothing supply, and accessories for cyclists).
The seven benefits of cycling
Here are some good reasons to cycle not only in summer but all year round:
1 – It makes you happier
Cycling lowers stress and decreases depression. Like all sports, cycling stimulates the production of endorphins, hormones that relieve fatigue and pain and positively affect mood. In addition, cycling makes us feel more energetic. It takes away fatigue and stress. Those who practice this activity regularly have a better chance of looking younger and more toned than those who don’t. And in addition, there is contact with nature!
2 – Control your weight and keep fit
Cycling is an aerobic sport and, therefore, suitable for those who want to lose weight. The calories burned to depend on how much and how we pedal: at a good pace, that is, one that still allows us to have a short chat now and then, about 500 calories are burned per hour. But pay attention to consistency. Only with regular activity and proper nutrition is it possible to lose weight.
When pedaling, it is possible to tone the calves, buttocks, and lumbar muscles of the spine without getting too thick; moreover, the muscles and bones of the back area are strengthened while maintaining the correct posture, so the back also receives benefits. Indeed the particularity of the position that one assumes when pedaling makes sure that the bicycle is also suitable for those who suffer from pathologies such as low back pain.
3 – Protects the heart
The bicycle is useful for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and prevents them from worsening in the elderly. The heart muscle, through constant activity, becomes stronger and more able to resist fatigue. In addition, the regular, low-intensity aerobic activity allows the control of blood sugar cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood with proven benefits for preventing and managing diseases such as hypertension, ischemic cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity.
Pedaling gradually strengthens the heart and lung ventilation and numerous muscle groups; in the muscles used, it increases vascularity and improves the ability to extract oxygen from the blood and use carbohydrates.
Cycling also improves venous and lymphatic circulation in the lower limbs, helping to prevent swelling in the legs.
4 – Does not damage the joints
Unlike other sports such as running, cycling is a low-impact sport with the ground: cycling preserves the tendons and keeps the joints of the knees, hips, and ankles active. When pedaling, we do not exert pressure on the joints of the lower limbs. On the contrary, the rotational movement has a protective effect on their cartilages. Even the spine and knees are not overloaded as in running because the body’s weight is discharged entirely on the bicycle frame. This particularity makes this activity suitable for those suffering from spinal disorders, such as back pain and sciatica.
5 – Decreases fatigue
Despite the fatigue they can endure in long and steep climbs, cyclists have more energy. According to a study by the University of Georgia published in psychotherapy and psychosomatics, cycling at a moderate pace at least 3 times a week stimulates the production of dopamine, which raises energy levels by 20% and reduces the feeling of fatigue 65%.
6 – Extend the life
What matters, however, is not the simple act of getting on the saddle. Still, the intensity of the exercise: the more you pedal intensely, the longer your life expectancy, especially because you avoid heart disease. A danish study argues that cycling at a fairly brisk pace could help men live four more years and women five. Another research published in 2011 in the international journal of sports medicine (int. J. Sports med. 2011 Aug; 32 (8): 644-7) revealed that tour de France cyclists live, on average, about 8 years older than other sportsmen.
7 – It is not dangerous
Cycling can be dangerous, especially in the city, due to road accidents and pollution. However, despite the risks to which they are exposed, cyclists are involved in fewer accidents than those involving those who drive cars.
Three simple tips
However, to make cycling pleasure and not become a pain, do not forget some precautions:
Adjusts the seat height in such a way as to allow an almost complete extension of the limbs in the lower arch of the pedal stroke: an incorrectly sized frame or an incorrect position in the saddle can lead to problems in the spine or joints of the lower limbs;
Choose clothing suitable for the climate to avoid colds: the clothing must allow the evaporation of sweat and protection from the wind;
Always wear a helmet, goggles, and gloves: they will limit the damage caused by falls and accidents.
To conclude, one last piece of information that makes cycling an even more interesting sport: according to a study by the British heart foundation, a quarter of the British think that cyclists have these qualities: charming, intelligent, ecological, selfless.
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