Taking up cycling can be one of the best decisions you’ll make in life. Whether you choose to hop on a bike for health reasons, to help the environment, try a new activity, or even to supplement another sport, cycling is a ton of fun. After some time on the bike, you may find that the only downside to cycling is that it can be addictive!
And you won’t be riding alone. Globally, more people own bikes than own cars – about 42% of the world’s population – and that number is growing every year.
If you’re still on the fence about joining the global community of cyclists, Here Are 101 Amazing Benefits to cycling that span all aspects of life.
The best part is, you only need to choose one to start cycling – but as soon as you start, all the other benefits will follow!
Cycling is a serious leg workout, and your quads, hamstrings, and glutes are sure to respond by building new muscle fibers to adapt. Although cycling at low resistance will slowly build muscles, you can maximize the gains and build muscle faster by riding uphill, riding in higher gears, or including sprint intervals in your workout.
Low intensity, aerobic, and consistent exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose body fat. Cycling for an hour or so each day is plenty to begin losing fat, and you can maximize the loss by heading into a training section after fasting for a few hours – but be careful not to overeat at the end of the ride.
Cycling is far more fun than lifting weights in the basement, but it can help you achieve similar strength gains in your lower body. The best way to build brute strength, particularly in your quads, is to grind away in your highest gear – but if you drop below 60 pedal strokes per minute, drop a gear so that you don’t crush your knee joints.
Many athletes point to the “runner’s high” as a zen mental state that comes from exercise, but the same stress-free feeling can be found through cycling. Cycling forces you to regulate your breathing, breathe more deeply, and focus on the task at hand rather than the stress of other parts of your life.
Running, and most team sports that involves running, slowly breaks down your knee joints over time. Cycling, on the other hand, has a low impact on your knee joints and as a result is a sport you can participate even in old age. Be sure to fit your bike properly, since a seat that is too high or low can cause grinding or over extension.
Just as you can train the muscles in your legs, you can train the muscles that expand and contract your lungs. Cycling is a great way for this because there are ample opportunities to include intervals in your workouts, or to practice cresting a hill and then keeping up the hard effort. This type of training can help to expand your lung capacity and teach you to move air more effectively.
Daniel Atlas, managing editor at Rydoze, started Rydoze.com to help people get back on their bikes and on their way to a healthier lifestyle. Rydoze offers information and resources for everyone at every skill level. They share their experiences, along with relevant data.
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