Cycling boosts the travel bug within an individual, simultaneously providing the necessary physical exercise, and is therefore, a very pleasurable fitness option. Here are some facts about cycling that will motivate you to move outdoors more often:
- Weight Loss
Cycling is one of the best kinds of cardio exercise. It causes mobilization of fats and results in overall toning of the body. Cycling helps burn a lot of calories quickly. Apart from actually helping you burn fat, cycling also helps to tone your muscles, especially your glutes, calves, quad and hamstrings. It uses up all the muscle groups as you pedal away and is thus, a great muscle workout. Cycling to lose weight need not necessarily involve fast, intense sessions of off-roading. In fact, long, slow paced rides are more beneficial as it gives the body enough time to burn down the fats.
- Time Efficient Exercise
Using cycle as a mode of transport, especially when you are spending most of your time seated at your workplace, is very time-efficient along with being a healthy exercise. Being very small in size, cycling will also save you a lot of traffic and parking exasperation. Cycling to work, is thus beneficial for you as well as your environment.
- Improves mental well-being
Individuals who live a physically active lifestyle, show increased levels in their overall well-being as compared to inactive individuals. The new views that come along with the experience of cycling outdoors can be mentally stimulating, giving you enough time to delve on your worries and problems and finding solutions through careful introspection. Riding in groups will help you broaden your social circle as well. A combination of outdoors and exercise has therapeutic effects on emotional well-being. The rapid release of endorphins like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, as a result of cycling, are known to provide lasting feelings of ‘happiness’ and can be great mood uplifting agents.
- Better Lung Health
Intense cycling sessions pump you up, rushing more blood into your lungs. As a result the body inhales more oxygen, leaving you feeling relaxed and contented. The diaphragm pulls in more amount of air. For cycling or any form of exercise to be effective, you need to breathe in and out only through your nose and leave your mouth closed, because the nose is quite capable of filtering out unnecessary junk in the process of respiration, due to the fine hair it contains (but the mouth is not capable to do so). It would be a bad idea to breathe through your mouth, especially when travelling down dusty roads.
- Increased Cardiovascular fitness
Jogging can be a difficult exercise for people with heart related ailments but exercise is essential to curb the cholesterol build-up in the arteries to avoid heart attacks. Indulging in cycling is a better option for such people. The heart pumps blood faster, thereby causing a rapid fat burn, which lowers your risk of being overweight. Half an hour a week of cycling has been found to be effective to keep heart diseases at bay. Public transit is unhealthy and causes a higher risk of strokes as compared to cycling. For heart patients, it is necessary to listen to your body and find a pace that best suits your fitness condition and feels manageable. Increase the intensity of the workout only if you feel like your body is ready to take the challenge and it is best if you consult your physician before indulging in any in exercise routine.
- Improves Sex Life
Cycling has shown to improve moods, thereby affecting the intimacy in a relationship. Partners who engaged in cycling are found to have higher levels of energy to indulge in sexual activity. The blood flow enhancement caused due to cycling induces a sense of sexual arousal. Several hormones released when a person is stressed, like cortisol generally hamper sexual activity. It has shown to reduce the heightened release of these hormones. All the muscles essentially used while cycling are the same ones that are utilized during intercourse. Therefore, if these muscles are developed effectively, it will prolong the intercourse and make it more flexible.
Also take a look at Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat