Since the pandemic started, cycling became one of the most reliable and flexible means of travel when public transportation stopped operating. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a coronavirus briefing that the cycling numbers in the UK increased by 200% on the weekends and a 100% increase on weekdays.
Apart from being a convenient and eco-friendly means of transport, cycling also offers many health benefits.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity each week and cycling is one of the most recommended forms of exercise.
In this article, we will show you the many benefits of cycling for your health.
Improves Mental Health
Exercises, like cycling, boost a person's overall mood and mental well-being since it releases adrenalin and endorphins. The YMCA found out in a study that people who have an active lifestyle had a higher well-being score of 32% than inactive individuals.
In addition, cycling outside and not in a studio is said to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. An analysis of ten studies found that spending time in a green environment improves the mood and self-esteem of people struggling with mental illness.
Promotes Weight Management
Cycling burns around 400 to 1,000 calories per hour, depending on the intensity of your ride and your weight. If you properly plan out the time of your ride, the frequency of your refuelling, and the quality of your sleep, you will burn a good number of calories despite consuming large amounts of food.
Improves Lung Capacity
Many chronic pulmonary disease treatments incorporate cycling as part of their rehabilitation programme to help strengthen the patient’s lungs. With COVID-19 targeting a person’s lung, now is also the perfect time to get into cycling.
You can go cycling around 170-250 minutes per week to improve your lung health and any pulmonary conditions.
Makes the Heart Healthier
A recent study published in The Lancet looked at Census data over a 25-year period, aiming to find the correlation between active commuting, such as cycling, and a person’s cardiovascular health. They found that people who cycled to work were less likely to die of heart disease compared to people who drove or took public transport.
Balances Blood Pressure
A study has shown that cycling effectively lowered the blood pressure of people with type 2 diabetes. Cycling can reduce blood pressure by 4.3% after three months and 11.8% after six months. Physical activity like cycling are effective methods to prevent hypertension.
Researchers from the University of Georgia studied a group of people aged 20 to 85 for 35 years and found that low fitness levels of the 2% of men and 4% of women in the group resulted in sleep problems.
However, the researchers learned that exercises like cycling could prevent this problem since it reduces anxiety, raising the chance of better sleep. It also protects people from weight gain, which is another result of sleep dysfunction.
Riding a bike is ideal for people with osteoarthritis since it puts minimal stress on the joints while improving strength, balance and coordination. Since it is not a weight exercise, it cannot specifically help relieve osteoporosis, but it can still prevent falls and fractures.
Boosts Brain Power
A study in 2013 found that cycling increases the blood flow to the brain by 28% and 70% to other areas. Improved blood flow improves nutrient intake, keeping the brain healthy. Cycling for 45 to 60 minutes four times a week is enough to improve the blood flow to the brain.
Find Out More on How Cycling Can Improve Your Health
Medical professionals can provide you with a clearer image of your health condition and how you can use cycling to improve it.
Vista Health offers diagnostics services like cardiac MRI scans and full body MRI scans to help your healthcare provider better visualise your health. Contact us to learn more about our services and how you can schedule an appointment today.