Surprising health benefits of cycling

The bicycle is one of the oldest forms of transportation dating back to 18th century, and even today, it is the most popular vehicle used to get around.  The popularity of the bicycle has carried various important milestones throughout history, from giving people independence and the freedom to go faster and further, to paving the way for woman’s civil rights movement and introducing the world to the wonderments of cycling. But beyond being a great transportation vehicle, the two-wheeled locomotive also has many benefits both mentally and physically that might surprise you.

  • Improves everyday activities – The benefits of cycling can be crossed over to even your daily life. With daily cycling, you not only build up your energy level but also fight against fatigue that can help your body get ready for everyday activities such as – balancing, walking, standing, and walking up stairs. Make your daily commute something you look forward to, almost as a form of meditation where you can clear your mind, smell the fresh air, and feel the breeze on your face as you get ready to tackle your day.

 

  • Pedaling builds bones – There is a lot of speculation whether cycling is good for your bones or not, the science of bone density is complicated and convoluted. From reviewing the available research, this is what we found; when you pedal you are essentially pushing, and when you push you simultaneously pull on your muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density. The biggest factor that influences body mineral density is body mass, especially muscle mass. Meaning, that you build more bone in the places with more muscle mass and the areas you work hardest, like your legs. So, in order to get a more balanced bone density, it is also important to do your core exercises. A strong core provides a solid foundation to your body which in turn also make you a better biker.

 

  • Stress and anxiety – High levels of physical activity such as cycling have led to a significantly decreased risk of developing clinical depression. As a matter of fact, it is so effective at suppressing stress, anxiety, and depression that some patients have been able to reduce or eliminate the use of medications such as Prozac and Zoloft.

 

 

  • Diabetes and cycling – There are 29.1 million people in the United States that have diabetes while 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their conditions. The rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing, which is a serious public health concern. But type 2 diabetes is mainly preventable. Lack of physical activity plays a major role in why people develop this condition. Large-scale research in Finland found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40% lower risk of developing diabetes. The power of cycling can be related to almost every part of mental and physical health.

 

  • Prevents Cancer – Research from the University of Glasgow, which was conducted over the span of 5 years and included 264,000 commuters, highlight that riding a bike to work was associated with a 45 percent lower risk of cancer and a 46 percent lower risk of heart disease. The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled, the greater the health boon. So in a nutshell, if you want to stay healthy, reduce the risk of cancer and live longer then start riding your bike more often!

 

References:
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/20/study-shows-that-cycling-to-work-could-cut-risk-of-cancer-by-45-percent.html
https://momentummag.com/mental-health-benefits-of-cycling/
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-39641122
https://www.bicycling.com/training/health-injuries/be-good-your-bones
https://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/statistics
http://www.zf.uni-lj.si/data/datoteke/acam21/polonap/NBG%C5%A1tudijskogradivo0708/PRESNOVNEBOLEZNI/Diabetes/1_Physical_Activity_in_the_Prevention_of_Type_2_Diabetes.pdf

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