Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that offers a variety of benefits. It also varies in intensity, making it suitable for all levels. You can ride a bike for transportation, recreational activities, or for intense competitive efforts.
It is a wonderful exercise that keeps you active. It can help create a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases like obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis. Regular cycling is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Cycling is a healthy, low-calorie exercise that can impact every one of all ages, from small children to seniors, and even can be enjoyed. Plus, also it is fun, cheap, and good for the environment. Biking to work or the shops is one of the most efficient ways to integrate regular exercise into your everyday life. An estimated one billion people use bicycles every day to get around, relax and exercise.
Cycling for Health and Fitness
It only takes two to four hours a week to see an overall improvement in your health. Cycling is:
- Low Impact: It causes less stress and injury than most other forms of exercise.
- A Good Muscle Workout: Cycling engages all major muscle groups as you pedal.
- Simple: Unlike other sports, cycling does not require great physical ability. Most people know how to ride a bike, and once you learn it, you never forget it.
- Good for Strength and Endurance: Cycling increases endurance, strength, and aerobic fitness.
- As Intense as You Like: Cycling can be done at very low intensity at first when you are recovering from an injury or illness, but it is becoming possible for a challenging physical workout.
- A Fun Way to Get Fit: The adventure and excitement of downhill riding and the outdoors mean you’ll be able to work with bigger and are likely to continue cycling regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require specific times or locations.
- Timesaving: As a means of transportation, the bicycle replaces sedentary (sedentary) time when driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains, or buses with healthy movement.
Benefits of Cycling After 50
Cycling is a great resistance exercise called aerobic training. It increases your heart rate and improves your breathing. This helps you stay healthy and gives you better staying power so you can do the things you need to do every day. Weight training such as cycling can prevent:
- Colon cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Heart Disease
- Exercise is also important in treating arthritis
- Stress on the joints.
Exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which can help make your joints feel better. The muscles around the joint can also become weak if you don’t exercise. This means they can’t absorb the shock of movement and your joints can hurt more.
Regular exercise can also improve your mood and memory. This is because it can increase blood flow to the brain. Studies also show that cycling outdoors can also improve your mood and make you feel good. The combination of exercise and the outdoors has a positive effect on health.
Negative Aspects of Cycling Over 50
Exercise is rarely a problem as it is important to maintaining good health. There can be times when riding a bike has some unwanted side effects. This can happen when you start riding a bike and build your strength, forget to stretch, and warm up, or if you have an injury.
These side effects may include:
- Muscle tightness
- Shortness of breath
You may feel at first that riding a bike is too strenuous, but after you continue, it will get easier, and you will feel better.
List of Health Benefits
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as cycling weekly. Research shows that cycling can provide numerous health benefits, including the following –
1) Cardiovascular Health
Many researchers suggest that cycling can help improve heart health. In addition, it is believed that people who cycle to work experience notable health benefits, including better cardiovascular function.
In addition to a 46% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, commuters who bike to work also have a 52 % lower risk of dying from the disease. The study results also indicate that cycling to work not only improves heart health but may also reduce the risk of cancer.
2) Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in some people. Some experts suggest that physical activity such as cycling may be the most important source of confidence in preventing these conditions. Cycling can also help lower blood pressure over a longer period. The above review states that blood pressure can be reduced by 4.3% at 3 months and 11.8% at 6 months. Studies show that cycling is an effective way to lower blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes.
3) Weight Management
Many studies indicate that cycling is a useful exercise to reduce body fat and body mass. If a person wants to lose weight, good nutrition and getting enough exercise are vital. Cycling can help a person manage their weight as it increases metabolism and builds muscle and burn body fat. It’s also adaptable, meaning a person can adjust the duration and intensity of the workout to suit their needs.
There is evidence that moderate cycling can burn up to 300 calories per hour for a person, depending on their body type. As a person increases the intensity, they can burn even more calories in less time.
4) Lung Health
Cycling can also help improve cardiorespiratory health. A previous study from 2011 showed that 170-250 minutes of cycling per week can significantly improve lung health. Many studies emphasize that exercise such as cycling is important to maintain healthy lungs for people with and without lung disease.
Other research also suggests that physical activity may help the immune system protect a person from respiratory infections such as SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. Regular cycling can also help promote lung function in people with lung disease. For example, people with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can include cycling in their pulmonary rehabilitation program.
5) Mental Health
In a sample of more than a million people in the US, exercise such as bicycling was associated with better mental health. A study conducted also highlights a link between the two as well as improvements in some cognitive functions. In addition to improving cognitive function, regular exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression.
6) Fitness Level
Many guidelines recommend regular aerobic exercise, such as cycling, walking, running, or swimming. Cycling can be particularly useful for fitness, as people can adjust the intensity to suit their needs. A study showed that people who cycle frequently or engage in cycling in their physical incorporating activities tend to be fitter than people who engage in other physical activities. The same study also finds that about 90% of people who cycle to work meet physical activity guidelines.
7) Low Impact
Cycling is a low-impact form of physical activity, making it a safe option for older adults and those with weak or damaged joints. Orthopaedic surgeons may recommend cycling on flat surfaces or indoors after surgeries such as hip and knee arthroplasty. The low-impact nature of an exercise can accommodates a variety of injuries and disabilities and still allow a person to be active.
The bicycle is the most sustainable mode of transport in the city and has practically no environmental impact. The bike also takes up little space and is cheap for cyclists and public infrastructure. This makes it ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.
9) Balance and Coordination
Cycling can stimulate motor regions in the central nervous system and activate the cerebral cortex, which can help improve motor learning and balance. For this reason, experts may recommend cycling as part of an effective rehabilitation program for people with balance and walking difficulties. Cycling can also help a person improve their stability, which can help prevent injury.
10) Easy to Learn
Cycling is also a relatively easy and affordable type of physical activity to get started with. It does not require great skills and combines mobility with physical activity, making it accessible to large sections of the population. People can also integrate cycling into their lives in a variety of ways, e.g., B. at home on an indoor bike, as a method of commuting, or as a hobby.
Risks and Safety
Many people avoid cycling for safety reasons. However, there are several ways to make cycling safer and less stressful, including:
- Get Medical Advice: People with certain medical conditions may have concerns about their fitness and health, accidents, or falls from the bicycle. It may be a good idea to discuss cycling safety with a doctor. You can also consider light indoor cycling as a safer alternative.
- Wear A Helmet: When cycling outdoors, research suggests that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of serious head injury in a bicycle accident by about 50%.
- Wear Cycling Clothing: These clothing items often contain bright colours and reflective materials that help cyclists be visible to riders. They also feature fabrics with fibres to control moisture from perspiration, which can prevent chafing. Cycling shorts also often have thick padding to provide cushioning and prevent chafing.
- Choosing A Suitable Bike: A person should try to find a bike that is suitable for them and is less taxing on the body, such as a comfortable bike. There are many variations of bikes, and the experts at a bike shop can help suggest a bike that’s right for a person.
- Securing A Good Reputation: In addition to choosing cycling, people should also choose a proper cycling position, as this can help prevent injury and improve their performance.
- Using A Padded Saddle: Saddles that relieve pressure can support the body and prevent numbness, tingling, or discomfort.
- Minimizing Exposure to Air Pollution: Although the benefits of riding a bike outweigh the risks of exposure to air pollution, a person can still do it take steps to reduce these risks if they are concerned. For example, they can choose less polluted routes and avoid rush-hour traffic.
It is also common for cyclists to be exposed to adverse and unpredictable weather conditions. Have a rain and windproof jacket ready and be prepared for an alternative mode of transport on inclement weather days.
- Be Careful When Driving Without Daylight: If you are in front of or after dawn riding is dark it is extremely important to have lights and reflectors (front and rear) on your bike. The golden principle to remember is “See and be seen.” Wear neon jackets or reflective tape to be visible to others on the street. Don’t assume that you will be visible to others. If possible, attach reflectors to the tires. Despite all these efforts, driving at night is still dangerous compared to driving during the day. Be extremely careful and aware.
- Don’t Overdo It: If you ride every day (depending on the intensity), you must take full rest days at least once a week. Rest days are extremely important for the body to recover from injury and fatigue. Whether you are recovering from injury or have pain in specific areas of your body, listen to your body and get rest. Rest days are a must if you want to improve your endurance and performance.
Cycling Is Eco-Friendly
Reduce your carbon footprint by cycling whenever possible. Recent research in Europe found that traveling by bike instead of driving once a day reduces the carbon footprint of transportation by 67%.
Cycling is a great substitute for transport options that are associated with a load are stuck in traffic for a long time. It’s especially useful when you’re visiting places that are a bit far to walk but don’t want to take a car. One advantage is not having to fight for a parking space in crowded areas.
Cycling Improves Balance, Posture, and Coordination
When you stabilize your body and the bike in maintaining an upright position, it will improve your overall balance and coordination and even your gait. Balance tends to deteriorate with age and inactivity, so it’s important to keep track. Better balance is beneficial in preventing falls and fractures, which can help reduce your risk of injury and keep you off the risers.