You can expect a cascade of health benefits if you bike every day. Biking is like rowing, running, swimming, and walking. They are all exercises that increase your heart rate and work to build and tone muscles.
When you bike every day, you may notice a flood of positive impacts in your life. The biggest effects most directly related to biking are:
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Strengthened Leg Muscles
Reduced Exercise Injuries
Increased Joint Health
General Health Benefits
Here is what you should know about each of these significant health benefits of cycling.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
You’ve probably heard that you need cardio at least a thousand times from as many people. But why?
Your body is a massive construction of cells that require fuel, oxygen, and nutrients to maintain their function. Your blood supplies your cells with all they need and provides a medium to remove waste.
Cardio exercise is a great way to help reset your body’s systems. Increasing your heart rate and blood flow helps your body cleanse itself of harmful things. Fats and waste dumped in your blood vessels get flushed out of your system, decreasing your chances of strokes and heart attacks.
Your heart is made up of tough muscles working continuously to keep you alive. The heart muscle works like any other muscle. When used, it becomes stronger; without use, your heart weakens.
As your heart weakens, it requires more energy to pump the same amount of blood. On top of a weakened heart, your veins and arteries will have a more challenging time adjusting to more blood flow. The result is higher blood pressure, which is easily avoided with cardio exercise.
More energy is required to move your muscles when biking. This is why your heart rate goes up, so your muscles are well-supplied with the energy they need to keep moving.
Strengthening Leg Muscles Through Cycling
Biking requires a near-constant exertion by your leg muscles to continue to move forward. Uphill or downhill, you will be pushing your muscles to move faster and push harder.
Running requires energy to maintain a steady forward pace, but your body isn’t pushing against anything. It is merely repeatedly using the muscle it has. The result is a lean runner's build. No pushing equals little to no muscle growth.
On the other hand, biking requires you to constantly push against resistance to move. Pushing helps break down your muscles, allowing them to grow back thicker and stronger.
Biking has an advantage over running because it can help you build muscle while doing an aerobic workout.
Strengthening muscles through biking can help improve your physical performance in other areas. Sprinting, swimming, lifting weights, and everyday activities like climbing stairs become easier with a larger muscle mass.
Reduce Exercise Injuries
Many people don’t like exercising, especially running, due to knee or joint pain.
Runner’s Knee is a very common use injury, even for non-runners. People who are feeling symptoms of runner’s knee note pain in their knee, swelling with use, and difficulty doing normal activities.
Even runners aren’t immune from the pains of Runner’s Knee. Around 25% of runners suffer from symptoms. These statistics don’t include the people who suffer from bad ankles, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or other conditions.
Running can be hard on the body due to the high impact stress that occurs with every new step. On the other hand, cycling is much easier on the body. Your joints are subjected to a more natural movement on bicycles that doesn’t irritate your joints and muscles like running can.
When you cycle instead of run, you are much less likely to have use injuries than if you start a high-impact cardio exercise like running.
Increase Joint Health
As was just said, bicycle movement is much more natural for your joints than other exercises.
Generally, cycling is a great way to improve the mobility and flexibility of the joints and muscles in your legs.
The gentle pedaling movements are great for helping injured joints slowly regain mobility during recovery. Knees, ankles, and hips can all be strengthened from cycling. This type of exercise can even be preferred for physical therapy because you can choose how rigorously you exercise.
It doesn’t matter from a health perspective whether you cycle on a stationary bike or are outdoors. What matters is the movement, consistency, and customizability.
Cycling can also help combat arthritis.
Working your joints through the full range of their motion naturally helps encourage your body to produce the fluids that lubricate your joints. While some of the underlying conditions of arthritis may still exist, naturally lubricated joints can help reduce inflammation and pain.
General Health Benefits
Balance and Posture
Cycling is an excellent all-around exercise for improving balance and posture.
To stay upright on a bicycle, your body must learn to compensate automatically for a bike's shifting nature. Your mind will learn to subconsciously engage different muscle groups responsible for shifting your center of gravity.
Learning to balance improves your muscle tone as well. As you get more experience riding a bike, you will lean out your core from the need to balance.
Mental Health Benefits
There are mental health benefits to cycling as well since exercise generally helps produce the endorphins that regulate mood and increase happiness. Many sources say that. What is equally as important is the chemical reactions from cycling.
Get Yourself Moving
Cycling gets you out and moving. Since it is much faster than running, you can plan more extended, scenic routes. Coasting down a slight hill or biking on a shaded trail can be much more fun than running.
The mental thrill from biking in different areas can make exercise time more appealing to those who have a more challenging time getting out.
Have Fun With the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay
Do you want a reason to bike every day? How about training for the Saints to Sinners Bike Relay? With your favorite biking partners, this extraordinary challenge will take you hundreds of miles across states!
Learn more by contacting us today.