Weight Loss and Other Health Benefits of Cycling
October 10, 2011
You don't have to be a Tour De France competitor to realize the health benefits of cycling. Because cycling is one of the most strenuous forms of exercise, it offers amazing benefits. This particular physical activity is not only fun, but is also one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise and a great way to manage weight as well. When performed on a regular basis, cycling will:
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- Help with weight management. Vigorous exercise such as cycling burns more calories through increased energy output, increases BMR (basal metabolism rate which is the number of calories required to maintain basic life processes) and REE (resting energy expenditure), enables the body to maintain lean body mass by through fat loss, and assists in appetite suppression. Cycling will increase caloric output in two ways - through the energy required to move your body and your bicycle against air and gravity, and through the effects daily physical activity will have on your lifestyle in general. People who exercise on a regular basis become more aware of increased daily activity because of their increased sense of well-being and vigor. Steady cycling will burn about 300 calories per hour. Cycling just 30 minutes per day will burn about 11 pounds of fat per year.
- Improved heart health. When performed on a regular basis, cardiovascular exercise such as cycling helps strengthen the heart, lungs and circulation. Cycling keeps the heart pounding in a steady manner. Heart muscles become stronger. Lowered resting pulse can result and blood fat levels can be reduced through cycling. According to the British Medical Association, cycling as little as 20 miles per week can assist in reducing coronary heart disease by 50%. Because cycling uses the largest muscle groups, the legs, it raises the heart rate which benefits fitness and stamina.
- Helps reduce stress and improves mood. Cycling like any form of exercise, raises one's mood and because it has such positive effects on the body, helps reduce the effects of depression and stress. Cycling outdoors has the added benefit of allowing one to commune with nature which can help rejuvenate the soul from the pressures of day-to-day living.
- Builds strength, stamina and muscle tone. Regular cycling will not only help strengthen the legs, hips, rear end and thighs, but because other parts of the body are involved in cycling too, will help build strength in a holistic manner. It is great for mobility of the knee and hip joints. It is also a great exercise for those requiring or preferring a low-impact form of exercise.