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The Many Health Benefits of Cycling

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

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Heathy living has a close relationship with exercise. It is not entirely possible to be fit and disease free without putting in the requisite physical activity. However, many people get rather disgruntled when they hear of exercising.

Somehow, a lot of people end up equating exercising with severe cramps, sweating, and similar expressions of pain. But what most of us fail to recognize is that we are not training for some championship and are merely working towards a better health. We really do not need to be working that hard for good health.

Exercise Can Be Fun Too!

There can be several pleasurable forms of exercise that are extremely beneficial for mental and physical health. Of course, when people are forced into exercising, they will associate negative emotions with it. Hence, it is best to opt for physical exertion that you like.

One such activity that can be done by everyone, almost anywhere is cycling. It is a very fun activity that can be done with family, or alone. It is very efficient and serves as a good mode of commute. Cycling instead of using cars, or any similar vehicle that uses combustion engines, also reduces the carbon emissions in the air.

However, other than the logistical conveniences, there are many health benefits of cycling as well.

It is Low Impact

High intensity workouts are good for burning more calories in shorter span; however, they can be hard on the musculoskeletal system. Moreover, they also incur greater physical and mental stress, leader to faster burnouts. Hence, high intensity workouts are not everyone’s cup of tea.

On the other hand, low impact workouts like cycling have a holistic and good effect on the people. Cycling can therefore be done easily by a greater number of people since the impact is rather moderate.

Moreover, research has shown low impact workout are linked to improved mood and disposition. Hence, amongst the many health benefit of cycling is also its good impact on the behavior and mood.

However, cycling is rather diverse. People who like challenging themselves can do a high intensity rendition of cycling by increasing their speed and perhaps cycling on an incline plane. Most often though, it is categorized as low impact.

Helps With Weight Loss

Being overweight or obese is a very dangerous condition. People who are overweight run the risk of diseases like heart and kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, fatty liver etc. They also are at a great risk of emotional trauma, as they are often ostracized by the society.

Moreover, obesity also causes relationships issues as sexual health is severely impaired due to it. Psychological issues aside, obesity also leads to mobility problems as well. Hence, having the normal BMI is imperative for healthy living.

For losing weight, it is crucial to not only decrease the calorie intake but burn off the excess calories too. Cycling is a great way to do that. People can manage their intensity level and thus slowly build their stamina. It is also not so hard on the joints, so is easier to perform as well.

Also, cycling helps increase metabolism as well, thereby ensuring that body continues burning calories even after ending the workout.

It Helps With Building Muscles

Amongst the numerous health benefits of cycling is that it also helps in building muscles. As paddling works the lower limbs, it helps the muscles of the legs, thigs and glutes strengthen and become lean as well.

But cycling also involves the abdominal and upper limb muscles too; the former are used to stay upright and balance the body whereas the latter for used in for holding the handlebars. And greater muscle mass means that you burn greater calories even when at rest!

Moreover, cycling does not involve overstressing the muscles or injuring them, which is what transpires in many of the high-intensity and weight training workouts.

It is Better For The Joints

Unlike walking or perhaps jogging, where your legs have to take all the weight of the body, cycling does not stress your legs by making them carry the entire body weight. Instead, bones in the pelvis are responsible for loadbearing during cycling.

Cycling therefore is better for the knee joints, especially for people who already have joint issues like pain in them or stiff joints.

It Increases Bone Density

As we age, we lose out on the bone mass. Older people have other factors amplifying this loss in bone density. Hence, one of the very significant health benefits of cycling is that it aids in building bones.
Primarily, the action of pedaling and the subsequent pull on the muscles is responsible for increasing bone density.

It Improves Mental Health

Exercise is not just great for releasing endorphins –the happiness hormones –but it also helps to counter the stress levels. Moreover, cycling out in the open helps to take in the natural beauty and thus acts as perfect distraction from the stressful situations.

Chronic stress leads to all sorts of mental conditions and physical problems, thereby making the mental health benefits of cycling even more profound.

It Prevents Diseases

As cycling helps keep people physically fit, it helps to deter or at least decrease the risk of conditions like heart diseases and cancer. It also helps people in fighting off hypertension and lowering their risk of strokes.

It should be noted that although cycling is great for you, it can also cause harm if you have any orthopedic conditions. If you have any of these conditions or are showing symptoms, you should first consult with an orthopedic surgeon. You can book an appointment with a top orthopedic surgeon in Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad via oladoc.com or by calling at 042-38900939.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, healthy diet, and lifestyle.
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