If you live within a five-mile radius of your place of work, cycling is one of the simplest forms of exercise you can integrate into your lifestyle. This is because cycling is also a (relatively speedy) form of transport. Cycling on a regular basis has many benefits. Not only are there a multitude of health benefits but cycling also saves you money and lightens the toxic load on the environment.
Look at countries like Belgium, Switzerland and even China. There are “bike to work” incentives where the government pays you to use a bicycle to get to and from work. In some countries, they have “bike share”. These are communal bicycles that are available to everyone, of which you pay less than £0.11 an hour. In the UK we have Next Bike which will cost you £60 for an annual subscription. This includes maintenance.
If you reside quite far from work, then try spinning. At Digme Fitness, we have something for everyone in our innovative indoor cycling and HIIT studios. More on this a little later. For now, though, let’s look at some of the top benefits of cycling.
Enhanced cardiovascular system
While cycling or spinning, your heart rate goes up (beats faster). This encourages good health by exercising the heart. By breathing deeper, perspiring heavily and increasing your body temperature, you are in turn increasing your cardiovascular fitness.
Cardiovascular diseases include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
By cycling regularly, you strengthen your heart muscles which improve your circulation. This enhances your heart's capability of pumping blood to your lungs and to the rest of your body. This results in more blood being flowed to your muscles, which means oxygen levels in your blood rise.
Cycling increases your stamina which naturally results in boosts your endurance over time. Through cycling on the regular, your energy levels will rise. The benefits of this are exceptional. Any type of regular exercise releases endorphins that raise your energy level. As mentioned above, this will result in more blood and oxygen circulating through your body, providing more energy. This is brilliant for:
- Productivity at work
- Increased focus on the many aspects of your personal life
Exercise also enables you to get a better night's sleep. When you get enough rest, you feel more refreshed, inspired and positive throughout the day.
Fat loss / weight loss
Through a substantial increase in your metabolic rate, building of muscle and fat burning, cycling is a fantastic, fun and practical way of losing weight. This, of course, needs to be coupled with a healthy eating plan.
Along with correct diet, you should be burning around 2,000 calories a week. When you cycle regularly, you can burn up to 300 calories an hour. If you spend 10 hours per week riding a bicycle, you can burn anywhere up to 6,000 calories. This will more than likely result in considerable weight loss, provided you’re eating correctly.
Adding to our section on energy, the mental benefits of cycling are tremendous. Our focus sharpens after exercise. In a study published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills in February 2014, it was found that a session of high-intensity training such as cycling, improves our cognitive function in terms of attention and short-term memory tasks.
Cycling also brings about a high sense of self-esteem. You feel better because you look better. Many studies show that consistent exercise results in a lower depression, anxiety and stress rate for people of all age groups. Being out on the road or in a spinning class is also a welcome break from the many pressures associated with everyday life. It’s a wonderful way of disconnecting from the rat race.
Reduces heart disease and cancer risk
Cycling helps us maintain a healthy weight which assists in lowering your risk of cancer. Once again, through raising your heart rate, you may cut your risk of cancer and heart disease. The NHS recommends it as one of the healthiest ways to do so. In a recent long- term study conducted by the University of Glasgow, on 264,337 people, it was determined that commuting by bicycle to work and back may cut the risk of developing heart disease and cancer almost in half. Read the full study here.
Cycling as a form of commuting may not be practical for some and so we recommend indoor cycling classes at Digme. Our friendly, highly qualified instructors and best-in-class equipment will ensure that not only will you get the most effective workout, but a workout which will leave you exhilarated as part of the deal. Workout effectively in a way you can love.