Why Cycling is Good for Your Heart: 10 Top Health Benefits of Cycling
The prevalence of lifestyle diseases among young people is soaring. Unhealthy food habits, insufficient physical activity, smoking, and lack of sleep are the leading causes of lifestyle disorders.
Globally, heart disease is the major cause of death when compared to other lifestyle diseases. Younger people are at a higher risk of heart disease due to obesity and high blood pressure.
We were left stunned by Puneeth Rajkumar’s death, a reigning star in the Kannada film industry. Fitness was a passion for the Sandalwood star. The 46-year-old actor died after suffering a massive heart attack while doing weight training exercises at the gym. Concern over the rising incidence of heart attacks among young people has been sparked by this incident. Apparently, in recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of young people diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases.
Over-exercising may produce results immediately, but in turn, it can negatively impact your body. Exercise promotes a healthy lifestyle and keeps our weight under control. But overstraining our bodies can also lead to health complications.
Young people have now become increasingly more aware of the importance of heart health through non-risky aerobic exercises like cycling.
How can we reduce the risk of heart disease?
Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet: It is recommended to eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, which includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains.
Give Up Smoking: You will be less likely to develop cardiovascular disease if you give up smoking. Atherosclerosis (furring of the arteries) is a major risk factor associated with smoking. The majority of coronary thrombosis cases in people under 50 are related to smoking.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: Excessive consumption of alcohol can result in high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke.
Increase Your Physical Activity: In order to maintain a healthy weight, you should combine a healthy diet with regular exercise. A healthy weight reduces your chances of developing hypertension.
Why is Cycling Good for Your Heart?
As you cycle, your heart rate rises and your blood pumps around your body, burning calories, which limits your chances of becoming overweight. It is therefore recommended by the NHS (National Health Service, England) as a healthy way to reduce your risk of developing major illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Aerobic exercise like cycling is excellent for maintaining a healthy heart. Among these, cycling is the best aerobic activity because your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all get a workout. As a result, you will breathe deeper, perspire more, and experience an increase in body temperature, which will improve your level of fitness.
According to reports, regular cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your overall health. Cycling for an hour can burn between 250 and 700 calories (1046 and 2930 kilojoules) an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight.
What makes Cycling Better than Going to the Gym?
If working out on stationary equipment makes you easily bored, cycling might be a good option for you. Let’s check some benefits of cycling over the gym.
Benefits Of Cycling Over Gym
Breathe in the Fresh Air- Cycling is certainly better than a gym membership. Exercising outdoors often eases stress more than staying indoors. The fresh air and nature you experience while cycling outdoors can boost your mood even more than just working out alone. Cycling outdoors and breathing fresh air gives you a unique adrenaline rush.
Saves Time and Effort- The coolest thing about cycling is that you don't have to rely on a trainer as you do at the gym. To put it another way, you have the freedom to cycle whenever it's convenient for you. Cycling is easier to fit into your schedule than working out at the gym. Those with packed schedules might get more fitness by riding a bike instead of driving to their workplace. Gyms are not suitable for people with severe diabetes or heart problems. It is advised that these people should cycle moderately to strengthen their hearts and lower their blood sugar levels.
Aids Digestion- Studies show that cycling reduces the time food takes to pass through the large intestine. This leads to less water being absorbed by the body and the formation of softer stool. Moreover, it prevents bloating.
What do Studies Say About the Effects Of Cycling On Cardiovascular Health?
Several scientific studies have shown that cycling reduces your risk of heart disease.
In a recent study published in the journal Circulation, it was discovered that regular cyclists suffer 15 per cent fewer heart attacks than non-cyclists. Researchers also found that even a small amount of time spent on cycling activity reduces the risk of heart disease.
Cycling is a great exercise for all fitness levels, but it can be particularly beneficial for those who are overweight or have joint and muscle problems, according to the British Cycling Federation (BCF). The BCF encourages cyclists to take up a sport that involves weight-bearing exercise, such as cycling. Besides improving endurance and aerobic capacity, cycling also strengthens muscles like calves, thighs, and backs. Furthermore, it is a great stress reliever.
The Copenhagen Heart Study, which tracked over 5000 people for 14 years, showed a dramatic reduction in coronary heart disease death rates associated with high-intensity cycling.
According to reports, between 3.2 million and 5.3 million people worldwide die each year because they do not get enough physical activity. Physical activity lowers the risk of many health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and depression.
The research, led by the University of Leeds, found that in areas where walking or cycling to work was more common, the incidence of heart attacks decreased for both men and women.
If you're not sure how to fit cycling into your busy schedule, think about start using it for mundane tasks like biking to your workplace, going shopping, or taking a weekend bike ride.
Medical Benefits Of Cycling
Cycling is one of the most popular exercises for people of all ages since it is low-impact and engaging. There are many health benefits associated with cycling. It can strengthen your heart just as it strengthens your arms, legs, and other muscles.
Performing aerobic activities such as cycling regularly can prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure or reduce it in people who already have it. Regular cycling lowers your total cholesterol and can enhance your cholesterol profile by increasing the ratio of "good" cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) to "bad" cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol). It also improves your lung ventilation and efficiency.
When you cycle regularly, the capacity of your muscles increases, making everyday activities easier. Muscles will become stronger and better able to absorb glucose, and help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. Gentle cycling will help improve flexibility and reduce joint pain and swelling for arthritis sufferers.
A study conducted by the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) suggests that cycling could be encouraged as an activity for people with diabetes to lower the risk of premature mortality.
Other Benefits Of Cycling
1 Improves your Mental Health
“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
The many advantages of cycling extend beyond the enhancement of physical health to include benefits for mental health. Cycling releases endorphins, or 'feel-good' hormones. These hormones help you relax and feel better. It boosts your mood and reduces anxiety.
Outdoor exercise like cycling has some positive benefits compared to indoor exercise. Studies show that performing exercises outdoors or in nature is even more beneficial to your mental health.
Additionally, cycling can ease your financial stress and save you money over time.
2 Strengthens Your Immune System
Cycling can stimulate the immune system and delay the effects of ageing. Cycling can boost the effectiveness of your immune system by helping your immune cells function properly. As a result, it increases blood flow, reduces stress, and strengthens antibodies.
3 Help You Lose Weight
Cycling is not only a recreational activity but also one of the best cardio workouts that helps to shed weight and lose belly fat. Cycling for at least 300 minutes a week is recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the greatest weight loss benefit.
4 Improves Your Sex Life
Regular riding also helps regulate stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, resulting in a reduction in overall stress. According to research, less stress leads to easier sexual arousal.
In a UK Cycle Scheme survey, 79% of respondents said cycling makes them feel good about themselves, their partner, and their friends. 66% of cyclists believe cycling improves their relationships, and 39% say cycling gives them more energy, which has improved their sexual life.
5 Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
Several studies have found that cycling can reduce the risk of getting cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Cycling can reduce the risk of both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer. Cycle commuters experienced a lower death rate from heart disease and cancer compared to non-cyclists.
6 Improves Your Sleep Quality
Several studies have shown that cycling reduces sleep problems and promotes sound sleep. It decreases the levels of cortisol (stress hormones) in the body, which disturbs restful and deep sleep. Moreover, it increases serotonin levels, which helps to improve sleep.
7 Saves time and money
The benefits of cycling over cars are numerous. This saves us money that we would have otherwise spent on fuel. Cycling is a speedy way to move around a town or city.
8 Improves hand-eye coordination
Cycling is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination by keeping the handle of the cycle in line with what you see ahead. It improves reflexes and body balance.
9 Cycling is environmentally friendly
Reduce your carbon footprint by riding a bike. Researchers in Europe recently found that cycling once a day can reduce your transportation carbon footprint by 67%.
10 Morning ride can boost your mood
Starting your day with a healthy activity like cycling will help you boost your circulation and feel accomplished throughout the day. Making wise decisions may be easier with a positive attitude.
Get Started with Cycling
Start slowly if you have not been exercising regularly or you are returning to physical activity after a break. Outdoor cycling requires a helmet to protect your head, reflectors on your bike so that drivers can see you, and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
Warming up and cooling down afterwards helps your heart transition from rest to activity and back again. When you stop too quickly, you may experience muscle cramps.
Cycling is a low-impact, low-energy and low-cost exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It also provides health benefits that other forms of exercise cannot. Regular bicycle riding can help you reduce your risk of many lifestyle health problems. All you need to do is get up and pedal!
Cradiac Customer Stories
I’m Nidhin, a 29 -year-old banking professional. I cannot tell you enough how cycling has saved my life.
My job requires a lot of travel and is stressful at times. As a result of my travels and lack of exercise, I have developed some health issues recently. I went to the hospital for a check-up. A preliminary checkup was done, and for further evaluation, my blood sample was sent to the lab. As my blood results came in, I was stunned to find out that my cholesterol had crossed the danger zone. My HDL was 180 and my LDL, or bad cholesterol, was 140. I was panicked. My doctor told me that exercise and healthy eating are the first steps in combating high cholesterol.
This is when I realised how vital physical activities are to our daily lives. Cycling was my obvious choice as it is an enjoyable sport. I began searching for an affordable and quality bike. That’s when I came across Cradiac Discover. I liked the design; it has a lot of positive reviews, and the cost was very attractive for the features it offers. I bought a 7 speed Cradiac Discover bike and began my cycling journey.
Initially, I cycled small distances, but now I cycle five kilometres every day. The change has had a profound impact on my life. My LDL level went down and my HDL level rose above 200 when I checked after a month of cycling.
I’m quite happy with the change. Now cycling has become a part of my daily routine as it doesn’t affect my work schedule.
In addition to being an enjoyable sport, cycling can be a way to change your sedentary lifestyle and a great leap towards a healthier tomorrow.