Once the main mode of personal transport for many Indians, cycling has gone on to become a popular fitness activity, even a tool for adventure sports. Stands to reasons, as cycling comes as naturally to us as swimming – common knowledge dictates that one doesn’t forget either skill once they have learnt it, no matter how long they have been away from it.
In India, one can still see a large section of the population using old-school bicycles as a mode of transport, for going to school or to work and coming back. Equally, there is a section of people in the country who have adopted the modern cycle varieties with their added benefits of gears and being lightweight. These new bikes are designed differently based on whether you use them on the track, road or trail.
Cycling is also a low-impact exercise which can be enjoyed by people of all age groups, as it remains an excellent cardiovascular activity and its static version, a favourite piece of equipment in the gym. It also doesn’t require you to take a break from working out when you’re travelling; bicycles can be a great way to explore a new city as well!
Benefits of cycling:
Even though cycling is a low-impact aerobic activity, it can provide you with a solid workout, leaving you out of breath after an intense ride. Here are some of the known benefits of cycling:
Cycling is an effective way to burn calories and a good exercise for weight loss. Cycling for more than 20 minutes also helps to increase the metabolism, which means that you continue to burn calories well after you have stopped. Compared with running, cycling burns fewer calories. However, it is a low-intensity workout and may be better suited to people who are older, at high-risk of workout injuries or are living with obesity.
B)Boosts muscle growth:
The lower-body muscles are constantly at work while cycling, thus making a positive impact on the legs, glutes, back as well as the abdominal muscles.
Cycling is known to improve heart as well as lung health, with some studies suggesting it could even reduce the chances of heart disease, some types of cancer,diabetes and digestive disorders.
D)Great for beginners:
The two different styles of cycling also ensure that it is not a daunting activity. Even if you have never ridden a cycle in your life, you can always hop onto a stationary one at the gym and not worry about falling off. Additionally, training wheels aren’t just for kids. If you’re a grownup who wants to learn how to ride a bicycle in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or even older, try bicycle training wheels for adults: the training wheels will reduce your fear of falling, and the cycling will give your heart and lungs a great workout. The added benefit: this will allow you to go outside for several minutes daily. Spending time outdoors is a key tenet of a good self-care regime as it promotes happiness.
E)Reduces mental health risk:
Cycling is also known to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression through its physical demands. The activity releases adrenaline and endorphins, thereby easing your stress levels. It is also known to boost the body’s resistance to degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Even as a mode of transport while going to work, cycling is a great way to promote a healthy lifestyle, not only as an exercise but being kinder to the environment.
G)Boosts body balance:
Those who have trouble with coordination between the left and right side of their bodies, have trouble running or climbing stairs or have other such difficulties, cycling can help build a greater level of balance in the body. It is also known to improve your overall posture.
Sure, cycling, much like any lifestyle choice or activity, can be as expensive as you want it to be. However, the activity itself is one of the cheapest ways to get fit. All it needs is the initial investment of the bicycle, which doesn’t have to be super expensive.
I)Improves bone health:
Not only does it help build muscles, but cycling also increases bone density and doesn’t harm the joints because it is not a weight-bearing exercise.
Cycling is also a great social sport, where a group can converge and decide to ride to a new destination, or one can form a community in their local spinning group. Building new friendships and connections is also therapeutic as it promotes overall well-being.