The benefits of cycling are obvious, considering how much time we now spend in stuffy offices, in cramped private cars or in crowded public transport. In this article we will talk about the benefits of cycling for health and fitness, as well as possible harms and contraindications.
What are the benefits of cycling for women and men
The more people switch to bicycles, the cleaner the air around them becomes. Yes, and people’s health is improving, starting with the heart and blood vessels, ending with every cell in the body. Consider the benefits of cycling for women and men in a few points:
- Improved psychological well-being. It is known that active people are much healthier than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Thanks to physical activity, endorphin (the hormone of happiness) and adrenaline synthesis (energizing and active) occurs, which has a positive effect on the body. In addition, the very admiration of the opening scenery gives a lot of positive emotions. And the feeling of speed, your own strength and the ability to achieve victory in cycling competitions ward off any moping and depression.
- Improved joint health. Riding a bicycle is healthier than running, for example, because the load goes on the pelvic bones instead of the knees. Cycling improves joint mobility, improves their lubrication with synovial fluid. This is especially relevant with age, when activity decreases and discomfort in the knee joints appears.
- Strengthening the heart and blood vessels. Regular exercise and cycling help improve circulation, heart function and metabolism. That’s why many experts recommend cycling regularly to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, ischemia, etc. It is a well-known fact that cyclists rarely develop varicose veins, all because good blood circulation prevents thrombosis.
- Improvement of the respiratory system. Due to frequent and rhythmic breathing, the level of oxygen in the bloodstream increases, which leads to the removal of toxins, ventilates the lungs, and improves metabolic processes. The only important condition is that cycling should not be done in the polluted city streets but in nature, only then riding a bike will benefit the respiratory organs.
- Normalizes sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, try cycling regularly. During cycling your body eliminates the stress hormone, cortisol, which interferes with sleep.
- It has a positive effect on the sexual sphere of men and women. In particular, riding a bike is useful for men: by improving the functioning of blood vessels the risk of impotence is several times reduced. In women, pedaling helps to strengthen the muscles that participate in sexual intercourse. And also, according to scientists, training in cycling increases libido.
Of course, you won’t get all these benefits from riding a bike by riding a couple of times in a season. All the described benefits of cycling is felt after some time and with regular cycling – at least 30 minutes a day up to five times a week.
Benefits of cycling for your body
Physical activity is one of the main conditions for a slim figure. It is impossible to lose weight and enjoy their shapes, lying on the couch or, at best, only by adjusting the diet.
Walking on a bike improves your figure and helps you lose weight. While riding a bicycle, calories are expended (depending on the intensity of the ride – 400-1000 kcal per hour), fat cells are burned, excess fluid is lost, skin turgor is restored and cellulite is gone.
Through active riding, more oxygen enters the bloodstream – and this is a known oxidizer that destroys fatty tissue.
What muscle groups are engaged in cycling
For men and women engaged in sedentary work, the benefit of cycling is to tone several muscle groups at once. This is especially true of the leg muscles. When we sit for a long time in one position, our calf and gluteal muscles stagnate and pain in the lumbar spine occurs. Cycling and rhythmic pedaling make these muscles work and strengthen them.
The load also falls on the arm and shoulder muscles. Their work is especially felt during active riding, sharp turns and climbs.
Thanks to the abs and back muscles, which actively work during the ride, the rider sits steadily on the bike and keeps the posture.
Important! If during running sprains and sprains of tendons are not uncommon, then cycling does not lead to such consequences, which means it is less traumatic.
Contraindications to cycling
Whatever beneficial type of physical activity you engage in, it is not recommended to overdo it. Excessive strain on the body will not bring benefits, and can also cause harm. Cycling may be contraindicated in the following situations:
- In the case of severe heart and vascular disease;
- In the period of colds and fever;
- Kidney prolapse;
- serious problems with the musculoskeletal system;
- Anemia with fainting spells;
- Problems with cerebral vessels;
- In impaired concentration, epilepsy or coordination problems;
Pregnant women can ride a bicycle, but it’s important to exercise caution.
Having serious health problems, it is worth consulting a doctor, as not all cases show the harm of cycling. Perhaps, in your situation, your doctor will recommend an experienced coach who will develop an individual training scheme for you and monitor your condition.
As written above, cycling is good for men, particularly for erectile function. However, prolonged sitting in the saddle of a bicycle can cause congestion in the genitals, squeezing the crotch, and overheating from sitting – cause disruption of sperm production. But all of this applies more to professional cyclists. If you spend no more than 1 hour a day in the saddle, then you will not have the negative effects described.
Rules while cycling
Cycling can be a separate kind of exercise or a way of life for you. Whatever the case, it is always worth adhering to these rules:
- It is not recommended to load your stomach before riding, otherwise you will have a hard time. You can drink water, tea or coffee before training. If acutely hunger is felt, it is allowed to drink a glass of kefir. You can eat at least one hour before the trip.
- Bring a container of water with you on the trip.
- In case of any discomfort in the joints, stop for a break. There is no need to put excessive strain on them.
- The greatest benefit comes from cycling at a moderate pace at a speed of 15 km / h on a smooth road surface.
- While riding keep a straight posture, the position of the hands on the handlebars should be comfortable.
- Adjust the seat to make your sitting position comfortable. If the body position is too straight all the time or too hunched over, it will cause overstrain of the spine and premature fatigue.
- When traveling, monitor your pulse – it should not be higher than 150 bpm. If your pulse rate is below 120 bpm, it means that the load is not enough, so speed up.
Watch how you feel. To benefit from cycling, you need to do everything so that it was for you comfort, load moderate, and pleasant sensations without the slightest hint of pain and discomfort in the joints.
Recommendations for beginners
Before you start skating, warm up your muscles – warming them up will prepare you for the load. Squat, twist and swing your arms, work your shoulders and the whole muscle carcass. Do some rotational movements with your ankles.
During the ride, try to change the manner of riding: then pedal quickly, then slowly. Periodically change the position of the body on the bike. This will prevent congestion in the pelvic organs and genitals.
Exercise should be regular, at least 30 minutes four or five times a week. Whatever your mood or the weather outside, do not indulge yourself. If you do not feel well, you can reduce the load, but try not to skip classes.
If the weather outside is not conducive to cycling, you can always go to the gym or have a stationary bike at home.
As you can see, cycling brings more benefits to men and women than harm. The main thing is to stick to the rules of riding and regularity. The greatest pleasure you will feel when you go on a bicycle trip with your friends or family. You will have a great rest, improve your mood and well-being and save the environment thanks to the most environmentally friendly transport in the world.