8 Health Benefits of Cycling

Health Benefits

Riding a bike is one of the most effective workouts and will help you reach your fitness goals. Check out these health benefits associated with cycling.

Having a hard time sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions? Join the Tempo Movement and start riding a bike. Riding a bike is one of the most effective workouts and will help you reach your fitness goals this year. There are many health benefits associated with cycling. Here are a few of the major benefits:

1. Riding a Bike Burns Calories

Cycling is a good way to lose those unwanted pounds. According to Women’s Health Magazine, a 135-pound woman pedaling 12 to 14 miles an hour blasts 488 calories in 60 minutes! Added bonus, since you are building muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve gotten off the bike.

2. You Can Do It on the Way to Work

According to a recent National Household Transportation Survey, half of American workers live within five miles of their workplace. A five-mile bike ride translates to about a 20-minute ride. On average, bicycle commuters lose 13 pounds in their first year of cycling alone! Also, studies have shown that cycling to work will increase your cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%.

3. Sleep Better

Everyone can use some extra zzz’s. According to Bike Radar, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The results showed that the time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour. “Exercising outside exposes you to daylight,” explains Professor Jim Horne from Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre. “This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep regenerative sleep.”

4. Look Younger

Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of aging. Harley Street dermatologist Dr. Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while flushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimize collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process.” Be sure to wear sunscreen on your bike ride!

5. Improve Your Brain Power

Researchers from Illinois University found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” says the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.

6. Have Less Sick Days

According to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as couch potatoes.

7. Energy Boost

According to Women’s Health Magazine, a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65%. Because cycling triggers your brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is linked to energy, says lead author Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia in Athens.

8. Protect Your Heart

Cycling improves heart health. According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. Now that is pretty impressive!

Commit to a healthier lifestyle and start riding your bike. Join the Tempo Movement and live healthier!