The Benefits of Cycling for Physical and Mental Health

Why I Love Cycling

Cycling is one of the best aerobic sports for your physical health. It also releases “happy chemicals” like serotonin and dopamine. People who regularly cycle say they feel happier than those who don’t.

And cycling isn’t just for the young at heart – there are bikes for all ages and abilities. So why do we love cycling?

It’s easy to fit into your daily routine

Cycling is a versatile form of exercise that’s easy to fit into your daily routine. Whether that’s commuting by bike, going for a leisurely ride with friends or using it as part of your training regime.

Cycling increases your strength, stamina and cardiovascular fitness. It’s low impact and easy on your joints, making it suitable for all ages and abilities. You can also gradually build up the intensity over time.

You can ride solo – which will help you work through your thoughts and worries or with a group of friends, which boosts social connections. In fact, research shows that being sociable releases the ‘feel good’ hormone oxytocin. Added to that, many cycling classes have a vibe and can really up your mood. So what are you waiting for?

It’s good for your health

Cycling is an excellent cardio workout that can be as low or high-intensity as you like. It strengthens muscles and increases stamina, while being gentle on the joints compared to other types of exercise.

It’s also a great core workout, helping you to keep in shape and improve your balance and coordination. And it’s good for your brain, too – a study found that exercise stimulates the growth of new connections between cortical areas of the brain.

It’s even good for your mood – cycling releases feel-good endorphins, so whether you’re pounding the streets for work or pleasure, you’ll soon be smiling. And with kids’ bikes and trailers available, it’s an activity the whole family can enjoy together. And with a burgeoning scene of inclusive bike clubs, you’ll soon be meeting new friends too.

It’s fun

When you’re cycling, happy chemicals called endorphins are released, giving you a natural high. This is a great stress reliever, as it helps to dampen the body’s inflammatory response.

It’s a fun and social activity, allowing you to cycle with friends and explore new routes together. Alternatively, you can also engage your competitive side by setting yourself challenges on social media or competing with other cyclists using fitness apps like Strava.

Cycling gives you a new perspective on your environment, exploring places cars can’t reach. It’s the ideal way to get to know your city and learn its contours, as well as a great way to take in all those views you normally miss while stuck in traffic. You’ll find it’s easy to find a route that suits your pace and interests.

It’s good for the environment

In a world full of gas-guzzling 4x4s and sky-spoiling sports cars, cycling is one of the most environmentally sustainable modes of transport available. Plus, bike add-ons like trailers and seats mean that the whole family can go green too!

Cycling is a low impact exercise, meaning it’s good for your joints and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. It also gives a great all-over muscle workout, working almost every major muscle group in the body as you pedal.

A bike ride is a beautiful way to explore your city and see things that you wouldn’t usually notice. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to get fit and meet new friends! And you can even put your cycling graft to good use by signing up for a charity cycle event.

It’s good for your mental health

Whether you are racing to work or leisurely cruising, cycling stimulates the release of feel-good neurotransmitters such as endorphins and serotonin. Studies show that this helps to improve mood and alleviate depression, as well as increasing your self-esteem and confidence.

It also improves balance, posture and coordination. This is because you have to stabilise your body as you pedal, forcing your core muscles to strengthen. It is a low-impact exercise so doesn’t stress the joints, unlike running.

Regular cycling can even help you sleep better! The repetitive movement and body-heating effects of cycling can help synchronise your circadian rhythm, which in turn can promote deep and restful sleep. It can even reduce the levels of stress hormones in your bloodstream, making it a great way to manage anxiety.

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