I look forward to my hour (or two) in the saddle (saddle is a fancy name for your bicycle’s seat) each day. My cycling time is “ME” time. There’s the road, me, and my bicycle. Cycling is relaxing because it gives me a chance to be outdoors while doing something that is healthy for me.
I find it stimulating because I am constantly working through problems and finding solutions such as which gear is going to be best for climbing the hill in front of me or when do I need to apply my brakes to slow down as the traffic light in front of me has started to change. You have to be in the moment and aware of your surroundings. This keeps your mind sharp and your body and mind well connected.
Additionally the health benefits from daily exercise are well documented; a significant reduction in your exposure to a number of life altering diseases such as CAD, Diabetes, Obesity, Cancer, Arthritis, and the list goes on… What makes cycling an ideal fitness activity is that it is low impact; it doesn’t cause the issues with joints that high impact activities such as running do; only swimming is considered to be lower impact. Cycling is an ideal activity because it works all of your muscle groups. You may not realize it but when you are riding a bicycle outdoors you are constantly using your upper body muscle groups to keep yourself balanced and to control your bicycle.
You can often cycle in the gym or home with a stationary bike. If the weather permits, you can utilize cycling to get from point A to point B without the need for a car. Whether you have an old bike or new, cycling provides health benefits that typically cannot be established with other activities.
Here are some of the benefits of cycling:
- Cycling increases tone and builds muscle: Cycling involves the entire body, contrary to the popular belief that it’s all about the legs. Cycling effectively works your upper legs, buttocks, and lower legs, as well as your core and upper body muscles. Almost your entire body works while cycling.
- Cycling burns calories: Depending on intensity, duration and the rider’s weight, cycling for about half an hour can burn 210-311 calories, according to Harvard
Medical Research. LEFT: This is a screen shot of my Garmin Cycling Computer (through Garmin’s “Garmin Connect” software) showing my cycling activities from August 2nd to August 29th, 2017.
In the displayed period of time I burned through 65,311 calories. Because I use a Garmin Vector II Power Meter system – wattage expended and calories used are calculated as I ride and the results are very accurate.
- Cycling is a stress-reliving activity: Cycling can be meditative and joyful. Getting outside and cycling brings your closer to nature, bringing peace to your work out. The more you cycle the better you’ll get at it; this increase in confidence can lift your mood and can heal a stressed mind.
- Cycling is easy: Cycling can be one of the easiest and most relaxing means of physical activity. You can ride a bike almost anywhere and at any time. Cycling is relatively cheap and can be done by people of all ages. All you need is a bike, a helmet and a bit of time!