No one ever thought it would be fun to sit in traffic every day on the way to and from work but it turns out that it’s also not very healthy for our bodies either! We all understand the benefits of regular physical activity for our health, but busy lifestyles mean that finding time to exercise in our increasingly sedentary digital age is a challenge. The good news is cycling to work is a straightforward answer to this, it’s like having free access to a mobile gym, and multitasking while allowing you to exercise instead of getting fat and annoyed while stuck in traffic!
Cardiovascular Health Improvement
Ditching the car and taking the bike to work gives you an excellent cardiovascular workout that can benefit heart health in a number of ways. Cycling on a regular basis can help to improve the strength and efficiency of the heart, lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular conditions.
Cycling brings these cardiovascular benefits thanks to increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart during exercise, helping to maintain the heart muscle’s strength and health, as well as lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels.
Cycling can also help to improve the flexibility of the blood vessels in the heart, lowering the risk of blood clots and other nasty cardiac issues.
Increased endurance and stamina
If you’re going to ride to work, you’re probably going to find it’s an excellent way for you to build stamina and endurance.
Cycling regularly conditions your body to the physical demands of exercise, helping you improve your overall fitness level and making it easier for you to participate in other physical activities.
Continuous pedalling and terrain resistance improve muscle endurance in the legs, hips, and core, making you stronger and more resistant to fatigue.
Cycling, as all levels of intensity, can help you to increase the number of mitochondria in your muscle cells. These mitochondria are the powerhouses of cells, responsible for energy production, and the more you have, the more energy your cells can produce, which can help you to be more endurance-oriented.
Cycling can also help to improve lung capacity, which improves your ability to maintain physical activity, which you’ll find especially helpful if you’ve previously been a smoker.
Better Mental Health
Cycling to work has been shown to improve mental health significantly. Cycling’s physical activity can help to release endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that can help to improve mood and reduce stress. These endorphins help you to alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms while also improving your overall well-being.
Like other forms of exercise, regular cycling can also help to improve the quality of your sleep, which in turn can help to reduce stress and improve your overall mental health. Cycling, for example, can help to regulate sleep patterns and improve sleep quality which can aid in reducing fatigue and improving focus and concentration throughout the day.
Getting out of bed in the morning and onto the bike can also provide a sense of accomplishment, boost self-esteem, and aid in body image improvement. Regular exercise and the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing a daily commute can help to boost feelings of self-worth and confidence.
If you ride with other people you’ll also find that cycling can also provide a sense of community; many people join cycling groups, clubs, or teams, which can provide a sense of belonging, camaraderie, and support, which can help to improve overall mental well-being, particularly for people who have become more socially isolated since the pandemic started and not returned back to their previously social ways.
Loss of Excess Weight
It’s no secret that regularly riding to work is an excellent way to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight.
Cycling’s physical activity will automatically help to burn calories, which can help to reduce body fat. Faster cycling can also help to increase muscle mass, which can help to boost metabolism and burn more calories and as cycling is a low-impact activity it reduces joint stress, making it a more comfortable form of exercise for people with weight loss goals than jogging or aerobics might.
It also allows for a consistent calorie burn, as opposed to high-intensity exercises, which may burn more calories in a shorter amount of time but may be more difficult to maintain in the long run.
A lot of people don’t realise this but cycling can also help to increase satiety, which can aid in calorie reduction as physical activity can help to suppress appetite and increase feelings of fullness, making it easier to follow a healthy diet.
If that wasn’t enough research has shown that regular cycling can also help to improve insulin sensitivity, which can aid in blood sugar regulation. This can help to reduce sugar and fat cravings, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight, and can even be used by diabetics to help maintain their blood sugar levels.
More on Low-Intensity Exercise
Cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that is ideal for people with joint pain or other physical limitations.
Cycling, as opposed to running or other high-impact activities, puts less strain on the joints, making it a more comfortable and sustainable form of exercise for many people, especially those that are overweight.
Cycling’s low-impact nature makes it an excellent choice for people suffering from knee, ankle, or back pain because it allows them to engage in physical activity without causing further damage or exacerbating existing conditions. Cycling is also a low-impact option for people recovering from an injury or surgery because it allows them to regain strength and fitness without putting undue strain on the affected area.
Doctors also recommend cycling as a low-impact option for older adults or people with osteoarthritis as it helps maintain bone density and muscle mass, which can help prevent falls and maintain independence in seniors.
Even people with mobility issues can benefit as bikes can be adapted for accessibility, and there is even special equipment such as hand-cycles and recumbent bikes, allowing more people to participate in physical activity and improve their overall health.
Thinking About It?
Cycling to work has numerous health benefits in addition to lowering your carbon footprint and saving money on transportation costs. Not only will it help to improve overall physical and mental well-being by improving cardiovascular health, increasing stamina and endurance, and promoting weight loss, Its also a simple and easy way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine without committing to the extra cost of a gym membership or purchasing specialised fitness equipment.
Riding to work is a great choice for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being and make a positive impact on the world, thanks to the numerous health and environmental benefits.