The Benefits of Cycling

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Since its advent in the 19th century, the bicycle has remained the principal mode of transportation in many parts of the world. With the passage of time, It has also become a part of recreation, adult fitness, commercial and security applications. The bicycle is destined to attain greater popularity due to several reasons. It is cost-effective. It is energy efficient. It is environmentally friendly. It is an easy and cheap means of remaining mobile, fit and agile.

Reach your destination faster.
When coming across traffic jams, riding a bicycle will save you much time. According to the researches by Citroen, commute by bike in the UK’s major cities and you’ll get there in half the time of cars. And if you drive for an hour in Cardiff’s rush hour, you will probably spend more than 30 minutes going nowhere with the average speed of 7 miles per hour, compared to averaging round 15 miles per hour.

Have a nicer sleep at night
Riding in the morning might tire you out in the short term, but it will help you catch some quality shut-eye when you get back to your pillow. Researchers of Stanford University School of Medicine did an experiment from this aspect. They asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20 to 30 minutes every other day. The result showed that riding was very helpful, for their time required to fall asleep was reduced by half, and their 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.”


Look younger
Scientists at Stanford University have found that cycling regularly can protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation and reduce the signs of ageing. Harley Street dermatologist Dr. Christopher Rowland Payne explains: “Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, flushing harmful toxins out at the same time. 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.”

Boost your bowels
“Physical activity helps decrease the time it takes food to move through the large intestine, limiting the amount of water absorbed back into your body and leaving you with softer stools, which are easier to pass,” explains Harley Street gastroenterologist Dr. Ana Raimundo. In addition, aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles. “As well as preventing you from feeling bloated, this helps protect you against bowel cancer,” says Dr. Raimundo.

Increase your brain power
Researchers from the University of Illinois have found that there is a 5% 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. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” explains the study’s author, Professor Arthur Kramer.

Save space and be environmentally friendly
20 bikes can be parked in the same space as one car. It takes around 5% of the materials and energy used to produce a car to build a bike. A bike needs no fuel to run and produces zero pollution.

It’s good for breeding
According to researchers from Michigan University in the US, mums-to-be who regularly exercise during pregnancy have an easier, less complicated labor, recover faster and enjoy better overall mood throughout the nine or ten months.

“There’s no doubt that moderate exercise such as cycling during pregnancy helps condition the mother and protect the fetus,” says Patrick O’Brien, a spokesman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Burn fat
Sports physiologists found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride, but for several hours afterwards. “Even after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you stop,” says sports physiologist Mark Simpson of Loughborough University.

The bicycle is the most energy efficient means of transportation. A man burns around 150 calories in walking a mile on the road. A cyclist needs only 35 calories to cover the same distance. A car consumes almost 2000 calories per person it carries. Passenger buses and railway trains consume somewhere in between. A study by the WorldWatch measured number of persons that cross one meter of travelling surface every hour. It found that the bicycle has a far better performance. It averaged 1500 as compared to 4000 by trains and a paltry 150 by automobiles.

Strengthen your will power
If you are fond of long-distance cycling, you would get plenty of benefits from it. Firstly, you need to get ready for it. You need to find your teammates first, and you will improve your social skill and communicative ability through this process. Then you have to make a plan together. Through this process, your team spirit will be promoted, which is very important for your work. During long-distance cycling, you may face a lot of difficulties, such as emergencies, suboptimal weathers, food or water shortness, and even the thought of giving up. Going through all these problems helps to build a stronger you and will power.

See different or unique scenery that you can’t see on a car
By cycling, you can get to places where by walking or driving can’t get to. In this fast-paced era, people tend to ignore the beauty around them, or they are too busy to discover beauty. Sometimes, you will get to places full of surprise and amazement. You will find sceneries that you may not notice before. It’s really a good choice to get some refreshment by cycling to suburbs. Cycling relaxes not only your body but also your mind.

Avoid pollution
People usually think that cyclists would suck up more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the harmful gases. However, according to a study conducted by Imperial College London, the fact is that researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars imbibed more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. On average, taxi passengers were exposed to more than 100,000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimeter, which may settle in the lungs and damage cells. Compared to bus passengers’ almost reaching 100,000 and car drivers’ about 40,000, cyclists’ 8,000 is an optimistic one.

Helps to keep fit and healthy
Cycling has proved to be very good to keep one fit and healthy. It decreases the risk of coronary heart disease. It improves cardiovascular fitness. It tones and strengthens muscles in the region of thighs, calves and rear end. Physicians recommend cycling as a good exercise for patients of arthritis of the lower limb. Cycling strengthens the immune system. It improves mental health. One has a better coordination among feet, hands and brain. Among all the weight loss program, cycling is the best. In the United States where 37% adults are obese, only 1% urban travel on a bicycle. In Netherlands where 28% adults use bicycle, only 10% are obese. Combining all such benefits, one can easily surmise that it enhances longevity.

Helps to strengthen your bones and muscles
There is a significant regulatory role in cardiopulmonary function. Because the bicycle exercise can effectively exercise lower limbs muscle strength and strengthens the body endurance. The effect of cycling exercise on the endurance exercise of visceral organs is the same as swimming and running. Because this exercise can not only effectively exercise the lower limbs hip, knees, ankle, 3 pairs of joints and 26 pairs of muscles, but also can effectively mobilize the neck, back, arm, abdomen, waist, groin, buttocks, and other muscles, joints, ligaments. A survey shows that people who ride about 6.5 kilometers a day are 50% less likely to suffer from cardiac coronary artery disease than those who do not ride bikes.

Effective aerobic exercise
Cycling is a movement that requires a lot of oxygen, and once an older person took 6 days to complete 460 kilometers of cycling. He said: "The old should have at least 3 sports weekly, to strengthen the heart and restore normal function. You need to let your heart to beat, but not too long. So it will be able to adapt to emergencies, such as the catching a bus or resisting adversity. ”