8 Crucial Health and Well-Being Benefits of Cycling

If you’re looking to raise your exercise levels, taking up cycling is an activity you may not have considered. However, it’s one of the most effective types of exercise you can do, with many benefits to go alongside simply getting fitter. Here are eight of the most important ways cycling can improve your well-being.

1) Improve Mood

The mood-boosting effects of exercise are well known, and cycling is one of the best forms for relieving stress and anxiety. Cycling in the open air means you’ll benefit from sunlight on your skin, and this increases your levels of vitamin D to lift your mood. And if you cycle through natural surroundings, the effect will be even stronger as you develop a peaceful connection with the environment.

2) Enhance Sleep

The physical exercise of cycling is a great way to bring on healthy tiredness for sounder sleep, but its meditative effects also reduce the nagging worries, which can too often keep a good night’s sleep at bay.

3) Strengthen Muscles

Cycling is particularly good for strengthening your lower body muscles, including glutes, calves, and hamstrings. It won’t turn you into a body builder, but cycling can greatly increase your agility and freedom of movement. It can also tone up your lower back, improving posture and combating back pain.

4) Burn Off Fat

Cycling is a great combination of cardio and strength training, as well as helping to build stamina. All this adds up to excellent fat-burning power to help in any weight loss effort.

5) Heart Health

It’s estimated that regular cycling can cut the risk of heart disease by half, thanks to its combination of weight control and circulation boosting powers.

6) Improve Your Immune System

When your circulation is boosted by cycling, a stronger, healthier immune system follows on naturally. As well as increasing your all-round fitness, frequent cycling means you’re less likely to pick up colds and other minor ailments.

7) Tighten Driving Skills

While cycling is an eco-friendly alternative to driving, it also improves your skills for the times when you’re back behind the wheel. As a cyclist you naturally develop a stronger awareness of the road and the vehicles on it, and this greater care carries over to when you’re next driving as well.

8) Help the Planet

Lastly, this final benefit isn’t just for you, but for the whole of society. As the issues facing the planet become clearer with every passing year, many people are trying to do a little more to help. Cycling for at least some of your routine journeys cuts down your carbon footprint considerably, as well as lowering your contribution to pollution.

You can enjoy all of these advantages and more from just one cycle ride a week, but the more often you get in the saddle the more benefit you’ll receive. And you don’t need to spend a fortune on a fancy racing cycle either. If you buy second-hand, you can find a good-quality cycle for much less than a year’s gym membership, and you’ll probably get much more use out of it too.