Cycling is an aerobic activity that brings numerous physical benefits, all tested by various scientific studies . Some might say that not only cycling but practicing any sport is good for health. But the advantage of the bike is this: it is not necessary to play sports to enjoy the benefits in question; in most cases it would be enough to cycle 20-30 minutes a day to stay in shape . This is possible by going to work by bike, or in general by using the bike for some normal travel, the important thing is to do it regularly on the medium-long term and take some precautions. Furthermore, the bicycle has positive repercussions not only on the body. So let’s see all the reasons why riding a bike is good!
It’s good for the heart
Like all aerobic activities, cycling requires an overwork to the heart , but since our body adapts to stress, the heart and the cardiovascular system are modified to become more efficient. Cycling regularly (30 minutes a day) the heart becomes heavier and bigger , so it is able to contain more blood, increases the capillarization of the muscles and is less tired to do its job. These factors are a protective action for the heart and arteries, reducing the risk of hypertension and heart attack .
It’s good for fitness
Cycling helps keep fit and promotes a general toning of the body . By working on the pushing phase, for example by pedaling with a long relationship or with short and explosive ascents, it is possible to firm the buttocks , which are muscles that deliver power and are activated when the hip is extending.
It’s good for the mind
According to researchers from the University of Illinois Think Team , participants in an experiment found a 15% improvement on mental tests after improving their bicycle performance by only 5% . The data is interpreted as follows: exercise stimulates the generation of new cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. This effect can be particularly useful for Alzheimer’s patients, but also for patients with Parkinson’s disease.
It’s good for the line
The use of the bicycle, if practiced 20 minutes a day in particular ways, can help you lose weight . One trick to losing weight is to pedal before breakfast, according to a study by the Journal of Applied Physiologybecause our body burns more fat when we are hungry than when we are full. From other research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology it emerges that after only two weeks of cycling every other day increases the ability of the cyclist to burn fat by 36% . Working on short sprints, uphill or pedaling with a long relationship, speeds up your metabolism so you can keep burning fat even in the shower after you get off the saddle.
It’s good for sleep
Researchers at the Stanford University Medical School have shown that cycling 20-30 minutes a day helps those who suffer from insomnia fall asleep in half the time and increases sleep by about an hour . The benefits we could also partly be due to exposure to sunlight when we pedal. According to Professor Jim Horne of the University of Loughborough’s Sleep Research Center, sunlight helps us maintain our daily biological rhythms and decreases cortisol levels in the body, thereby stimulating sleep.
It’s good for sex
According to cardiologist Michael Crawford, “a well-trained heart pumps up to 50 percent more blood with each beat than an untrained one”. The male erection, moreover, is determined not only by the excitation, but also by the inflow of blood into the penis and therefore a cardiovascular system that works well is the minimum condition . Cycling also brings benefits to the legs, the pelvic area and the lower back, all muscles actively used during intercourse. So the more these muscles are developed and the relationship itself is better and more rewarding.
It’s good for your wallet
According to Forbes magazine , the annual operating cost of a car is $ 8,220 against the annual operating cost of a bicycle that is $ 308: cycling it costs 26 times less . The costs of gasoline, parking, fines, tax, insurance, and the purchase and maintenance costs are much lower.
It’s good for the environment
Replacing the car with the bike, as we know, would bring enormous benefits to the environment and the air we breathe . A collective use of the most intense bike reduces pollution and CO2 emissions. And in any case it all translates, once again, into a benefit for our health, because breathing a polluted air is not good for our lungs. The bike also increases the beauty of the city , reducing the presence of cars in historic centers.
It’s good for humor and happiness
Humor is the psychological and emotional condition that is the background to any human activity. We human beings feel a sensation or an emotion in front of any event . Cycling you consume energy and the brain produces substances that improve mood, such as endorphins. Furthermore, the sense of freedom and self-determination, that is, of being the masters of one’s own existence, increases psychological well-being.
Thanks to the continuous use of the bike, the physique also improves self-esteem, since we see ourselves more beautiful and more fit, we are more inclined to accept and relate to others . Finally, in our psyche there is an internal dialogue called self-efficacy, that is a sort of evaluation and awareness of one’s own abilities, dictated precisely by the strengthened sense of self-determination.
Basically we convince ourselves to be better, more beautiful and stronger. And our mood is affected, ca va sans dire!