As Albert Einstein once stated, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” Learning to ride a bicycle is like learning to walk. Once you have mastered the skill, you can hop on any bike and ride without giving it another thought. Cycling is often the easiest and sometimes fastest way to get around in a city and is considered the most energy efficient form of transportation. All you need is a bike, half an hour a few times a week, and some confidence. You’ll soon be on the road to increased health and stamina.
Cycling is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Here are my top ten reasons for dusting off your bike, getting out in the fresh air and taking a bike ride:
- Helps you feel younger. Regular cyclists enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person 10 years younger. Cycling helps strengthen the cardiovascular system, enabling your heart and lungs to work more effectively. Increased circulation provides more oxygen and nutrients to the cells while flushing out toxins.
- Improves quality of sleep. Exercising outside in the daylight helps keep your circadian rhythm in sync and rids the body of cortisol, a stress hormone that can interfere with sleep.
- Burns body fat. The body’s metabolic rate is the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat. Cycling raises the metabolic rate and keeps it high for several hours after exercising. Steady cycling burns about 300 calories per hour. Thirty minutes per day equates to 11 pounds of fat burned in one year. Bicycle commuters report losing 15 – 20 pounds after one year of cycling to work without changing their diets.
- Boosts your bowels. Aerobic exercise increases breathing and heart rates which helps to stimulate intestinal muscles. Physical activity decreases the amount of time it takes for foods to move through the large intestine.
- Builds strength and muscle tone. Cycling incorporates the whole body, not just the legs. Regular cycling gradually improves general muscle function and is great for mobility of the hip and knee joints. Cycling will improve the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, hips and rear.
- Stress reduction. Being outside, communing with nature helps to relieve daily stress. Exercising in fresh air is rejuvenating for the soul.
- Cycling improves coordination. During cycling the whole body is engaged. Arm to leg, hand to foot, and body to eye coordination are utilized and improved.
- Reduces your carbon footprint. Operating a bike is not only good for you, it’s good for the environment. Studies show that bicycle commuters are healthier, more productive and require less time off from work. Bicycles don’t burn oil or gas and cause pollution.
- Bikes are cost efficient. Other than walking, cycling is the most cost effective mode of transportation. At times, cycling is faster than driving especially when traffic is heavy.
- Improved cardiovascular health. According to the British Medical Association, cycling 20 miles per week can reduce the risk of coronary disease by 50%. Cycling makes the heart pound steadily, increasing cardiovascular fitness. Cycling uses one of the largest muscle groups, the legs, to raise the heart rate, boosting stamina and promoting overall fitness.
The beauty of cycling is that it encompasses environmental, financial and physical positives. There are many types of bicycles that can be adapted for all ages and abilities. Most of us have fond memories of the day we finally learned to ride a bike. From that day forward, we didn’t look back. The world was ours to explore. It still is. All you have to do is put on your helmet and go out and enjoy the ride.
Supplements that support exercise, endurance and training include:
Klean Multivitamin by Klean Athlete is specially formulated for the unique needs of athletes. Klean gives your body the optimum balance of ingredients to stay healthy throughout your training. It has been carefully developed to contain the right proportions of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and other nutrients to support optimal health and performance.
PureLean Whey by Pure Encapsulations provides highly purified, cold-processed, undenatured whey protein for healthy weight management in combination with diet and exercise. This product supports sports nutrition with protein, l-glutamine and branched chain amino acids for healthy muscle function and muscle recovery, and encourages overall daily wellness with high quality protein nutrition.
E-lyte Sport by BodyBio formulated for athletes to aid hydration, fight cramping and help maintain consistent performance levels over extended periods.