Wise Words - Cycling and Health

Wise Words - Cycling and Health

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For those in the know, it's a no-brainer that cycling is good for you and good for the planet. Here's a rundown of just a few of the health benefits of cycling, to give you some ammo for those grouches in the office who say, "Cycling? I don't know why you bother". Also you'll find some great simple training tips.

  • Ten Years Younger - Studies have shown that regular cyclists enjoy the general health of someone approximately 10 years younger
  • Low Impact - Cycling is a low impact exercise - kinder on your joints than running and other high impact aerobic activities
  • No Stress - Many cyclists report that cycling regularly reduces their perceived levels of stress and promotes relaxation
  • Tune In - In cycling, levels of exertion can be much more finely tuned than any other form of exercise. Using speed, wind resistance, gearing, gradient or 'hyper gravity training' (i.e. carrying extra weight), you can tailor your level of exertion to suit your current fitness level or goals. Try doing that with running!
  • All Body Exercise - Mountain Biking or 'out of the saddle' riding (e.g. climbing) is an excellent full body exercise. When mountain bikgin, you're constantly shifting your weight, sometimes carrying your bike, working your arms, chest, abs and improving your core stability.
  • Balance - Regular cycling improves balance and co-ordination
  • Are you an employer? Studies have shown that those who cycle to work suffer less absenteeism than non-cycling employees ? workers arrive fresh, relaxed and motivated
  • An Exercise for Every Body - Cycling has possibly the broadest appeal of all forms of exercise, From toddler to pensioner, able bodied or disabled, practically everyone can enjoy the health benefits of cycling with the right equipment.
  • Calories - Brisk cycling burns around 500 calories per hour, helping to control weight.
  • Get Fit, Get to Work - Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it doubles as transport.
  • Just 3 Times a Week - If you aim to cycle consistently twice during the week (either on road or spinning), and do a longer ride at the weekend you will soon achieve great cardiovascular fitness and toned legs
  • Vary your pace on short rides - On your shorter rides or commutes you aim to vary your pace a bit. Warm up for around ten minutes, and then try working every hill and relaxing on the down hills, or working 5 minutes hard, 5 minutes easy for around half an hour. Make sure you cool down and stretch afterwards.
  • Longer rides? Go Steady - Your weekend rides should be longer and steady paced. Just enjoy being out on your bike and persuade a friend or partner to go with you. Maybe cycle out to a nice cafe and back, aiming to ride for a couple of hours. After around 90 minutes of unbroken steady cycling you will start to burn fat, but you will also need to think about using an energy drink or consuming low fat snacks if you are cycling for that length of time. Also invest in some padded cycling shorts!

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