Two kids riding bicycle in a park enjoying health benefits of riding

Benefits of Bike Riding: 10 Health Benefits of Riding a Bicycle

Bike riding is one of the joys of childhood that we remember and cherish forever. We bet you can still remember your first tricycle. No? Well, sweat not. You must remember your first bicycle after graduating from tricycle? Do you remember that?

Learning to paddle; your first bike crash; biking to high school with your friends; racing with your siblings and the neighborhood kids; getting your first puncture. It seems like it was only yesterday. Let’s not go further down childhood memory lane and come to the point—the benefits of bike riding.

While in childhood, we used to bike only for the fun of it and had no idea about the health benefits of biking. But in adulthood, as we get conscious about our health, we start to look at riding a bike as a low-impact exercise that keeps us in shape and takes us to wonderful places. Bike riding—no matter you are commuting every day to work, going mountain biking on the weekends, or breaking a sweat on a stationary bike in the gym or at home—has loads of health benefits (both physical and mental) for you. Let’s discuss some of the top health benefits of bike riding.

Benefits of Bike Riding

Benefits of bike riding are abound—it not only helps us stay in shape by losing unhealthy fat but also improves our overall strength, endurance, and mental health. Keep on reading to learn about more benefits of bike riding.

1. Cycle to Get Rid of Unhealthy Belly Fat

Let’s face it, most of us have a very unhealthy lifestyle—we sit in front of computers all day or are busy on our mobile phones—there is little to no physical activity in our routine, let alone any exertive exercise. And the result is obvious: unhealthy belly fat making our bellies protrude from our tees. This is the story of every second office-going adult. So many are looking for an easy and quick way of losing weight.

Well, one of the benefits of bike riding is that you lose unhealthy belly fat. But keep in mind, it won’t be quick. However, we can promise you that if you ride regularly, there will be a steady and sustainable loss of belly fat. You can easily get around 30 minutes of daily biking by commuting to work maybe or going grocery shopping on your bike. Or simply by making a habit of using your bike instead of a car whenever you have to go to a nearby place and there is no rush.

How Does Cycling Make You Lose Weight?

Cycling, even at a recreational pace, increases your metabolic rate and sets you up to burn fat and carbohydrates all day. Even after you have parked your bike in the garage, your body continues working the fat. Actually, when biking, our body releases a fat shuttling enzyme named lipoprotein lipase (LPL) that rev up the process of breakdown of belly fat for up to 30 hours. It ultimately leads to the upsurge of your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories burnt at rest in a neutral environment.

How Much Weight Can You Lose by Cycling? Cycling for an hour at a steady pace, you can burn as much as 300 calories. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day for a whole year, you will burn approximately 11 pounds of fat, according to BMI Healthcare.

2. Cycle for Better Cardiovascular Fitness

Cycling does not only make you lose weight but also lowers the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. Riding a bike is an aerobic exercise that helps you improve your cardiorespiratory endurance by maintaining a healthy cholesterol level—by increasing the good cholesterol in the body and decreasing the level of bad cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body. The LDL cholesterol is responsible for forming fatal deposits in the arteries that lead to the development of many cardiovascular issues.

This improved cholesterol ratio does not save you from several cardiovascular diseases but also other serious illnesses like diabetes. So what are you waiting for? Incorporate cycling into your daily routine today if you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness.

3. Bike to a Stress-Free Life

Stress is a normal part of our life. At times, it motivates you to ace whatever you are doing. But if you let stress get behind the wheel it interferes with every part of your life—your work, family life, and health (both mental and physical). Therefore, it is crucial that we add some stress reliever to our lifestyle.

Cycling could be your stress reliever. Riding a bike results in the release of endorphins, which are commonly now as feel-good hormones. The release of endorphins eases our stress and discomfort and ramp up the feelings of pleasure. These positive feelings are disseminated throughout our body and brain—making us feel better about ourselves. So if you are having a rough day, get your bike out of the garage, hop on, and paddle ride away.

4. Bike to Increase Your Endurance

Riding a bike will not only increase your endurance on the bike but also off the bike in daily life. If you ride a bike regularly, over time you will be able to ride longer and more intensive rides. It will strengthen your cardiovascular and muscular endurance and improve your aerobic capacity. Riding a bike improves your overall stamina that makes you feel energetic throughout the day. So if you think you need to increase your endurance or boost your stamina, make cycling an integral part of your lifestyle.

5. Cycling Improves Your Quality of Sleep

Sleep is important—as important as exercise or maybe a bit more important than exercise. But today many people often have trouble sleeping. For such people, the best way to improve the quality of their sleep is to start cycling, which is a good aerobic as well as anaerobic writing. Cycling also helps those people with their sleep for home getting a shut-eye without having a sleeping pill. According to research, people who cycle regularly, require very little time to fall asleep after getting in bed. So if you want to sleep like a baby, incorporate riding a bike into your lifestyle.

6. Cycle to Develop Better Balance

Riding a bike down the road or off the road helps you improve your balance, not only on the bike but also off the bike in your everyday life. It has been proven by research that cycling, be it outdoors or be an indoor stationary cycle exercise, improves your balance. It also helps in reducing musculoskeletal impairment after a stroke. “Cycling training stimulates motor regions in the central nervous system and activates the cerebral cortex which eventually improves motor learning and balance,” says research. Considering the positive effects of cycling on balance, experts often recommend stationary cycling exercise as an effective rehabilitation program for stroke patients who experience balance deficit and gait issues.

7. Cycling Improves Your Sex Drive

You might have heard the rumors that cycling negatively affects your sex life, but it is not the case. Instead, cycling has proven to increase the sex drive as a knock-on effect of the improved vascular health due to cycling. One study even says that athletes including cyclists have the sex drive of men that are two years younger than them.

So do you want to be good in bed? Do you want to have a better sex drive? Well, start cycling—it seems like cyclists have a better sex drive than those who don’t ride bikes.

8. Cycling Helps You Reduce Your Carbon Footprints

Global warming is a real threat to the existence of life on planet earth. We cannot stay totally dependent on our governments for taking some action for the preservation of Mother Nature. We need to work at the individual level—we need to cut our carbon footprints as much as we can.

What could be a better way of cutting your carbon footprints than by adopting cycling as a mode of transportation—using a lot less of cars and more bikes. Riding a bike to work will not only reduce your carbon footprints and save Mother Nature but will also keep your bank from breaking. It will also make you healthier as you are getting your daily low-impact exercise.

9. Cycling is a Mix of Cardio and Strength Workout

Riding a bike is a mix of downhill fast sprints, smooth road steady spins, strong uphill climbs, and then there are those climbs that even professionals prefer to walk their cycles on. The point is, where cycling can be nice cardio on downhill sprints, it becomes a strength exercise when there come hill climbs. Even on stationary bike exercise, you can feel the burn all the way from your calves to your core, if you increase the resistance up a notch.  So if you want to get both cardio and strength workouts from one exercise, hop on your bike and take it up and down a hill.

10. Cycling is Good for Your Knees

Getting your heart racing and building muscular strength does not have to be hard on your knees. Unlike plyometric workouts and running, cycling is a low-impact exercise. While cycling there is minimal stress on your weight-bearing joints like knees, feet, and hips. So cycling helps you get a good cardio without stressing your knees. On top of that, peddling lubricates your joints, improving the health of your knees.

Now that you have learned the benefits of bike riding, you must be anxious to get yourself a bike and incorporate riding a bike into your lifestyle. But before you go out to get yourself a bike, you should know ‘what size bike do you need?’