Cycling is good for the mood, fights aging and is one of the best (and cheapest!) Sports for burning calories.
Are you looking for some great accessories for your bike if so check out our guide here
Benefits of cycling
Why ride a bicycle? In the aftermath of the Covid emergency, and with the bonuses for the purchase of bicycles, even the most skeptical are beginning to evaluate the bike both as a means of movement and as a method to keep fit.
In fact, if what you want is to burn calories, but your secret desire is to escape the gym, you have the right activity for you: cycling! The advantages of the bicycle are numerous, especially for getting around the city: it is cheap, easy to use, does not pollute, it saves you time traveling and eliminates the parking problem, but also all the inconveniences of taking public transport. A few accessories are enough to keep the bike at home, perhaps fixing it to the walls.
But in addition to this, the bicycle – both intended as a method of movement and as a real physical activity – gives you a whole series of benefits for the body and mind. The bicycle can become a philosophy of life that makes you feel better and makes you feel happier. If you still have doubts, we explain it well below.
Does cycling make you lose weight?
Yes, we know that the question you have in mind is this: does cycling make you lose weight? As always when it comes to losing weight, the answer can be very subjective. It depends on how and how much you ride, but also on your current condition, if you are trained or not, and in what physical condition you are.
If you are overweight, the best move is to be followed by a specialist who knows how to indicate the type of diet to follow and give you targeted advice on the physical activity to carry out. And in this case the bicycle can play a very useful role.
The bicycle is in fact a great way to regain physical movement for those accustomed to a sedentary life, precisely because it is a physical activity that – if done in a certain way – is gentle for the body, and does not require excessive effort. which can also be discouraging. The important thing is to start, perhaps by choosing short and simple routes, and then gradually increase the intensity of the activity. In conclusion: cycling can be a very useful complementary activity if you are trying to lose weight, also because it allows you to combine physical activity with the necessary movements.
But is it better to run or ride a bicycle? You can do both, but it can be helpful to know that unlike running, pedaling doesn’t weigh on your joints. In addition, it is a good solution for those suffering from problems in the joints, back pain or difficulties in the lower limbs due to age or periods of inactivity.
And now let’s see specifically how cycling impacts our body.
What muscles are involved when cycling?
The bicycle is anti-stress, it can be recommended for rehabilitation and thanks to the open air factor, it stimulates the production of vitamin D fighting osteoporosis, for the benefit of bones and skin.
Alternating speed, always in a fully safe regime, helps burn more calories and train muscles. The driving force useful for the effort is provided by the legs and buttocks, the protagonists of the physical activity linked to the bicycle, but the trunk also has a fundamental function. Back, abdominals and pectorals are solicited and toned, they help to maintain balance and together with the arms are engaged in the conduction of the vehicle. It is a powerful synergy that is created on a bicycle, able to unite the muscles of the lower and upper limbs.
Benefits of the bike: more toned glutes and abs
Cycling, especially if you do it every day for a good amount of time, will mainly impact your glute muscles and abdominals. Obviously if you want evident results you have to integrate the bike with another type of training,
For an intensive workout you can alternate with brisk walking, Nordic walking, swimming or water aerobics, perfect for firming and toning. According to research, two weeks of training every other day is enough to stimulate the metabolism. The result? The body’s ability to burn fat can increase by up to 35%.
Bicycle and cellulite
You may not know it, but cycling is also a weapon against cellulite. Pedaling acts on the microcirculation, tones, improves oxygenation, fights the problems associated with swelling and water retention.
The issue of circulation is fundamental: cycling undoubtedly improves circulation, and one of the main advantages is that – especially if you use it to move – you can pedal every day without sacrificing time for other activities. Moving every day is essential to improve circulation.
Biking and wellness
Cycling – we have seen – is an excellent activity to keep fit. But it’s not just a matter of muscles.
Pedaling stimulates attention, improves concentration and relaxes the mind, freeing it from the load of thoughts and stress accumulated during the day. If you don’t have time to plan workouts and the distance allows it, you can consider cycling to work. In a short time it will become a habit that you will hardly know how to give up, because once you have experienced the charge of endorphins, the pleasure of feeling the tonic body and the light mind, pedaling will have the effect of a meditation: a space of your own that marks the beginning and end of the working day, the border where free time begins.
In addition, it is an activity that must be carried out in the open air: which means sun and vitamin D, which we often lack since we spend most of the day indoors.
Tips for cycling to the fullest
Are you sure you are pedaling in the right way? Here are some useful tips.
Remember that your contact points with the bike are your hands on the handlebars, the seat and your feet on the pedals. If you have never exercised before, get an expert to help you adjust the bike to your body. In this way it will be possible to correct any imbalances and optimize the effort.
Using a lighter bike contributes to less fatigue, however if you are a beginner it is not the case to buy the latest model of racing bike and then risk forgetting it in the garage. Same thing goes for clothing: shoes, socks, gloves, hat are essential during the winter. Avoid dressing excessively and instead of redoing your wardrobe, start using what you have, leave the house and… start pedaling! In short you will understand the type of clothing that is right for you.
Always valid advice is: proceed step by step. Above all, start feeling comfortable. Like any sport, the more you practice this activity, the greater the benefits and the feeling of feeling at home, knowing what you are doing and improving yourself. Especially at the beginning, patience and a healthy dose of laughter are an indispensable ingredient.