Enter any gym and you are certain to notice the number of stationary bikes that seem to be some of the most popular machines available. This is a good indicator that the exercise opportunities offered by cycling are being duplicated in this gym. If you are an avid bicycle rider, you can easily benefit from the copious health benefits of bicycling without having to spend a lot of money on a gym membership. Read on and learn how to keep your joints, muscles, heart and even mind in good shape with the help of a bicycle.
Muscle Benefits of Bicycling
Pay attention to the pedaling motion of your legs, and you notice that they undergo a full range of motion. This greatly increases circulation to your legs, and in so doing contributes to the strengthening of your leg muscles. No other leg muscle workout offers such a consistent workout to both legs equally as using your bicycle.
Cardiovascular Benefits of Bicycling
Notice the steady movement of the legs as you pedal the bicycle. This provides for a solid rhythm that gradually increases your overall heart rate as you continue on your route. If you use a bike that offers a variety of speeds, you can actually increase your cardiovascular benefits by adjusting the difficulty level of the ride upward, as your body becomes more accustomed to the exercise.
Joint Benefits of Bicycling
Consider that the motion of pedaling your bicycle is fluid rather than abrupt--as is the case with running. This makes it a lot easier on your joints, which do not have to suffer constant impacts. The lack of painful jolts to the joints makes bicycling a perfect exercise even if other kinds of exercises are beginning to cause pain to the body. The most obvious health benefit here is the fact that you can continue exercising with the bike even if you have to quit your daily runs or other exercises.
Ancillary Health Benefits of Bicycling
Remember that riding your bicycle does not just exercise your muscles and get your heart pumping, but it is also a great stress reliever. Moreover, since families can do this as an after work and after school activity, it also cuts down on family stresses and instead strengthens the bonds between parents and children or among partners in a relationship. Spending this kind of family time together makes the family a lot less likely to fall into unhealthy patterns of overeating to compensate for emotional stresses.