There are many ways to exercise. If you long to be outdoors, bicycling is a terrific way to stay in shape and enjoy other health benefits.
What are the health benefits of bicycling?
Bicycling has numerous benefits. Your health vastly improving is certainly one of the major advantages. After some time bicycling consistently, you will notice that your strength and flexibility have improved. Cycling works out your hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. This exercise also works your arm muscles and core too. The core musculature in your back and stomach stay engaged when your posture positions properly for bike riding. Your balance will also improve with cycling as well. Bicycling directly impacts spinal erectors and hip flexors.
Bicycling does not put a lot of stress on joints, so this exercise can also help those suffering from arthritis and osteoarthritis. Dr. Jaclyn Kubiak, a physical therapist, explains that when you engage your core, you start to flatten your back, lessening back pain and stress on your joints. He further illustrates that moving your legs and joints increases joint fluid, supplies blood to those parts of the body, and reduces arthritis pain.
Can bicycling reduce depression and anxiety?
Cycling may also reduce depression and anxiety. One study found that hemodialysis patients’ quality of life improved, and depression severity decreased significantly after riding a bicycle six times weekly for 18 weeks. Researchers divided participants into three groups. The first group only took medicine. The second group took medicine and conducted bike exercises. The third group only exercised on bicycles. The latter two groups both experienced an increase in life quality and alleviation of depression.
A writer in the United Kingdom once suffered from panic attacks and anxiety but found that outdoor exercises like running and cycling greatly improved his life. “Counselling and medication have helped but not come close to what cycling offers me,” says Charles Graham-Dixon. The freelance journalist says that cycling saved his life. “I am unable to recall an occasion when a ride of any kind didn’t make potentially difficult life choices simpler when the fears I had before stepping out of the door and climbing on the saddle didn’t dissipate once out on the road.” Charles has learned to cope with his ailments but is grateful for finding the physical and mental strength that he was once unaware he possessed.
Bonding with Family
You can bike indoors on a stationary bike at a gym or at home, but nothing beats breathing in fresh air while exercising. Bicycling outside gives you that joy and can help you feel free, as it did for Charles. It can also become a family activity. Exercising together is a great way to build family relationships and keep everyone active.
For more intriguing exercise articles, read about weightlifting benefits for seniors.
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