Wondering: What are the advantages and disadvantages of cycling? Is cycling good for overall fitness?
Just like any other exercise, cycling has its own advantages and disadvantages. Knowing both the pros and cons of cycling will help you know the limit you should not cross. If you are serious about cycling and you want to know its benefits and drawbacks, you are in the place. In this article, I will discuss in detail the advantages and disadvantages of cycling.
Advantages of Cycling?
Obesity and weight management
One of the benefits of cycling is that it aids in weight management and the prevention of obesity. Obesity has increased by nearly 50% over the last 20 years. This is mainly attributed to the sedentary lifestyle that most people embrace nowadays.
Most experts recommend cycling as one of the best ways to prevent obesity and manage a healthy weight. Cycling helps to increase your metabolic rate, burn body fat and build lean muscles. If you cycle 4 times a day, you can burn over 2000 calories, which experts recommend for effective weight management and prevention of obesity.
It improves our cardiovascular health.
Another major benefit of cycling is that it helps to improve your cardiovascular health. Multiple studies have that cycling helps strengthen your heart muscles, reduce blood fat levels, and lower resting pulse. Research has also shown that people who cycle to work are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke. They are also less likely to be exposed to pollution as is the case with those using cars.
It reduces the chances of getting type 2 diabetes.
The number of people who have type 2 diabetes has increased significantly over the last decade. This is mainly attributed to poor diet and lack of physical activity. Large-scale research conducted in Finland found out that individuals who cycled for more than 30 minutes a day had a 40% less risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This shows that regular cycling can reduce your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
It improves your mental health.
Recent research showed that mental conditions such as depression, stress, and anxiety could be reduced via regular cycling. Regular biking helps to increase the secretion of serotonin, which, in turn, makes you feel happy. Cycling also helps to reduce hormonal imbalance, which is one of the main causes of derision and anxiety. Your body will also release healthy endorphins, which help to curb depression, anxiety, and stress.
It improves strength
If you want to boost strength and endurance naturally, then cycling is a great option for you. Cycling for just 30 minutes a day will help to strengthen your muscles and joints, thus improving your strength over time.
It improves your lung function.
If you cycle consistently, your lungs will become stronger and more efficient over time. Your lung capacity will increase by almost 10% over time, meaning you will be able to breathe easily. Cycling also helps your breathing muscles work extra hard, thus making your respiratory muscles stronger.
Cycling is a low-impact exercise.
Another benefit of biking is that it is slow-impact exercise, meaning that it does not harm your knees and joints. That is why cycling is recommended for the elderly with knee problems and those recovering from knee and joint-related problems.
The fact that it is a low-impact exercise means that it does not put a lot of pressure on your knees, as is the case with running. As a result, it lessens the risk of getting knee and joint injury and aids in faster recovery for knee problems.
Cycling is sociable
Biking is social bale in nature. When cycling, chances are this you will meet other cyclists on the road with who you can talk and establish a friendship. It is also a great way to bond with your family and friends. For instance, if you have kids, you can cycle together to bond and create a memorable experience. So besides kippering you fit, biking will help to improve your social skills.
Cycling is cheaper compared to other forms of exercise.
Once you purchase a bike and all the necessary gear, all you need to do is go out every morning or evening to cycle to keep your body fit. You don’t have to wary about monthly gym membership, which is very expensive. It is a whole-body workout that means that you don’t have to purchase additional workout equipment to keep your entire body fit. Cycling alone will help tone crucial muscles, thus keeping you fit and healthy.
It is good for the environment.
Another significant benefit of biking that is often overlooked is its environmental impact. Global warming, which has become a huge threat to the planet, is increasing by the day, and it is mainly caused by increased carbon emissions released by vehicles and factories. If you choose to cycle instead of using a car, you will play a big role in conserving the environment. Cycling is 100% pollution-free because you power it. It does not use electricity or carbon fuels.
Disadvantaged of cycling
Cycling has many great benefits, as discussed above. However, it also has a few setbacks. Now, let’s look at the cons of cycling.
Research shows that cycling for a prolonged period can pressure the arteries and nerves that serve the reproductive system in both men and women. Additionally, cycling may also cause back pain and bone loss. Another huge concern about cycling is safety issues. For instance, according to statistics released by the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1239 bike fatalities in 2020, and most of them occurred in urban areas.
From the above article, it is clear that cycling has its pros and cons. however, the benefits of cycling outweighs its drawback by far. Biking is a good way to keep fit and improve your overall health and immune system. It also helps to keep the environment clean. However, just like any other activity, do not overdo it because it could harm your body.