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Medical experts state that the body requires at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise such as cycling every day to be able to function well. Exercise is good for the mind, body and soul and cycling is perhaps the most effective of all physical exercises.
Photo courtesy of Steven Vacher via Flickr
Here’s a look at the top 5 body benefits of cycling….
#1: Cycling makes you leaner, stronger and more muscular
Cycling is an intense physical activity and requires a lot of power to be applied, especially during the downstroke – the power phase of the pedaling. This is when you will be using the quadriceps in the thighs, gluteus muscles in the buttocks, and the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles in the calves.
During the backstroke, overstroke and the up-stroke or the recovery phase of the pedaling, you will be using the flexor muscles in the front of the hips and the hamstrings in the back of the thighs.
Cycling gives a proper workout to the abdominal muscles which you need to use to stay balanced on the seat and stay upright. It strengthens the core and melts stomach fat. Cycling gives a workout to the arm and shoulder muscles which are used to hold and steer the handlebars.
#2: Cycling helps reduce body pain or aches
If you are suffering from back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain, then cycling is the right exercise for you. It is one of the best physical activities for pain management and is referred to as a “releasing exercise”.
Releasing exercises such as cycling play a big role in alleviating pain, tension and stress. Cycling is recommended as a therapy to adults and children who are recovering from certain types of injuries.
#3: Cycling is good for the joints
Cycling is recommended for older people as it helps any stiffness due to age. When you are on a bicycle, much of your weight directly placed on a pair of pelvic bones. This is different from when you are walking when much of your weight is on your legs. So this offers an some relief for the joints.
#4: Cycling is an excellent cure for those suffering from arthritis
If you are someone who goes mountain biking every weekend you are unlikely to suffer from muscle atrophy. When you are on the bike you will find yourself flexing the muscles in the lower legs and the thighs during the downstroke, backstroke, overstroke and up-stroke. This is very beneficial for the elasticity and bulk of your muscles.
#5: Cycling is good for weight loss
Cycling is one of the best cardiovascular activities and is great for weight loss. When you cycle at a speed of about 8 to 10 mph, you can burn up to 650 calories in an hour. Cycling gives a thorough workout to the buttocks, thighs and the core and makes you fitter, leaner and stronger. It gives you the lean, mean, hungry look you’ve always wanted.
Photo courtesy of Contour Cycle Club via Flickr
(#6 Bonus- Cycling is good for your eyes...look at that view!)
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