Almost all of us have cycled in our childhood, without giving its benefit a thought! I have to admit I had never noticed how beneficial cycling is for our mental and physical health until recently.
Along with increasing your muscle strength and mobility, cycling reduces stress levels in your body. It improves your posture and helps regulate your body fat. Also, it improves your performance in bed and reduces the risk of common diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Let’s dive right into the list of benefits that cycling has for both your mind and your body and how essential it is to include cycling in your daily routine.
1. Improve Sleep Cycles
Working overtime to meet our financial needs to support our families is a daily habit.
While managing our work, family, and social commitments, we men often do not get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
You will be surprised how cycling can help you improve your sleep routines. By helping you improve your mental health, controlling your stress levels and anxiety, you are going to have a peaceful sleep at night.
Sleep dysfunctions are caused by irregular weight and lack of muscle-body balance. With cycling, you can cover both aspects quite easily.
Health experts and doctors have found that cycling plays a major role in reducing sleep-related problems. Cycling is a workout that will tire your muscles and body, this will help elevate the quality and duration of your sleep.
If you asked me about cycling and sleep? Knowing that you have cycled for a cause, and contributed to a charity event, is itself a mind-relaxer that will improve your night sleep cycles.
2. Has a Positive Impact on Your Sex Life
As men, we sometimes place added pressure on ourselves to maintain our performance in bed with our significant others. To keep up with the expectations of our partners (and ourselves), cycling plays an important role.
Staying active improves your vascular health, as well as keeping your body fit. Cycling helps in muscle coordination and builds certain muscles that are used while intercourse. A healthier body and a peaceful mind will increase your libido and thus elevate your performance in bed.
Health experts have associated cycling with lower stress levels and depression, hence making it a perfect outlet for your emotions.
With cycling daily, the stress hormone levels are regulated which further releases the stress and keeps us in control.
A controlled mind will help you and your partner have more enjoyable experiences, more frequently. What’s not to like about that?!
3. Strengthens Muscles
From a physiological point of view, physical activity from cycling is equivalent to other activities of equal intensity, duration, and frequency, such as manual labor, sports, exercise, or walking (source).
Cycling is a substitute for exercise and is better than working out. It helps you with weight management as well as in strengthening your muscles and improving your posture.
While you strive to balance your bike, you are helping your body learn better muscle coordination and balance.
It is extremely important for us, men, to maintain our postures and body-muscle balance to perform the roles we’re responsible for.
Muscle toning and formation are also outcomes of daily cycling. However, to make the most out of your time, make sure the seat of your cycle is set at the right height and is comfortable. This way your glutes will be more active which in return is going to strengthen them even more.
Overall, cycling trains your thigh and leg muscles to handle your body weight while pedaling your way through the route. As the focus is mainly on the lower body, your knees will also get stronger and healthier.
4. Improves Lung and Heart Health
By nature, men are more about giving than taking. We often focus more on taking care of our loved ones and ignore what we are going through. Staying fit and healthy is not a choice for us but a necessity.
Like every other exercise, cycling increases your heart rate and so, increases the blood flow throughout the body. This in return improves the heart’s performance along with the blood circulation.
Cycling also burns calories and reduces the obesity rate in you, along with controlling your diabetes, if you have that. elimination of fat deposits through regular cycling reduces the chances of blood clots in later years of life.
While you cycle around, you are closer to nature than to the harmful gas emissions from motor vehicles. Breathing cleaner air and lesser fumes helps improve your lung health.
With such impactful benefits of cycling both mentally and physically, you should get yourself a bike and protect yourself from pollution and all kinds of lung and heart diseases.
5. Improves Brain Health
As much as our physical health is important, and needs to be taken care of, brain health is equally essential. Developing our cognitive responses and making sure they are functioning well is our responsibility.
To do this task, neurologists suggest cycling at least 4 days a week for at least 45 minutes with minimal breaks in between. Most cyclists have also felt that their response timings and ability to understand situations open-mindedly have increased once they started cycling regularly.
As I mentioned above, cycling increases the heart rate which in return improves the blood flow to all parts of the body including the brain. The improved flow of cleaner oxygen to the brain improves its ability to perform and so reduces the chances of dementia in later years of life.
It is clear that regular exercise training can affect the production and release of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) and that other myokines play a key role in the general well-being, mental and physical health, disease prevention, and longevity of humans (source).
6. Reduces Chances of Cancer
Our diets aren’t as healthy as compared to the previous generations, which makes us more prone to diseases such as cancer and heart failure. To reduce the chances of us falling sick, we must involve ourselves in daily exercises while trying to find healthier alternatives to eat.
Studies have shown that cycling can help boost your immune system and with effective blood circulation, chances of developing cancerous cells in your body can be lowered drastically.
Even if you are suffering from the early stages of cancer, most doctors and cancer specialists advise their patients to get involved in a physical activity that has similar effects mentally and physically on the human body.
Cycling lowers the chances of premature death as it is a form of exercise that has great health benefits.
Note: Cancer is a deadly disease, do consult your doctors before indulging in any activity not prescribed by them.
There are many people that actually take up cycling as a response to getting news of serious ill-health. Check out this inspirational youtube video on this topic:
7. Improves Navigation Skills
I don’t know why, but it is a common concept that men have to know the right and the shortest way to a certain location. Well, we must live up to the standards regardless.
It’s amazing how much cycling can improve our navigational skills. When you are out in the neighborhood, exploring the streets on your cycle every day, you’ll be able to develop your internal mapping skills and sharpen the natural sense of directions we have been gifted which has somehow gotten rusty in today’s time of Google Maps.
Cycling every day and moving through new areas without the help of navigation will leave you to figure out the way on your own. This will inevitably improve your comprehension of the area around you and make you better at navigating your way through the shortcuts and the smaller lanes in that specific vicinity.
Looking out and exploring the different routes and finding your way back to your home will help you in navigating better but also result in you meeting new people and finding new places.
8. Enlarges Your Social Circle
Once your cycling path is decided, and you get regular, you will find similar cyclists. These people are just as enthusiastic about the workout as you are.
Once you get to know them and start riding with them, I am sure you will be friends for a lifetime.
Another way cycling enlarges your social circle is when you participate in marathons. Explore your skill of cycling and participate in competitions. This way you will get to know various people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
With cycling, you can also do good for humanity by taking part in charity or awareness runs. Many organizations arrange for these marathons to gather funds for cancer research and treatments for the underprivileged.
With our busy lives, these small things such as cycling for a cause while making new friends is surely something to count on!
9. Improves Mental Health
Giving yourself the daily boost of positivity and nature is vital for your mental health. With our busy schedules, we often don’t get the time to rewind and give ourselves a break.
Adding cycling to your daily routine will help you release your worries while you explore new places and spend time with yourself. Cycling itself is a mood booster; once the wind blows past you, it feels like it took away all your concerns with it.
Cycling has been proven to be highly helpful to people fighting depression and anxiety. Including the former Hour Record holder, Graeme Obree, who states that cycling has played a major role in his fight against depression.
As men, we are tackling so many things at a time, making ourselves a priority, spending time to rejuvenate and think over our actions before deciding the next move is a must. And to do so, solo cycling is a perfect way!
10. Weight Loss
Are you trying to stay fit and shed some pounds to make a strong impression on your friends and family? I suggest you get yourself a bike and start your cycling journey today!
If you are someone who is looking to trim your legs, stop worrying as I have found a very effective and cheap solution for you.
Cycling is a full-leg workout. It helps you burn the calories that have been accumulated over time.
You can easily burn up to 1000 calories in an hour depending on your speed and intensity.
I’d recommend you go slower in the beginning, let your body adapt to the new exercise, and then increase your speed and time spent.
If you are a big foodie, don’t expect cycling to do all the weight shedding, improve your eating habits, make a shift to healthier, portion-controlled meals, and notice how fast you are going to achieve your goal!
11. Reduces Transportation Costs
Don’t you think our biggest concern is how to lower costs? I’m sure you are in the same boat as I am.
While traveling to work, or to meet a friend in the neighborhood, try to avoid taking your car or public transportation. Make a shift to a healthier, and environment-friendly solution of cycling.
Cycling, apart from being an environmentally friendly solution, also saves a lot of time and is light on the pocket.
Imagine waiting in a queue at a bus stop for 15 minutes when you can cycle your way to your location in 10. Or if you own a car, you might think that you will reach the location in 5 minutes but forgot to count on the traffic. You get to save on your bus fare, and fuel costs if you opt to cycle your way!
Along with saving your transport costs and time, cycling also has a positive impact on the environment as it lowers the carbon emissions from cars and buses.
12. Easier Than Running
We men often look for simpler options that do the job and are less tacky. Most of us would prefer running rather than cycling. But here’s why cycling is a much better option.
Running is a weight-bearing exercise that places a lot of stress on the body.
David Nieman, Dr. PH, a health professor at Appalachian State University and Director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus said, ‘There’s just a lot more muscle trauma involved with running. It’s harder for the immune system to handle the damage.’
Running is a high-risk form of cardio that makes you more prone to injuries than cycling does. Cycling includes some tricky elements such as climbing and cornering, this elevates the activity a lot more while keeping the injury rate much lower.
So now you know that while running might seem like the better option, it’s cycling that is the easier and more effective of the two as it helps in burning a lot of calories.
13. A Habit That You’ll Enjoy for the Rest of Your Life.
A great thing about cycling is that you can do it every day for the rest of your life. A healthy, low-cost, and extremely effective form of exercise with such great health benefits.
For us men, there will come a time when we have to say goodbye to our activities such as gyms or tennis. But cycling will be an exercise which you’ll still be able to enjoy in your 80’s as it is a low-impact exercise.
Running daily for years has been proven to make your muscles stiff and sore, but cycling being low-impact cardio, that can be continued over the years, no matter how old you get.
Once you develop a cycling habit and know how it is a mood booster, stress reliever, and keeps you fit at the same time, you are not going to miss a single day!
Along with this, the friends you make while cycling and the marathons you participate in will always stay closer to your heart.
14. Helps You Stay Positive
Staying positive in the modern world is a difficult task.
With social media being a definite source of negativity, you should take a break and get closer to nature. With most of us working from home, we are not maintaining a healthy routine. In this situation, cycling is the best option to stay positive.
Join a cycling club or go on a ride alone, choose whatever suits you more. If you are new to the sport, you can even join a training team to learn all the tricks and tips. Select a route near the lake, beach, or in the park to get yourself closer to nature.
Cycling gives you the freedom to travel as far, as fast as you want, and meet as many people as you wish. This freedom rejuvenates the soul and ensures that your social life is maintained.
Cycling is a form of physical activity that eﬀectively taxes the cardiorespiratory and metabolic functions of the whole body in a wide range of intensities and thus lends itself to many potential health beneﬁts (source).
Now that you have read all the wonderful benefits of cycling for men, I’m sure you are ready to buy yourself a bike or if you already have one resting in your garage, you’re going to start riding it regularly to take advantage of it!