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I first found out about the benefits of cycling by doing it every day!
It was when I started cycling to work. What started as a bit of a chore, and quite a mental struggle, blossomed into a whole world of positives.
I still cycle to work several years on, and in this post, I’m going to share the ultimate 21 REAL benefits of cycling every frickin day.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be cycling to work. It could a quick spin each evening. Or going to the grocery store each lunchtime.
But make no mistake – cycling every day is quite different from cycling once a week, or even three times a week. Every day is a big commitment – a big part of your life. And with that comes multiple benefits.
1. Cycling Every Day Is Different From Just Doing It Every So Often
Cycling every day becomes a part of your life. It becomes more natural, and something you don’t really overthink.
I found when I started cycling every day that it got easier and easier with time. Your technique improves, as does your mental resilience, your cardio, and your gear.
You become a cyclist.
If you need to go somewhere, you think about the route in cycling terms.
I could go on and on, to be honest! But trust me on this – cycling every day is both a gift and a way of life.
2. Mental Discipline
Even though this is second on my list, I pretty much think this is the top one for me.
Cycling does take a bit of hard graft and determination, especially in the early days. You have to fight against mental resistance.
What I have found though, and this is the experience of countless others, is that these resistances lessen over time, and cycling becomes more and more natural.
I have found that this mental toughness also spills out into other parts of life. Cycling every day can foster this hindsight, which is really positive when coming up against the challenges of life.
3. Cycling Boosts Your Morning Mood
Another beautiful benefit here!
Cycling first thing in the morning can help you feel more awake and active by increasing your blood flow and giving you a sense of purpose for the day.
As the day goes on, you can find that you have a greater inclination to make good, healthy decisions.
Low-intensity rides first thing in the morning on an empty stomach may be the key to a day full of fat loss, improved endurance and performance, and a stoked metabolism.
That being said, a little top tip here for you – while this may be true for less serious cyclists, evidence suggests that serious athletes shouldn’t fast before long endurance rides.
4. Enhancement of Aerobic Capacity
Cycling improves aerobic endurance. Aerobic endurance refers to the ability to use oxygen during physical activity.
If you’re out of shape, cycling can help you build up your aerobic capacity.
Cycling is also an excellent cardio workout because it works your whole body at once, not just one part of it. Cycling uses muscles throughout your body which burns more calories than more isolated activities such as walking.
5. Weight Loss
A 2019 systematic review found that cycling was effective in decreasing both body mass and body fat percentage. Whoopee!
Successful weight loss requires both a change in diet and an increase in physical activity. Since cycling increases metabolism, tones muscles, and burns fat, it is a useful tool for those trying to lose weight. In addition, both the length and difficulty of exercises can be adjusted on the fly.
Research findings suggest that cycling can help some people burn between 300 and 1000 calories per hour depending on the intensity.
Here’s a table that shows how many calories to expect to burn when cycling for 12 miles at 12 miles per hour (a reasonably swift speed for beginners to intermediates):
|Calories Burned Over 12 miles
6. Executive Function Training
Let’s get a bit technical now, and talk about ‘Executive Function’.
Some studies suggest that cycling can improve executive function. This basically measures our practical-thinking skills. (Source)
Although it is not a perfect indicator of a person’s potential, executive functioning does reveal whether or not they can handle routine, time-sensitive jobs that call for concentration, planning, and execution.
Executive function is a skill that some people, especially the elderly, struggle to master. However, studies show that regular exercise, particularly cycling, can improve executive functioning significantly. That’s right…not just a bit, but significantly.
Further aspects of cognitive performance, such as memory and processing speed, may also benefit.
7. Cycling Helps Strengthen Bones
To maintain good bone density as we age, it is recommended to engage in higher-impact exercises such as jogging and leaping.
Mostly cycling is low impact – and therefore not great for bone density.
However, this is not always the case! There’s no need to feel left out, especially if you venture off the beaten path.
The secret to making cycling a bit more high-impact is cycling on rugged and bumpy terrain.
One study indicated that the impact felt by mountain bikers on the ground was sufficient to promote bone growth and health.
Bone health may be enhanced because of the necessity of using upper-body muscles to maintain balance, as mentioned in the study. (Source)
Here are some common activities that are either recommended or not recommended for bone density:
|Recommended For Bone Density
|Not Recommended For Bone Density
8. Promotes Psychological Health
Numerous scientific investigations have found a persistent correlation between mental disease and physical decline.
Furthermore, the stress of dealing with mental health issues is directly linked to several symptoms, including insulin resistance, hypertension, and high cholesterol. That’s why it’s so important to take care of both your body and mind.
One way to do it is to go cycling. Physical activity, social connection, and exposure to the sun are all associated with cycling and can have a positive effect on your mental and overall health.
To see how cycling can really boost your psychological health, check out this excellent video from the Global Cycling Network:
9. Menstrual Discomfort Relief
Some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can be reduced by cycling. (Source)
A lot of the reasons why cycling is good for everyone also make it good specifically if you’re facing these issues.
Some of its positive aspects include:
- It’s a stress reliever
- Cycling is a mood booster
- It helps you live in the moment, and not worry about the past or future
- It helps with blood flow
- It is a form of cardio that can be accessed at a low level
10. Simple to Learn
When starting out, cycling is a really easy way to get fit.
It mixes physical movement with freedom of movement and can be accomplished by anyone. This makes it more accessible to most people, regardless of age and gender.
Let’s face it – cycling forwards down a flat road is not rocket science!
If you’re just beginning out or if you’re recovering from an injury or illness, you can start out by cycling at a reduced intensity.
If you have problems riding a traditional bike, a stationary bike is a great alternative. You can pedal at a relaxed pace or ramp up the resistance as you gain fitness.
The number of options these days is quite simply ridiculous.
11. Aid Cancer Patients
A cancer patient who incorporates cycling into their treatment plan is making a wise choice.
To be sure, it’s important to consult with your medical staff, tune in to your needs, and only engage in physical activity if you feel up to it. Many people with cancer feel pain and fatigue as a result of their treatment, so these factors are crucial to keep in mind.
The weight loss attained through cycling decreases vulnerability to some types of cancers.
One study revealed that keeping active during breast cancer treatment can lessen the severity of side effects like fatigue and improve the quality of life. (Source)
12. Biking Builds Core Strength
Most people associate cycling with aerobic activity rather than strength training.
But riding a bike outside, in particular, can really work the abdominal muscles and strengthen the core because you have to keep your balance.
That’s especially true on more difficult terrain, where you’ll need to often change course to avoid hazards.
Many muscles in the hips, lower back, and abdomen must be used to keep the body’s center of mass balanced over the wheels. Small movements while riding can really get those muscles going.
13. Biking is Easy on the Body
In contrast to high-impact activities like sprinting, jumping, or tackling football, cycling is a low-impact form of exercise.
It’s a great way to get your body moving without risking serious damage to your bones and joints.
When you get into bed at the end of the day, you won’t be plagued by any new aches and pains, allowing you to relax and drift off to sleep without any difficulty.
14. You’re 30% More Likely To Fight Sleep Disorders
Chronic insomnia and sleep apnea are two of the most disturbing sleep disorders, but some physicians suggest regular exercise can help you from developing them.
Compared to less than 20% of people who frequently exercise, nearly half of those who don’t exercise at all have a moderate risk for sleep apnea.
The harmful consequences of insomnia can be mitigated by engaging in physical activity, which can be done at any time of the day through cycling.
15. Cycling is Eco Friendly
Aside from the obvious benefits to your own body and mind, cycling also has positive effects on the environment.
Bikes are a great way to get around town without adding to pollution or contributing to climate change because they don’t use gas.
Even small annual increases in bicycle riding could prevent the release of between 6 and 14 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. (Source)
Cars aren’t just a source of carbon emission, but they also use antifreeze petrol, and other fluids that are harmful to the ecosystem. By switching to biking, you can reduce these effects significantly.
If you really want to be super-green then there are other enhancements you can make to your cycling routine. This excellent video below gives a few pointers:
16. Increase Blood Flow
While riding, the muscles in your legs contract, narrowing the blood vessels.
By doing so, you’ll be able to prevent varicose veins from sitting for lengthy periods of time by encouraging blood flow back to your upper body.
Cycling also boosts cardiopulmonary function and protects the heart.
17. It Promotes Hand-Eye Coordination
He’s a nice weird one for all of us cycling geeks (of which I am possibly number one I have to admit).
By coordinating your feet, hands, speed, terrain, and balance, you build and strengthen the neural pathways that control hand-eye coordination and general control.
I bet you never thought about that before!
In addition, this is helpful for cross-training. You can improve your performance in various sports through cycling.
18. An Excellent Way to Socialize
While getting some much-needed exercise, going on a bike ride also provides a great opportunity to meet new people or reconnect with old friends.
Whether you’re interested in joining an existing club or forming a new one, you won’t have trouble finding a cycling community that fits your needs. This is a fantastic opportunity to get out and discover new places while connecting with like-minded individuals.
In addition, riding bicycles is a fun and healthy way to spend quality time with loved ones!
19. Cycling is a Good Way to Travel
When compared to other modes of transportation, cycling definitely comes out on top.
Bike commuting is a great option for city residents who want to avoid the hassle of driving to and from work each day.
Since you won’t be driving as much, you’ll also save money on petrol. Probably even more important to me, riding is a fantastic way for discovering a new neighborhood or city. Now that you don’t have to stress about finding a parking spot, you can take your time and enjoy the sights.
You can actually see the world around you.
20. Diverse and Versatile
Cycling is not a sport that lends itself to a specific personality type. Also, bicycles come in a wide variety of styles and designs; some examples are road bikes, mountain bikes, and cruiser bikes.
As an added bonus, cycling can be done in a variety of ways, including recreation, relaxation, competition, and long-distance travel.
Anyone can find a way to enjoy cycling, regardless of their background or hobbies.
Your bicycle is versatile enough to serve as a means of transportation or a fun means of leisure. That’s not even the best part! When you get on your bike, you get to decide your own adventure!
21. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Getting some fresh air and exercise can reduce your stress levels. People suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can also benefit from spending time outdoors in the sun.
The stress of daily life can be more manageable if you take some time to ride your bike.
Various forms of cardiovascular exercises have been shown to relieve stress, and cycling, in particular, has been shown to lower anxiety. (Source)