Boost your overall health with cycling. Know its benefits from doctor
- Cycling works wonders for your physical and mental health. It helps keep heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and stress related issues at bay, as per experts.
Pandemic has affected our lifestyle in a monumental way. Physical exercise has almost been out of daily routine in many cases. But with movement restrictions eased now, cycling could provide the twin benefits of maintaining fitness and personal mobility.
Health specialists recommend cycling to improve health and immune system, address lockdown-induced pain and weight gain. It not only improves physical health but takes care of overall well-being.
Dr Shuchin Bajaj, Founder & Director, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals says cycling is the best bet to improve the body's immune system.
"Cycling has a positive effect on the health of almost all people. During cycling, the deeper breathing helps to cleanse the lungs better. That is optimal when it comes to virus protection. It not only keeps you at a distance from others but also reduces the risk of contamination by the touching of surfaces,” says Bajaj.
No wonder, bicycles are a popular choice for commuting and also for fun ride in many European countries. Denmark is often called a nation of cyclists. In the Danish capital of Copenhagen, bicycles outnumber cars. In several European cities, cycling is ingrained in their culture.
Here are the benefits of cycling according to Dr. Shuchin Bajaj and Dr Amit D Goswami, Senior Consultant in General, Laparoscopic & Bariatric Surgery, Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon.
Sedentary lifestyle is one of the ten leading causes of death and disability in the world and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and obesity apart from risks of colon and breast cancer, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
"We need to have an active lifestyle because our lethargic daily routine is giving rise to many serious health conditions like obesity and diabetes, which causes serious complications if affected by Covid. Therefore, cycling is the best bet to improve the body's immune system," says Dr. Bajaj.
Improves heart health
Weight gain or obesity can also increase your chances of getting cardiovascular diseases. "Cycling and brisk walking can help in improving heart health and overall blood circulation, and thus reducing the severity of heart disease," according to Dr. Bajaj.
Blood pressure and Diabetes
Regular cycling and brisk walking reduce unwanted fat and bad cholesterol and are also a great way to improve mental well-being as the pandemic has triggered widespread mental health issues. These activities also normalise blood pressure levels and help to keep blood sugar levels under control, says Dr. Bajaj.
Improves mood and helps deal with stress better
Cycling is a great stress-buster and mood-booster as the body experiences a rush of happy hormones after a bicycle ride.
"After cycling and simple brisk walking, one can experience a spike in neurochemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Not only do they improve mood, but this hit of endorphins can stimulate the same areas of the brain as a painkiller," says Dr. Bajaj.
"It is an ideal exercise for people dealing with stress and a phenomenon known as cyclist’s high is said to alter the emotional processes after a ride," adds Dr. Goswami.