World Bicycle Day 2023: Many benefits of cycling for your body and mind
On the occasion of World Bicycle Day (June 3), here are all the reasons why you should trust your good old bicycle for your overall well-being.
A simple bicycle ride is not only joyful and a stressbuster but can also work wonders for health. A fun way to lose weight and manage chronic diseases, riding a bicycle can help improve your heart health and muscular strength. Studies have proved that cycling can help alleviate depression, anxiety, stress and elevates mood by releasing happy hormone. Cycling also helps keep the lower body joints healthy. The low-impact activity can also benefit people with diabetes as it helps manage blood sugar levels, and also improve cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure, and keep weight in check, which are risk factors for diabetes. By incorporating cycling as a hobby into our life, we can multiply our joy as well as health quotient manifold. On the occasion of World Bicycle Day (June 3), here are all the reasons why you should trust your good old bicycle for your overall well-being. (Also read: Swimming vs cycling; which is a better workout for weight loss)
"There are many ways of keeping yourself fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but these days a very popular way is cycling. Cycling helps you to stay fit and is fun activity. Tired of working out in a gym? Try cycling as a way of increasing cardiovascular endurance and is a low impact form of cardio. It helps you stay in shape while having the benefits of working out amongst nature. Even during pregnancy women who have been doing cycling pre-pregnancy can do static cycling indoors to maintain the strength of lower body if permitted by doctor," says Priyanka Khanna (PT), Women's Health Physiotherapist and Lactation consultant at Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi.
Khanna explains various benefits of cycling for the mind and body:
1. Improves muscular strength
It drastically improves lower body strength as all muscles are being used repetitively. As a result, gluteal muscles, calf and quadriceps becomes toned.
2. Improves endurance
It helps to improve endurance and build stamina and also cardiovascular endurance. Your heart rate increases during cycling and heart pumps blood more effectively.
3. Mental health
Cycling can prevent depression, anxiety, stress and elevates mood by releasing happy hormone. In addition to it, cycling also improves sleep. It helps to build new thought patterns and brings different kind of changes in the brain promoting sense of calm and well-being.
4. Helps in pregnancy
Doing regular exercises can help expecting mothers immensely. Staying fit during pregnancy helps in natural child birth.
5. Aids in weight loss
A fun and wonderful way to exercise, riding a bicycle for half-n-hour can help you burn approx. 300 kcal.
6. Joint health
Cycling can keep your lower body joints healthy and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
7. Improves social life
There are groups these days where people do biking together, and go for treks on cycle so it also helps to know more people and make friends and thereby improving your social circle.
8. Good source of rehab after injury to lower body joints
A daily ride can help you avail so many benefits and the activity is quite budget-friendly. There is no need to spend hefty amounts on annual packages of various gyms when you have your trust-worthy friend bicycle.
Benefits of cycling for diabetes
"Cycling increases insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use insulin more efficiently. It further helps improve cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure, and control weight, all crucial factors that contribute to effective diabetes management. With improved blood circulation thanks to cycling, the risk of complications associated with diabetes such as nerve damage or foot ulcers is also reduced. The benefits are not just physical since exercise releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that assist in reducing stress and improving mood," says Gautam Chopra, CEO & Founder, BeatO.