With so many ways to maintain fitness, people are looking for alternative ways to get in their exercise...
Remember, "variety is the spice of life", right?
That said, what better way to enjoy the fabulous outdoors than on a bike?
And, the mere act of being on a bike ensures you are practicing proper social distancing. So, grab your helmet and let’s get going.
Like all forms of moderate intensity exercise, regular cycling (3 to 5 times a week for a total of 150 minutes) will reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your overall health, and may even reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Cycling will improve your endurance and aerobic capacity, while toning the muscles of your lower body like the calves, thighs and buttocks.
An hour of cycling can burn between 250 and 700 calories depending on the intensity and it is an excellent way to reduce stress.
In addition, for anyone carrying extra weight and/or people who have joint problems who may find it difficult to do weight-bearing exercise, such as jogging, cycling is a good option.
Regular cycling at a healthy level can have a beneficial effect on many of the body’s organs and systems.
For example, when you exercise your heart needs to beat faster and more powerfully to pump more blood through your body to supply enough oxygen to your muscles so they can work properly.
At rest your heart normally pumps about 5 liters of blood per minute, but during moderate aerobic activities such as cycling, this increases 3-4x that much to approximately 15-20 liters of blood per minute.
This increase is achieved by your heart beating faster and more powerfully so that it pumps out more blood with each beat.
Exercising your heart in this way will make it stronger, just as your biceps get bigger with regular exercise too.
This exercise also helps prevent the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries of your heart, which is why people who take part in regular physical activity have a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those who don’t.
Regular aerobic activity such as cycling can also prevent or delay the development of high blood pressure and in people who already have high blood pressure, it can reduce it.
Regular aerobic exercise can lower your total cholesterol levels, as well as improving your cholesterol profile by increasing the ratio of ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol) to ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) in your blood.
And, people who take part in regular exercise tend to have lower body fat and better lipid (blood fat) profiles than others. This means they are less likely to develop arterial disease, which is a risk factor for stroke.
Finally, with regular cycling exercise, the capacity of your muscles will increase, making everyday activities easier.
As muscles become leaner/more toned, they also become better at taking up glucose, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
And especially for people over 50, regular exercise improves muscle strength, coordination and balance, which lessens the likelihood of falls and improves joint mobility.
Angie Ferguson is an exercise physiologist and Tony Robbins Results Coach from Fort Myers, Florida. She also is a Corrective Biomechanics Specialist, USA Triathlon Advanced Level 2 coach, USA Cycling coach, has a Specialty in Sports Nutrition certification, and a PhD in results!
If you're looking for continual support, direction, guidance & accountability join Angie's Monthly Program here, and we'll help you look, feel and be your very best!