Cycling Boosts Productivity & Physical Fitness

bicycling-health-benefits

What Can Cycling Do For You?

The challenges of fulfilling your responsibilities at work can be very stressful. Dealing with work stress effectively is very important to stay healthy and keep performing well at work. Cycling is an amazing activity that you can take up to paddle all your worries away! Cycling does have amazing health benefits as you’ll see below. We will also touch upon other aspects of cycling such as how to stay safe on the road, how to invest in a new bicycle and how to get the most out of cycling to work. In this article, we cover the following topics:

quick-tipStay ahead of illness!Take proactive steps to keep illness at bay. Adopt healthy lifestyle changes such as cycling and stay fit.

By the end of this article, we believe you will have enough reasons to ditch your car/motorcycle and start cycling not just to your office but also whenever you get the opportunity. So let’s get started.

Health Benefits of Cycling

Riding a bicycle has so many amazing health benefits that many doctors have taken to paddling on their house calls. The biggest health advantage of cycling is physical activity. For a lack of physical activity, most of us develop lifestyle diseases which negatively affect our productivity, wellness and psychology. Cycling, like every other aerobic physical activity, increases blood circulation, increases body temperature and promotes deep breathing – all of which contribute in improving the overall physical fitness of the cyclist.

Riding a bike has been shown to be beneficial for people with depression and anxiety, stress and mental health issues. Frequent cycling helps your body deal better with lifestyle diseases such as obesity, heart diseases and cancer. If your peril to work regularly, you do not need to engage in cardiovascular exercises as long as you are getting enough time in the saddle. This is also good way to increase metabolism and burn body fat is without losing muscle mass. For maximum benefit talk to your and devise a proper eating plan.

Note: Cycling for half an hour (30 minutes) every day, for a year will burn approximately 5 kg fats.

A study carried out in Denmark over a period of 14 years showed that cycling contributed significantly in strengthening heart muscles, lowering blood fat levels and maintaining a healthy pulse rate which helps in an overall reduction in cardiovascular diseases like stroke, high blood pressure or heart attack. Another research done in Finland showed that cyclist where at least 40 % less likely to develop diabetes.

Conditions related to anxiety and stress are reduced by regular cycling. Similar results are also seen with other cardiovascular exercises.

Effects of Cycling On the Environment

The manufacturing process of car and motorcycles as several billion cubic years of polluted air and releases several pounds of hazardous wastes in the groundwater and soil. But the worst comes when the car is on the road. A deadly concoction of hydrocarbons including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide gets dumped in the air we breathe. By choosing to paddle to work over driving, you can make a significant difference by not being a part of this vicious cycle of pollution.

However, you need to be extremely careful about preventing polluted air from getting into your lungs when you are cycling to work.

How to Cycle Safely

Cycling must be done with care and by observing all necessary precautions. Use breathing masks to prevent polluted air from getting into your lungs. In countries such as India and China, this is especially necessary because of extremely high are pollution levels. Try and avoid cycling very early in the morning, or late in the evening when the amount of particulate in the air is highest. Watch your hydration levels when you are cycling in the heat. It is always better to carry clean drinking water with you to stay hydrated. Cycling on an empty stomach is not recommended, but never start your trip after a heavy meal. Always use shades to prevent your eyes from the sun’s glare. Obey all local cycling laws, wear a helmet, where high–visibility clothes and buy proper footwear for best results.

Note: If you have a health condition (such as heart disease, arthritis or high blood pressure), please talk to your doctor about your decision to ride a bicycle.

Buying a Bicycle and Proper Riding Gear

Bicycles are available in different designs. There are mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, street bikes, touring bicycles and track-focused performance bicycles. For your daily commute to office and occasional Riding around the city, a street bike (aka city bikes) is your best option. The cost of a street bike may vary depending on where in the world you live. In India, prices start somewhere around 5 to 6000 INR for basic street bicycles. If money is not a concern, you can choose premium options from European bicycle manufacturers.

Invest in proper bicycle riding gear. Whether you are on the road commuting to work or hitting the trail, proper bicycle riding gear will help you stay safe, comfortable and perform better for long periods of riding time. You must have at least a couple of good bike shoes that are lightweight, waterproof and have a good grip. Caps will prevent your head from getting wet in the rain, and can be very important in winters to keep your head warm. For trail riding or cycling on the track, you will need a completely different set of riding gears which includes jackets, riding shorts, hand gloves and jerseys.

The health benefits of cycling are numerous, as you have seen in this article, and it is a healthy and fun way to get your exercises. On top of that, there are several environmental benefits as well! And if you forgot, cycling does not cost you anything at all because you do not burn fuel or pay tolls or parking fees.

health investmentInvest in bicycle, riding gear & safety equipment
health benefitsBurn up to 300 calories (at <16 KmPH) every hour!
protipsKeep wheels well lubricated and inflated. Maintain correct posture to avoid backache.
healthwarningWatch for signs of exhaustion, dehydration or pain.

So, what have you decided? Is it going to be the car again tomorrow?

 


 

More Topics on Cycling
References
  • Bike Score®: Associations between urban bikeability and cycling behavior in 24 cities
  • National Geographic: Does Air Pollution Reduce Cycling’s Health Benefits?