Cycling for exercise is a fantastic, aerobic and relatively easy form of staying fit. Outside of a gym, it’s also quite practical for commuting to workand getting around town.
The Government is very keen on encouraging cycling not only for easing traffic congestion and helping the environment, but also to help improve Britain’s health and fitness overall.
Why Is Cycling Good Exercise?
Cycling isn’t weight bearing unlike running for example. This means there is far less stress and tension in your muscles and joints compared with weight-bearing exercises like running. It is a simple motion of the legs working round and round, and some co-ordination of your core stomach muscles.
Myth Buster: Cyclists don't tend to get "bulging legs" - perhaps Olympic athletes, but not the ordinary commuter. What actually happens is your legs become more toned (less fat wobbling around!) and better shaped
This excellent diagram highlights some of the muscles, and when they're used
Cycling is a form of aerobic exercise, which means you aren’t starving the muscles of oxygen if you continue to do it over a long period of time, so you can cycle long distances. Sprinting on the other hand is anaerobic; even Usain Bolt couldn’t hold it up for long.
Aerobic exercise means your metabolism increases; that means there is more activity going on in your body. Raising your metabolism occasionally over a prolonged period of time (it needn’t be by much, just enough to get it above ‘normal’) will help you body become fitter and function better.
Exercise also makes us release endorphins into our blood. Endorphins are a hormone which make us feel happy and content; perfect if you’re feeling an incy-wincy bit stressed after a days work!
Simply commuting to and from work each day by bike is enough to improve our fitness. In the dream fantasy inside our heads we’d all be healthy and fit, but in the real world lack of spare time and effort means we tend not to. But fitting in a little healthy exercise around our already busy schedules in the form of commuting...