Remember how excited you were when you first learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels or someone holding the bike? Once you got the hang of it, did you hop on the bike any chance you could and speed off to anywhere you wanted? Even though you may have lost some of your enthusiasm for cycling now that you’re an adult, it’s an activity you may not want to abandon.
Cycling, as exercise, has attractive benefits that may send you rushing to your bike again. It is a great low impact workout that can improve strength, endurance and heart health. Cycling can also improve your social health because it fosters group events.
For a ‘Wheel Good Time’
If you’ve chosen to add cycling to your exercise routine, there are certain things to remember to make riding safer and easier. Always drink plenty of water and wear a helmet. To avoid injury and get the most benefits from cycling, follow these basic guidelines.
As you increase your strength and endurance, other valuable aspects of regular exercise begin to kick in. Once you are able to sustain a moderate pace of 10 to 15 mph, a 20-mile bike ride can burn as many as 800 calories. Burning calories reduces fat and helps keep metabolism boosted for longer. Exercise also builds muscle mass, which burns more calories throughout the day than fat does.
In addition, there is evidence that exercise improves immune response and can protect against cancer and heart disease. Also, ongoing research shows that moderate endurance activities decrease apathy and depression and increase vigor. So go ahead and take yourself and your inner child out for a ride.