As a easy-available and healthy exercise, cycling suits people of all ages. Besides being a pollution-free and cheap mode of transportation inside your city, cycling offers many health benefits.
If you are someone who tries to blend regular exercise with your daily lifestyle, riding to the market or even work turns out to be a viable option. Statistics reveal that more than 1 billion people use bicycles for sports, recreation, and transportation purposes each day.
As an avid rider, I have been trying different bicycle models over the last decade. Collecting my experiences, I would like to give you some ideas on how cycling can be good or bad for you.
Although you cannot achieve the speed of a car or bike on a bicycle, you cannot possibly overlook the benefits of this amazing joyride that MAKES YOU FLY! Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of cycling to find out if a bicycle will suit you.
Advantages Of Cycling
1. Riding A Bicycle Helps You Lose Weight
Being a top-notch cardio workout, bicycling can help you burn as much as 400 calories per hour. In case you work out at the gym, you should lose at least 2000 calories per week through exercise. Since it helps to increase the metabolic rate and reduce weight, cycling for five to six hours a week can give you the same impact in terms of weight loss.
I highly recommend cycling as an effective means to lose weight if you are obese. This way, you can burn the excess fat and maintain your system agility. Most importantly, if you are reluctant to involve in weight-bearing activity while working out, you have a viable alternative in cycling.
Strong back and abdominals are necessary to support your spine. It also increases stability and comfort to a significant extent. Cycling burns body fat and helps in building muscle. Combine your diet chart with a regular cycling schedule for an effective weight loss remedy.
2. Cycling Enhances Overall Health Conditions
Cycling goes a long way in enhancing your health conditions. While exercise is necessary to maintain body fitness, we don’t get adequate time to work out each day. Here’s how cycling can benefit your health conditions.
- Regular cycling keeps the cardiovascular system in proper shape.
- You can reduce your cholesterol level in the blood.
- Cycling is a powerful weapon for fighting obesity.
- It enhances the lung capacity, delivering better blood flow.
- Cycling is a great way to ditch the sedentary lifestyle.
- As an exercise, cycling enhances muscle strength.
- Cycling also helps in enhancing motor coordination.
- It increases bone mass, giving you stronger bones.
- Cycling improves mood and keeps anxiety at bay.
3. Cycling Boosts Mental Health
After interviewing several avid cyclists, I found that most of them benefitted from this exercise to enhance their mental health conditions. Amidst the hectic daily chores, work pressure and depression often weigh heavy on our minds.
Besides, many people encounter different mental issues. Being overwhelmed mentally is also an effect of genetics. With smartphones and computers around, most people encounter an information overload problem. This additionally leads to mental issues and stress.
Well, cycling can give you a break from your sedentary lifestyle and soothe your discomfort. I would advise you to cycle in a park or green zones so that you can distract your mind from the uncomfortable surroundings.
4. Cycling Helps To Maintain A Good Body Shape
Cycling has an intense impact on the body shape. Based on the part of your body you wish to target, you need to choose your bicycle. Sometimes, you can tailor your exercises to suit your system’s requirements.
Cycling fosters effective resistance training that can strengthen your mind and body. Besides developing the muscles in your legs and lower part of the body, cycling strengths your hamstrings, hips, and glutes. Cycling also helps to increase the height if started at an early age.
I have closely observed that avid cyclists have leaner and slimmer legs. At the same time, cycling can also help you tone your arms. As you apply the pressure on the handlebar, you eventually tone the biceps, deltoids, and triceps.
5. Cycling Combats Type 2 Diabetes
Among gnawing health concerns, you cannot possibly overlook type 2 diabetes. The dearth of adequate physical activity can lead to this type of diabetes. Even people as young as 30 are developing diabetic problems. This is primarily due to their sedentary lifestyle in front of their computers.
As an exercise, riding a bicycle is a good option. A research reveals that if you cycle at least half an hour daily, you can slash the probability of developing diabetes by as much as 40%.
6. It Strengthens Your Bones And Develops Balance
Cycling serves as a great way to enhance your balance, strength, and coordination. Besides, this exercise goes a long way in preventing falls that can potentially lead to fractures.
Even aged people experiencing osteoarthritis can engage in cycling since it is a low-impact exercise. So, when you spend your time cycling, your joints wouldn’t come under stress. In the end, exercise helps in strengthening bones in young people. By enhancing bone mass, cycling strengthens your bones.
7. It Reduces The Chances Of Cancer
Several kinds of research have shown a direct relationship between this disease and exercising. According to National Library of Medicine, cycling helps in reducing the chances of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer.
Besides, cycling involves exercise of your abdomen, which helps in reducing the chances of bowel cancer. At a time when the number of people experiencing these ailments is increasing, you have a positive solution in cycling.
8. No Parking Fines
Well, we all are familiar with the hassles involved in parking cars. With cycles, you won’t encounter such difficulties. Neither would you have to shell out parking fines if you keep your cycle in the wrong place. Considering the sleekness of cycles, you can easily make space for them.
Besides, you need not fork out parking fees each time you park your cycle in the lots. When it comes to ongoing charges and fees, cycles score a point over other means of transportation.
9. Cheap Alternative To Cars
Well, you won’t achieve the speed of a motorbike on your bicycle. However, if speed isn’t your priority as you go around your city, you should consider cycles as a cost-effective alternative to other means of transportation. With rising fuel costs, I have observed office commuters in many Indian metro cities traveling to their workplaces on cycles.
Apart from the initial investment, you don’t have much of a maintenance cost. Of course, you need to check tire pressure and get your brakes and a few other parts replaced from time to time. Altogether, this is a far more intelligible investment in terms of affordability.
10. Ditch Traffic Snarls
If you use public or private transportation while commuting to your workplace, you know how nightmarish traffic snarls can be. With cycles, you can use the narrower lanes and alleys to get across to your destination. Using bicycles happens to be a great way to combat traffic jams in your city.
Disadvantages Of Cycling
1. Cycling Accidents
Compared to cars, you are more susceptible to accidents while you use bicycles. With cars, you have more coverage and protection around you. Besides, not all the cities have proper infrastructure for bicycles to ply the main roads.
One of the best ways to secure yourself against cycling accidents is to invest in branded cycling accessories like helmets and paddle safely.
2. Overestimating Your Strength
Cycling serves as a great socializing activity and happens to be pollution free. I have interviewed young cyclists who ended up overestimating their strengths. Also, if you go off-roading or mountain biking, make sure to get a proper mountain bike. Overestimating your strength can sprain your calf muscles and ankles, leading to accidents.
3. Not Suitable For Handicapped People
Well, cycling can be quite inspiring, but not for all people. Disabled individuals or people of older generations often need to refrain from cycling as it involves significant physical strength. However, if you start cycling young, you can continue with this amazing endeavor till your old age.
4. Some Bicycles Are Expensive
The different types of cycles are priced from low to high range. Well, while you try to cut down your expense in the long run by investing in a bicycle, be ready to shell out a sizable upfront cost.
Branded bicycles can serve you for more than a decade, but they can be equally expensive. In India, purchasing a hybrid bicycle can cost you anything between ₹4,000 to ₹15,000. The cost of a mountain bike, folding cycle and electric bicycle are even higher.
5. The Risk Of Theft
Compared to cars or motorcycles, bicycles are more susceptible to theft. Practically, it’s easy to lift a bicycle or ride it away if you fail to lock it properly. To mitigate this risk, make sure to invest in proper bicycle security accessories like disc brake locks.
Is Cycling Good Or Bad For You?
Well, I have closely compared the perks and downsides of using a bicycle, and the answer is clear. The advantages of using a bicycle significantly outweigh the drawbacks. Even if you have certain downsides to using a bicycle, you can overcome the same. I have already recommended my tried-and-tested tactics to prevent accidents, theft, or injuries.
While cycles are not suitable for navigating long distances, you can easily cover at least five to ten kilometers around your home with practice. Most importantly, if you don’t like working out at the gym or struggle with heavy weights, you have a viable alternative that won’t rob you of any excess time. Check out the best cycles to buy in India and customize the model as per your requirement.