4 Research-Backed Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is a low-impact physical activity that you can incorporate into your routine as a casual activity, mode of transport, or competitive sport. Beyond the widely known benefits of cycling, such as weight loss, stronger legs, and less stress, there are other lesser-known but research-backed health benefits of regular cycling. These include;
1. Improved brainpower
In addition to better mental health, regular cycling (exercise) can reduce depression and anxiety. In a sample of over a million study participants in the United States, researchers discovered that low-impact physical activities like cycling are linked to more brainpower. Another 2019 study revealed a link between cycling and improvement in cognitive functions.
But it’s not just adults who can benefit from regular cycling. A 2014 study featured in Pediatrics revealed that bike-riding activities more positively impact children. Also, regular exercise can help control issues such as attention deficit disorder in kids.
2. Reduced risk of cancer
Regular cycling could help maintain a healthy weight. A combination of a healthy weight and a conscientious diet (one with lots of lean proteins, healthy grains, and leafy greens) can lower your risk of cancer. A 2015 study review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association evaluated about 14,000 men. The study included participants with higher fitness levels. As they approached middle age, they were at a reduced risk of colorectal and lung cancer.
3. Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease
Cycling regularly can also ward off Parkinson’s disease. A 2018 study confirmed that regular exercise could lower the men’s risk of Parkinson’s disease. According to this study, putting just over three hours of cycling weekly at a pace of 10 miles per hour (mph) to 12 mph can lower your risk significantly. Plus, more exercise comes with other health benefits, such as better cardiovascular health.
4. Slow aging
As it turns out, aging can cause a gradual loss of muscle mass. It might not give you eternal youth, but various studies have revealed that cycling and other low-impact to high-intensity interval workouts have considerable anti-aging benefits down to your cellular level. Connective tissue and fatty tissue start invading, affecting your muscle’s ability to contract. Fortunately, regular exercises such as cycling can help slow down muscle mass loss.
According to a 2017 study, people who perform low-impact to high-intensity exercises have an increase in mitochondrial capacity. Therefore, the better your cells’ mitochondria can function, the more rejuvenated you will look – the slower the aging process. Note that a decline in mitochondrial activity can result in physical decline, which manifests as aging.
Regular cycling offers many health benefits and can help lower the risk of several common health conditions. For instance, it can boost your brainpower, lower cancer risk, slow your aging process, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. It’s also suitable for most people, and you can safely add it to your daily routine. Be sure to wear protective gear and ride in areas with less air pollution.