Long used as a mode of transportation, cycling has quickly become part of the modern-day fitness revolution. It’s not hard to see why.
As an excellent alternative to running, cycling improves your cardiovascular fitness, tones the legs and aids with weight loss.
I like to supplement my physical workouts with cycling. Here are three reasons why cycling can be a good addition to your training.
Cycling Gets Your Heart Rate Up And Burns Calories
A core fundamental behind any kind of cardiovascular exercise is to get your heart rate up into a zone that starts to burn body fat for fuel.
Cycling is an excellent way to get your heart rate up. So long as there is sufficient exertion, cycling can help to burn calories.
If you intend to lose weight, try cycling with a heart rate monitor to measure your intensity.
The American Heart Association recommends a target heart rate of moderate intensity to be about 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate.
Cycling Is Easy On The Joints
Lifting and other forms of heavy exercise can be bad for the joints, especially if you are not experienced. Even running, which is weight bearing, can have long term impacts on your knees and joints.
In contrast, cycling is a straight-forward yet pretty safe activity that anyone can do.
Though you are less likely to get injured from over cycling, it is still wise to invest in a good bike for safety and comfort.
Also, because cycling isn’t weight bearing, it is good to supplement it with some strength training as part of your overall fitness program.
Cycling Helps To Strengthen The Core And Build Muscle
Due to its natural resistance, cycling can strengthen your core and help build muscle.
One of the challenges of learning to ride a bicycle for the first time is finding your balance. When cycling, your core is one of the stabilizing muscles that helps to keep you upright.
Cycling primarily targets the hamstrings and quadriceps but several other muscles are also worked during cycling.
These include your glutes, shoulders and arms as you need to maintain a solid grip throughout.
A great benefit to cycling is how accessible it is. Anyone, regardless of fitness level can get into cycling easily.
Depending on where you live, off-road trails and rough terrain can challenge even the fittest rider.
Sure, good bikes might cost a bit more, but they are a worthy investment. However, if you are on a tight budget, then hunting on Craigslist for used bikes is a viable option.
If you are looking for an enjoyable and convenient activity to improve your overall cardiovascular health, lose weight and build muscle, you should consider adding cycling as part of your training.