Insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults aged 18-64 years should indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week to stay healthy. What many do not know is that a daily cycle ride of only 20 minutes is sufficient to achieve this target!
Regular cycling helps in burning around 1,000 calories a week, and even cycling at a mild pace of 12 mph will help you burn 563 calories per hour, says research. While it is clinically proven that cycling regularly can keep various types of health issues at bay, in essence, it is a fun, low-impact exercise. This moderate-intensity physical activity perfectly fits into your daily routine as you ride short distances conveniently to the neighborhood shop, school or work. While paddling for long hours and steering with both the hands, balancing your body weight helps in improving coordination.
Cycling also increases circulation to deliver oxygen to the skin cells, which in turn helps in speeding up the healing mechanism of our body. Besides, it strengthens lower body muscles over time and regulates mobility of certain joints. Hence, it can be an effective exercise for people having joint pain and arthritis.
Cycling is an aerobic activity, meaning that your blood vessels and lungs get a beneficial workout as you ride this pollution-free vehicle. On the whole, it can be said with confidence that cycling boosts stamina and helps in managing and preventing lot of diseases. Being one of the most eco-friendly modes of transport, it is undoubtedly a healthy option for every citizen. Turning this to a regular habit, you are likely to experience surprising health benefits soon, as you perspire a lot through the day. If utilized wisely, cycling has the potential to be the next big revolution in the health care ecosystem of India, and this is not an exaggeration.
A recent study by the University of South Australia states that people with type 2 diabetes will possibly be better off in choosing cycling rather than walking as a part of their daily exercise routine. The same study also reveals that women aged 60 to 70 (having type 2 diabetes), who participated in a 12-week-long fitness activity cycling for 20 minutes twice a week, experienced an average of 19.2 % drop in blood glucose levels.
Among the myriad physical and mental health benefits, here are some of the clinically proven ways, as suggested by Pankaj Munjal, president AICMA (All India Cycle Manufacturing Association), cycling can help a person’s well-being:
- Keeping blood pressure under check
- Preventing type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis
- Improving joint mobility and flexibility
- Keeping you calm and acting as a stress-buster
Last but not the least, adopting cycling into your fitness regime is likely to be much more sustainable and convenient than the conventional high-intensity gym workout. Unlike other forms of workouts, most people who take to cycling tend to stick to it for a lifetime. Cycling doesn’t put a strain on knees like running or too much walking may after a point of time. On the other hand, you do not need to get kitted like you would do if you were playing a sport or running.
In recent years, the culture of cycling has been given an impetus in our country, and it is heartening to see a smart wave of new-generation riders embracing cycling not only as a sport, but also into daily lives. The next time before you raise a complaint on the serious problem of road traffic in your city, make sure hit the road with a bicycle at least for a few hours a week. Bring on your super two-wheeler and pedal your way to a healthier lifestyle, starting from today.