15 Positive Effects of Cycling on Body Shape

We know that cycling is an excellent form of exercise, and it is also a great escape from the humdrum of our daily lives. Aside from being a physical activity, cycling has become quite the phenomenon and has replaced many other exercises to get out and get in shape.

When you get into regular biking, you get the full benefits of a healthy and robust body, from a good mental state to healthy heart function, toned muscles,  strong bones, and overall perfect well-being. 

These and other benefits will be discussed in this blog to learn and come to understand the benefits of cycling, how it impacts your body, and the best way to benefit from it.

How Does Cycling Shape Your Body?

Think about it: our muscles work in tandem with our body and its skeletal muscles to get out there and move.

Every time you move, the muscle also contracts. So any movement that you undertake activates the building of the muscles. Also, as you exert regular physical activity, the muscles slowly form accordingly. 

Like in biking, pedalling causes the muscles in the lower body to move targeting the calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quad. And it also tones the upper body focusing on the arms and shoulder.

So, with frequent cycling, your body can form and shape its muscles, making them strong and healthy. 

The Positive Effects of Cycling on Body Shape

biking 1
There are various positive effects on the body because of cycling

The impact of biking on your body shape is determined by how much time you put into it. The more frequent you go biking, the stronger you get, like what’s listed below: 

  1. Tones Arms Muscles – The Triceps and Biceps

Your riding position is a significant factor in toning your arm muscles. The lean-forward-flat back position demands strength on the upper body. This position requires you to relax your elbows to avoid upper back and neck pain.

As you continue to bike regularly, your arms and body muscles develop. And as your elbow flexes your triceps and biceps contract. With persistent contractions, muscles slowly grow, giving you improved strength on your shoulders.

  1. Strengthens Shoulder 

Biking targets the shoulder through the deltoid muscles. This muscle group is responsible for the movement and stabilizing of the shoulder joint, which is responsible for raising and lowering of arms. 

The deltoid muscle acts as shock absorption when biking on steep descents. So every time you put pressure on your upper body, your shoulder supports as you change positions, strengthening your arm.

  1. Sculpt the Butt

The buttocks, known as the glutes, are equally essential muscles in biking, which provides the bulk of the power and stability. It carries your weight as you sit on the saddle and pedal forward. These muscles are essential in biking because they are involved in the outward rotation of the hips and their lateral motion.

As you continuously work on your bike, you’ll notice your butt becoming more toned and firm. It changes its appearance as it adds muscle mass, giving a visible perked up butt in this case.

leg muscles
  1. Strengthens Leg Muscles 

Another positive effect of cycling on your body shape is strengthening the leg muscles. It acts without putting much stress on the joints and targets the hamstrings and quadriceps. 

The quadriceps is the primary muscle used to pedal the bike. So if you pedal a lot or are climbing hard ascents, that’s when you rely on your quadriceps. The more you pedal, the stronger your legs become and the more toned they will be. And these are the most noticeable toned muscles compared to the rest when biking.

As you continue to pedal, your movements impact your hamstring. The hamstring extends the thigh from your hip and rotates the leg when you bend your knee. So as you continue to flex your knee, the more your hamstring works, the more it loosens and becomes stronger.

  1. Lose Belly Fat

If you are trying to burn belly fat and lose extra weight, cycling is the best. Since cycling is a low-impact activity, you can reduce weight by burning belly fat — all you need to do is eat right!

A 30-60 minutes cycling can burn about 300 calories. Although your abs do not work as hard as the other important muscles, regular cycling enhances fat loss and promotes a healthy weight. 

balance and posture
  1. Cycling Improves Posture, Balance, and Coordination.

It’s a no brainer. As you keep moving on your bike, muscles develop, and strength increases, improving posture, balance, and coordination.

As you age, your balance tends to decline, especially if you become inactive. And as your balance decreases, it adds up to the risk of falls, which may cause you injuries like a fracture. So, cycling is actually a recommended activity to keep you balanced and your movement sharp!

  1. Back Pain Relief.

Another effect of cycling is the relief of back pain. Now, you’re more likely to get back pain when your torso muscles are too weak, resulting from poor exercise and an incorrect posture.

During biking, the way you’re seated on your bike seat adds a lot of difference (mak sure your bike seat is not too low) and once you’re positioned correctly, cycling can help strengthen your lower back.

Also, back and stomach muscles work when pedalling, so continuous cycling enables tighter abs that take pressure off the lower back muscles and could even alleviate chronic back pain. 

  1. Increases Blood Circulation

Cycling increases heart rate depending on the intensity. As the heart rate increases, blood flows normally, providing maximum oxygen and nutrition to the cells.

A higher heart rate avoids blood clots and vein plaques, lowering the risk of heart disease. According to a study, people who are into biking suffer 15% less chance of heart attack than non-cyclist (yup!)

  1. Strengthens Cardiovascular System

Disease associated with the cardiovascular system includes high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. All these can be avoided when you do regular cycling. This is why you see more elderly people pick up cycling in their golden years — it’s low impact and keeps them moving!

Cycling reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and strengthens heart muscles. It also lowers resting pulse rate and reduces fat blood levels that cause cholesterol build-up, leading to heart problems.

  1. Lowers the Risk of Dementia

Don’t just ride for physical health, but also for mental health.

Dementia is a brain-related disease that can be mitigated through social interaction. So riding on your bike with friends or a group of bikers is an excellent way to socialize, interact, and stay connected. It will better your mental health and promote safety and belongingness. 

Remember, too much time on your own makes you feel isolated, lonely, and out of touch, which may worsen dementia. We are after all social beings!

  1. Cycling Improves Sleep

One of the positive effects of biking on the body is improved sleep. 75% of people on an active exercise like biking report having a good sleep quality, but this can be obtained if you keep track of other factors like:

  • Going to sleep on a regular schedule
  • No use of sleep drugs
  • Reduction of caffeine and alcohol consumption
  • Do natural relaxation techniques like deep breathing along with yoga
  1. Strengthens Lung Functions

As you ride further, your breathing rate increases. Your lungs become healthier, pump more air, and absorb more fresh oxygen.

But be careful; extreme cold air at a negative temperature can irritate your airways. You may experience chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

So, always make sure to bike at the best temperature of the day when starting out

  1. Lowers Cholesterol

LDL (Low-density lipoproteins) or bad cholesterol reduces as you go cycling regularly. LDL is the cause of cardiovascular disease, and it poses a significant risk when you have a cholesterol deposit. You also reduce the chance of getting diabetes and cardiovascular disease by lowering the cholesterol deposit. 

Meanwhile, the HDL (High-density lipoprotein) or good cholesterol also improves when you go on an exercise like biking. The HDL absorbs the cholesterol, carries it back to the liver, and flushes it out from the body. So the more you bike, the more HDL is produced, and more cholesterol or toxins are removed from your body.

mental health
  1. Cycling Boosts Mental Health. 

Physical exercise like cycling does well for your mental health. Endorphins, the natural pain reliever and mood booster of the body, are released when you have an activity like biking. 

A study says that outdoor exercise increases the mood-boosting effect on the brain. So as you focus on the road or go out on trails, you are unconsciously giving your mental health a boost. You ease the feeling of depression, stress, and anxiety as you concentrate on the present moment.

So when you feel lazy or dull, get your bike, go out, and enjoy the boost in your mental state.

  1. Cycling strengthens the Immune System.

Cycling can boost the immune system by increasing the production of essential proteins. These proteins promote tissue growth and energy production and facilitate nutrient absorption.

According to a study, exercise like cycling has a significant benefit in reducing the common cold instances because of a robust immune system. 

So if you look for ways to protect your immune system, especially during this pandemic, include biking in your daily routine. 

Ride your bike and stay active. Also, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy food, and reduce stress to have a robust immune system. 

Whatever It Is, Don’t Forget to Bike Safely  

Clearly, we all know that biking is a fun activity, and you get lots of health benefits like those on the list. But to gain full benefits from biking, you must know your body’s limitations. 

The best part of cycling is that it gets addictive after a while – while giving you a total body workout, you get to explore new places and trails. All you need to do is start small at your neighbourhood trail and reap the full benefits of cycling. Who knows, maybe more of your friends and family will join you!

Most importantly, you can never enjoy the health benefits if your ride is unsafe. So always be safe, wear your helmet, keep to your lane and have fun!

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