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Cycling is an activity that brings together a series of sport employing bicycle. It is one of the most popular sports with world fame whose presence has gained space in the Olympic games.
Cycling was born in 1890, although it was in Italy in 1870 that the first road cycling race hold. But it was from the year 1900 that many of the categories of cycling establish.
What are the Health Benefits of Cycling?
Cycling has many benefits. Some better know than others and, besides that, we can all easily enjoy them. They are much more extensive than saving time in your transfers, money in maintaining a private car, or the passage of public transport.
1. Improves Cognitive Functions
- Pedaling every day is powerful fuel for your brain. Exercising regularly is linked to brain health and reduced cognitive changes that can leave us vulnerable to dementia later in life.
- Older adults found that, during exercise, cyclists’ blood flow to the brain increased by 28% and up to 70% in areas related to analytical thinking. And not only that, in some areas, the blood flow was maintained at 40% even after they stopped pedaling.
- Increased blood flow in the brain is good because it favors the neurotransmitters that keep our minds healthy. The study concluded that we must pedal for 45-60 minutes, at 75-85% of our heart rate, to obtain and maintain this benefit.
2. Strengthen your Immune System
- Cycling, also containing the effects of aging, rejuvenates the immune system.
- The findings, described in two articles in Aging Cell, showed that cyclists preserved muscle mass and strength with age while maintaining body fat and cholesterol. Levels In men, testosterone levels remained high.
- More surprisingly, the anti-aging effects of cycling seemed to extend to the immune system.
- An organ called the thymus, which produces immune cells called T cells, shrinks typically after 20.
- But it finds that older cyclists’ thymuses generated as many T cells as those of the young.
3. Exposes you to Fewer Pollutants
- Many cyclists, mostly inhabitants of large and polluted cities, may find this benefit contradictory, and they are not the only ones.
- It analyzed air pollution detectors that accompanied: a motorist, a bus user, a pedestrian, and a cyclist using the same busy route through central London.
- The results showed that the motorist experienced pollution levels five times higher than the cyclist and three and a half times developed than the pedestrian, and two and a half times higher than the bus user.
4. Improve your Sex Life
- It did not take long for science to disprove the myth that many claimed that riding a bicycle negatively influenced cyclists’ sexual lives.
- There is a positive relationship between good physical condition and good sexual health.
- The results indicate that men’s and women’s sexual experience and behavior strongly link to the individual’s self-concept.
- Therefore, a few kilometers a week will help you maintain an excellent physical condition and a healthy sex life.
5. Improves Attentional Processing
- Safety behind the wheel is related to the health of drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
- Cyclists are more attentive to their surroundings and therefore have better attention to their changes, making them better motorists.
- The researchers formed three groups: the largest make up of 42 experienced motorists between the ages of 30 and 50, of whom 17 were women, and 25 were men.
- There were also 22 drivers and 20 driver-cyclists. It using a change detection technique, subjects show two alternate images.
- Participants needed to determine whether they were identical or different in just one detail. The elements that changed were a traffic signal, a car, a pedestrian, and a bicycle.
- Cyclist drivers were significantly faster than non-cyclist motorists in identifying changes, and the effect was more significant for bicycle and signal changes.
- Cycling experience associate with more efficient attentional processing for road scenes.
6. Increase Life Expectancy
- Regular physical activity decreases the danger of mortality from various factors such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
- It indicates an analysis of thirteen studies that relate physical activity to life expectancy.
- Everything seems to indicate that physical activity during leisure time is more effective in increasing life expectancy, an average of 4.7 years in women and 3.9 years. Which means that riding a bike to work or shopping can help prolong our life.
7. Reduces the Effects of Parkinson’s
- Cycling can benefit people with Parkinson’s disease, especially if they pedal hard and fast.
- A woman who has Parkinson’s used a tandem bicycle to compete in the Great Bike Race, a week-long race.
- After pedaling for a few days, Alberts noticed that her cycling partner showed physical improvement (decreased tremors, difficulty walking, etc.), especially her writing, which had become more legible and controlled.
- Finding that cycling, especially at a higher intensity, makes the brain regions that deal with movement connect more effectively, alleviating symptoms and delaying cognitive and physical degeneration.
8. Decreases the Risk of Developing Cancer
- Similarly, cycling benefits inhibit colon cancer development by 40%; bowel cancer by 60% compared to sedentary people regardless of their body mass index.
- And we are reducing the risk of developing breast cancer by 80% by using the bicycle regularly.
9. Reduce the Risk of Developing Cardiovascular Diseases
- Cardiovascular diseases include strokes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks.
- Cycling regularly strengthens the heart, lungs, and circulation, reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
10. Strengthen more than the Muscles of the Legs
- It is common to think that cycling only strengthens the muscles of the legs. But its benefits go far beyond the legs.
Types of Cycling
Within the cycling categories are the following.
1. Motocross by Bicycle
- It is a form of cycling in which acrobatics use. This discipline began to practice in 1960.
2. Mountain Biking
- It is a discipline that combines landscapes, dirt roads, and physical activity.
- It is a complete sport, since different parts of the bodywork, such as arms and legs.
- Also, it helps improve physical endurance and blood circulation.
3. Track Cycling
- This category characterizes by being developed in a velodrome, an artificial rectangular track with curves at the corners.
- Use of sprint bicycle, whose pedals are located higher than in racing bicycles. It is so that the cyclist, when pedaling, does not hit the track.
4. Road Cycling
- It is a type of competition cycling that takes place on roads instead of track cycling practices in a velodrome.
Drawbacks and Safety of Cycling
There are a few drawbacks to cycling to consider:
- A serious disadvantage is the risk of an accident, whether in an urban or rural area. When possible, ride on lanes reserved for cyclists as well as neighboring streets.
- Cycle tracks and streets within 550 meters of the tracks had fewer collisions between cyclists and vehicles.
- Always follow traffic laws. Use caution while going through intersections and busy areas, even if you have the right of way. Invest in a quality helmet and any other protective gear you may require.
- Avoid any loose clothing that could get caught in your bike chains. Have bike lights as well as reflective gear for nighttime cycling.
- If bike-commuting a long way to work, consider bringing a change of clothes to freshen up.
- Inclement weather can also be a hindrance. When it’s not possible to cycle outside, you can ride a stationary bike or choose another activity. If cycling is your mode of transportation, invest in rain and cold weather gear.
- For extended daytime rides, use sunscreen on all exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, especially if you’re sweating. Wear UV-protective sunglasses and a hat. Consider investing in UV-protective clothing.
- Air pollution is another concern if you’re cycling in a city. You may choose to cycle on days when the air is cleaner or ride on less congested roads. Or, you can wear face-covering like the Airflex reusable mask that will protect you from viruses, dust, and other harmful air contaminants.
Cycling is an enjoyable way to stay healthy and in touch with the world around you.
If the weather is in your favor, hop on your bike and go the distance. Cycling is a beautiful way to explore your local area. It beats the feeling of boredom that can come from repetitive workouts, too.
Just play it safe and use caution when necessary, especially on busy roads or during inclement weather. Appreciate the satisfaction that comes from improving your fitness while having fun.