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The Mulitple Health Benefits of Cycling

Posted Mar 26 2009 3:05pm

cycling I think we can be in agreement that, that any exercise that you do. No matter what it is will reap some health benefits long-term. But today we are going to cover one particular type of exercise which is cycling, not a lot of bloggers talk about this in depth so doing some research I came across this data and thought it was to good not to share it.

One of the main reasons for writing this post was to show how beneficial cycling can be for your health, we do tend to have something of a car culture in most countries,It’s quite prevalent in ours particularly and this just may be a way of steering a few people in that direction.

There have been quite a lot of studies based around cycling and they will be the basis of this post.

A report was commissioned called cycling and health which which revolved around the cycling habits of people, the research which was done in Finland , which provided some of the most solid data on how beneficial cycling can be for people.

Two studies conducted around people commuting to and from work were monitored, it was found that the journey to work and back was enough to, significantly change the physical health of the people who did it on a regular basis every week.

They found that the people who cycled to work were a lot fitter than those who actually walked to work, the measured amount of time that they did during their commute to work, was 30 minutes approximately that was all they needed to do in order to maintain their peak fitness.

Some of the participants involved in the study were people who normally traveled to work by car or bus, and it was noticed that there where significant physiological changes to their bodies as a result of changing to cycling to work and back.

Which were overall improved aerobic fitness, lesser cardiovascular load in sub maximal work tasks. So if you’re doing something that is labour-intensive your blood pressure and heart rate will be lower than if you had not done any exercise. There will be a increased uptake in the use of fats which is good for lowering LDL cholesterol.

The conclusion of the study which was based around healthy young people and middle-aged people suggests that even if people have been sedentary for quite some time. They can improve their fitness within a small time frame window by commuting, to and from work on a bicycle which surprisingly enough a lot of people don’t do.

Two researchers namely Cavil and Davis conducted a survey in Copenhagen which was based around cycling which involved 13,375 women and 17,265 men who were, aged between the years of 20 and 93 these people were selected at random, from a total of 90,000 people.

Out of those participants in the study 14,976 cycled on a regular basis, and of those 6,954 used cycling as a means to get to work. The people who cycled to work, cycled for three hours per week.

Had the following health improvement’s from cycling these where, strong protective function as far as the body is concerned, which is lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, better body mass index.

People whom cycle on a regular basis compared to those whom don’t have a lot higher mortality, rate the figure is 39 percent for those that don’t.

In another study which was conducted of Finnish men. Of which had chosen their own type of exercise at random, one group chose walking while the other cycled, heart rates were checked for peak performance. The people who walked reached 60 percent of their maximum heart rate, while those who cycled managed to get up to 70 percent of their maximum heart rate.

The knock-on effect of this was the cyclists were a lot fitter than the people who walked they managed a VO2 maximum of 38 compared to the cyclists, who managed a V02 max of 57, that is quite a significant difference. The cyclists managed to achieve something called a training response which the people who walked didn’t.

Conclusion

Here are some advantages of cycling:

  • Cheap and environmentally friendly you’re less likely to inhale toxic fumes if you’re a cyclist, especially if there is a traffic jam
  • It’s cheaper to run than a car look after your cycle and it will last for many years to come
  • Cycling can be a very good social activity you can meet people as you’re riding along and stop and talk to them or go out on rides in group
  • No expensive gym fees once you buy your cycle you don’t have to do worry about renewing it every year like a gym membership, all exercise capacity declines with age but compared to going to a gym, the effects of decline are lesser in people who cycle regularly
  • You can incorporate cycling into your daily routine so say for instance going to work, shopping or anything else you want to do, this means that you’re not exercising for the sake of it
  • It can be beneficial to all people when you cycle you are supporting your whole body, so there is no strain on your back also compared to people who may be overweight and jog there could be strain on their knee joints
  • Cycle on a regular basis you will have lower cholesterol levels, overall improved fitness, better aerobic fitness, better lung capacity, stronger legs, better mental well-being, lower blood pressure, and fitter than your counterparts whom walk

So if you can get on your bike you will thank yourself for it.

Source http://www.bikebiz.com/news/20350/Cycling-the-specific-health-benefits

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The Mulitple Health Benefits of Cycling

Tags: cycling, Exercise
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