3 Ways Riding a Bike Helps your Heart
Cycling is such a fun pastime. Some people use it as a way of commuting and others just for fun, especially kids. But, what if we told you that riding a bike can provide you with significant health benefits? Some of these benefits include strengthening your muscles, reducing stress levels, combating depression, improving joint mobility, and promoting optimal cardiovascular health. So, in today’s post, we will look at just how riding a bike daily can improve your heart health.
What is Cycling & Why does it Affect the Heart?
According to Oxford Languages, cycling is the sport or activity of riding a bicycle.
When you ride a bicycle, essentially your entire body is involved. But cycling for 20 to 30 minutes per day can really boost your cardiovascular system health. Let’s look a bit deeper!
1. Cycling Strengthens your Heart Muscles
Yep, just like riding a bike would strengthen the muscles in your calves and legs, it does improve the vitality of your heart and blood vessel muscles. Researchers conducted a study at Purdue University, Indiana, United States. This study led the researchers to conclude that regular cycling can cut your risk of heart disease, such as heart failure (which is weakened heart muscle) by 50%.
Cycling gets the heart to work a little bit harder and that’s an exercise for the heart muscles. It’s just like when you crunches to build abs muscles, the exercise builds the heart muscles, making them stronger.
2. Cycling Lowers your Risk of Stroke
In addition to other heart-healthy habits, like lowering your sodium and cholesterol intake, going for a high-intensity bike ride a few times per week will definitely help the heart to combat factors that can cause blood clot development. In one study, older women who were a bit inactive began to engage in bicycle riding for around 35 minutes, three times per week. Their ability to combat stroke-inducing blood clots increased because of adopting this practice.
3. Cycling Improves Circulation
Optimal blood circulation is necessary for our very survival because, during circulation, blood takes oxygen and nutrients to our cells while removing waste. Some factors can cause reduced or poor circulation but riding a bicycle for a few minutes a day can improve that issue.
When you ride, it stimulates the heart to pump more blood throughout the body, and because it strengthens the heart muscles, resulting in improved circulation. Even after exercising, your heart is more likely to be pumping more efficiently than before.
There are several other ways that cycling can impact and enhance your heart health, so once your doctor gives the OK, grab a bike and start riding!
Cycling - health benefits - Better Health Channel. (2013). Vic.gov.au. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/cycling-health-benefits
Chandler, M. (2021, June 17). Does Cycling Improve Blood Circulation? [ANALYSIS]. Discerning Cyclist. https://discerningcyclist.com/does-cycling-improve-blood-circulation-analysis/
How to Lower Stroke and Stroke-Provoking Blood Clots. (2019). Sharecare. https://www.sharecare.com/health/stroke/article/slash-stroke-risk-with-aerobic-exercise
Oxford Languages and Google - English | Oxford Languages. (2020). Oup.com. https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/
- Cecilia Arias