Cycling has experienced an explosion in popularity in recent years. Throngs of cyclists commuting to work clad in colourful lycra are now so common as to be barely noticeable anymore. Sunday mornings bring grand pelotons to coastal roads (and cafés afterwards), and millions are glued to their televisions for the annual race around France by the world’s cycling elite. What’s so good about cycling? For one, it’s great for your health in multiple ways. Here are some examples.

Aerobic Fitness

Riding a bike requires many muscles to work together to keep the bike moving and your body balanced. All those macro- and micro-movements require a lot of oxygen and a robust heart and lungs to supply it. Regular cycling helps to build up heart strength and a more efficient respiratory and circulatory system to deliver oxygen to the muscles and whisk away metabolic waste.

Burning Excess Fat

Cycling is an activity that also requires plenty of fuel, so when the body has used up its ready supply of glucose, it starts converting fat into usable sugar to feed hungry muscles. If done regularly, cycling is a great way to keep fat accumulation under control while getting from A to B.

Better Heart Health

According to a study by the British Medical Association, cycling helps to improve cardiovascular health. This study found that people who cycle 36km or more per week have a 50% lower likelihood of experiencing heart disease compared to people who don’t cycle at all.

For people with a family history of cardiovascular illness or people who are currently at risk of developing heart disease or diabetes due to lifestyle habits, cycling is a terrific method of reducing those risk factors before irreparable damage sets in.

Higher Bone Density

Regular cycling is one form of exercise that helps to develop and maintain higher bone density, especially when exercise is started during the teenage years. Higher bone density helps to reduce the likelihood and effect of osteoporosis in later life.

Cycling Improves Stamina

With regular cycling, you’ll gradually notice that you can go further and further before you start feeling tired. This means your stamina is improving. While this is beneficial for cycling long distances, the effect extends beyond cycling; you’ll find you can do other physical activities for longer as well.

Improved Mental Health

It’s widely acknowledged that regular exercise has positive effects on mental health, and cycling is one enjoyable and inexpensive way of achieving this. Examples of benefits include improved mood as well as boosted self-esteem and reduced anxiety and depression.

Where practical, riding your bike to school or work can improve mental acuity during the day and help to unwind afterwards. Alternatively, riding alone or with friends on the weekend is a good way to work off stress accumulated during the week.

Cycling is a highly inclusive activity that just about anybody can enjoy, and it needn’t cost much either. There are many options to choose from when it comes to bikes, clothing and equipment. Stores like 99 Bikes can help you find the right set of wheels to suit your needs and style. Feel free to share your tips on how cycling has improved your health below.