Due to the abundant health and environmental benefits of cycling the UN has declared June 3, 2018 as World Bicycle Day. Let’s consider some of the health benefits are available to you. For example: weight loss.

There are many reasons for wanting to lose weight. If you’re carrying a little excess baggage then dropping the pounds could improve your health and help you to avoid conditions such as heart disease or diabetes.

Losing weight can also improve your confidence — but it’s important that you always put your well-being first. Only aim to lose weight if doing so will improve your health and fitness.

If you’ve decided that losing weight will be beneficial for you — then cycling is a great way to go about it…

Running is often considered №1 exercise to burn calories, but problem is that, every step sends impact through your feet, ankles, calves, knees — and so on. As a result, it’s easy to get injured, and that risk is increased the heavier you are.

Cycling, by contrast, is low impact. As well as being a cardiovascular exercise that burns calories, it also strengthens your muscles — particularly your hamstrings, glutes and quads without too much risk of injury. The stronger your muscles are the more calories your body burns just existing.

The health benefits of regular cycling include:

• Increased cardiovascular fitness.

• Increased muscle strength and flexibility.

• Improved joint mobility.

• Decreased stress levels.

• Improved posture and coordination.

• Strengthened bones.

• Decreased body fat levels.

• Prevention or management of disease.

• Reduced anxiety and depression.

Obesity and weight control

Research suggests you should be burning at least 8,400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (about 300 calories) per hour.

If you cycle twice a day, the kilojoules burnt soon add up. British research shows that a half-hour bike ride every day will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.

Cancer and cycling

Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. Research has shown that if you cycle, the chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Diabetes and cycling

The rate of type 2 diabetes is increasing and is a serious public health concern. Lack of physical activity is thought to be a major reason why people develop this condition. Large-scale research in Finland found that people who cycled for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes.

Mental illness and cycling

Mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced by regular bike riding. This is due to the effects of the exercise itself and because of the enjoyment that riding a bike can bring.

Remember these things on this World Bicycle day 2018

• Cycling can help to protect you from serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.

• Riding a bike is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages.

• Cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, park, school or work.

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