Is cycling an exercise for our body?

Cycling miracle cure: health for body, soul and spirit

We live in a performance society that demands more and more of us. Increasing professional demands, private appointments and the hectic city bustle mean that people are more and more stressed and can hardly relieve this pressure. Physical complaints such as high blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmias are the result; in the long term, chronic stress can also lead to burnout or depression. It is therefore important to take the body's first warning signals - whether they are insomnia, restlessness or constant brooding - seriously and try to achieve a better work-life balance. There are many ways to reduce stress. A lot of people exert themselves during sport in order to restore their inner calm. Cycling has proven to be particularly effective: According to research at the University Hospital Tübingen, cycling strengthens the psyche and can even prevent depression. Pedaling evenly while cycling stabilizes the psyche and brightens the mood of the cyclist. But the steady, cyclical movement also has a calming and relaxing effect on people. Physical activity in the fresh air and in the country has several positive effects:

  • increased release of happiness hormones
  • Improving body awareness
  • emotional harmony

If you enjoy the first warmer rays of sun of the year and the scent of spring during the leisurely bike tour, you will also direct your thoughts from the problems and countless tasks to the here and now, thus making the bike tour a kind of meditation. It's not about athletic results, but above all about experiences in nature. But also those who want to improve their athletic performance and repeatedly set goals on their adventurous bike tours reduce tension and worries. No wonder riding a bike is a great way to reduce stress and prevent depression. Those suffering from stress and those at risk of burnout should definitely try cycling. It clears your mind and gives you a feeling of freedom.

Stretching and gymnastics exercises for cyclists

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Health for the whole body: cycling as a whole body workout

Cycling has a positive effect not only on mental health, but also on physical health. Those who cycle regularly reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease or diabetes by half. Cycling has positive effects on the whole body and is therefore a great and healthy whole body workout. Regardless of whether it is the respiratory tract, joints or muscles, cycling has numerous advantages for physical health.

  • Strengthening the airways: The respiratory muscles are strengthened and the ventilation of the lungs is improved, as the rhythmic pedaling while cycling fills the lungs evenly with oxygen. In this way, cycling prevents infections and respiratory diseases.
  • Effective weight loss training and muscle building: Anyone who wants to lose weight should also ride a bike regularly. Because the sport stimulates our fat metabolism, breaks down cholesterol and burns around 400 kilocalories per hour. This makes cycling the perfect way to prevent obesity. This is also because biking promotes muscle building throughout the body. The more muscles a person has, the more energy is burned even in a resting state. An additional plus point: Strengthening the back muscles helps to stabilize the spine and can also help with back problems.
  • Gentle training of the joints: For overweight people in particular, cycling is preferable to sports such as jogging. Because the greatest weight of the body rests on the saddle, so that the joints, tendons and ligaments are only slightly stressed when cycling. In addition, all articular cartilages are supplied with oxygen. When jogging, on the other hand, the joints have to cushion two to three times their own body weight with every step - especially with overweight people this is very harmful to the joints in the long run.
  • A strong heart: If you pedal regularly, you also strengthen and enlarge your heart muscle and manage to reduce your resting heart rate. This reduces the risk of a heart attack by up to 50 percent. The circulation is also stimulated, which counteracts cardiovascular diseases such as strokes. Because biking improves the entire blood circulation and ensures that the blood vessels expand and become more elastic.

Cycling has positive effects on the health of the whole body. A Danish long-term study even found that people who cycle three hours a week have a 40 percent lower death rate than people who do not cycle.

Cycling makes you smart: the influences of cycling on the brain, knowledge and learning

Brain jogging with a difference: cycling to increase intelligence

However, exercise also has a positive effect on brain activity and is said to promote mental performance even more than solving body sudokus or crossword puzzles. Even our brain benefits from regular cycling: it is better supplied with oxygen and glucose, gains substance and can therefore work better. This leads to an improvement in cognitive abilities, the ability to concentrate and the IQ in the long term. Physical activity produces the messenger substance BDNF, which promotes the development of new nerve cells - so-called neurogenesis. In addition, the brain is better supplied with blood when exercising endurance sports and thus makes you mentally stronger. In addition, cycling trains our responsiveness and coordination.

It is therefore best to start cycling as early as possible. If children are faced with motor challenges, this promotes connections in the brain. For example, brain research has found that active children who cycle a lot, for example, also perform better at school.

Sore muscles, back pain, sunburn: health tips for cyclists

Conclusion: cycling is a panacea

The numerous positive effects of cycling on our body, but also on the psyche and our brain activity, show that cycling can actually be seen as a kind of panacea and a miracle sport. So: Get on your bike and enjoy the first rays of sunshine as spring approaches!

First published: March 3, 2017