According to researchers, cycling is beneficial not only in terms of physical wellbeing but also mental wellbeing, with studies showing that individuals who cycle regularly have enhanced strength and cardiovascular performance, reduced risk of high blood pressure and heart attacks and improved mental health. Keep reading to find out some of the top benefits that can be achieved through regular outdoor or indoor cycling.
Indoor cycling is a total-body workout and works all of the major muscle groups. Here are seven areas you work and how you use them while you’re cycling. According to British Cycling, the following muscle groups are all worked during your cycling session:
Core – Your core is used to stabilize your body throughout your session, helping to achieve overall balance, especially when standing.
Upper body - The upper body is used to support you on the bike, and some cycling classes incorporate upper-body exercises using dumbbells.
Glutes – You will work your glutes with every pump, especially when standing or cycling at an increased resistance.
Quadriceps- Your quadriceps will be the main muscles used as you pedal and climb hills, leading to strong, toned legs.
Hamstrings - Cycling helps to strengthen your hamstrings, to power the pedal.
Calves – You will also work your calves with each cycle.
It is proven that all forms of exercise can be beneficial in terms of reducing risks of heart attack, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. A UK study of 300,000 individual found that those who cycle regularly have 20% reduced rate of early death, a 24% reduced rate of death from cardiovascular disease (which includes heart attack and stroke) and a 16% cent reduced rate of death from cancer. Indoor cycling is a low-impact alternative to exercise, allowing you to reduce your risk.
A study conducted by the YMCA identified that individuals who lead active lifestyle, with regular exercise, had a wellbeing score that was 32% higher than inactive individuals.
As with other forms of exercise, cycling releases adrenalin and endorphins, helping to boost your mood. Research has also found that those who cycle have a reduced level of stress compared to those who do not, with 15% more of people who ride a bike every day having a higher satisfaction with their lives than people who have not biked since becoming an adult.
In addition, a study by Science Direct identified that cycling, along with other forms of exercise can also help to reduce anxiety developing into attacks and disorders.
Indoor cycling is a low impact exercise, involving fluid and controlled movements which have a soft impact on joints, are regular in frequency, and cause minimal in wear and tear. Compared to many other forms of exercise, cycling causes less strain and injuries, making it a viable option for those suffering with mild arthritis and joint pains. According to James Bicos, M.D., Beaumont orthopaedic surgeon, and sports medicine specialist, cycling is one of the sports that those with little arthritis can benefit from.
Research has revealed that indoor cycling can directly impact an individual’s aerobic capacity, with those who regularly cycle experienced an increase in their body's ability to take in and use oxygen, improving aerobic performance.
The benefits that have been discussed in this article are only some of the benefits that can be achieved from regular indoor cycling. At Echelon, we have a range of smart exercise bikes so you can start working towards your fitness goals from the comfort of your own home. Join the Echelon Community today.