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By C. Marie Cradle

How cycling is a boon for the body and mind

Taking up cycling on a basic 10-speed bicycle, a pricey pro-style bike or a stationary machine can be that marvel for people working toward optimal well-being. Moderate cycle activity alone can be effective. However, cycling done as a frequent exercise can produce super results in both physical and mental health. Illustrated below are some of the main health benefits gained from cycling.

Physical health benefits from heart to calves

Principally, cycling makes for a healthy heart. The cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart muscles and regulates blood vessel functions. A study by York Region Health Connection links 3 hours of cycling a week to a 50 percent reduction of heart disease and stroke. Besides cardiovascular health, studies have shown that cycling helps to fend off other health complications such as obesity and diabetes.

Knee health is greatly benefited by the constant motion of pedaling. Getting into gear on a bike yields gain in knee joint mobility, widening the knee joint's range of movement and stabilizing the joint. As far a muscle development, cycling improves the muscles around the knee. Additionally, if a knee is injured, cycling is the recommended physical activity for patients in rehabilitation.

Generally, avid cyclists look physically good. They tend to have an appealing body with a healthy figure on the slender side or with a fit frame proportional to weight and height. Also notably attractive on the body of cyclists: the buttocks region. Cycling works the gluteal muscles with each push of the pedal. Riding also makes a fit pair of legs by fine-sculpting thigh and calf muscles.

The brain and overall mental health positives

The brain, when on a cycling kick, leads to a highly developed brain. Cycling sends neurons, the brain's motor agents, into overdrive. Neuron activity increases steady blood flow to the brain and muscles throughout the body. The more blood flow, the bigger the size of the muscles. In a nutshell, cycling helps to produce big brains, allowing for a greater capacity for memory, information processing, learning and intelligence.

Delving deeper into aspects of mental health, cycling is linked to wellness of mood and self-esteem. Cycling gives a great high, chemically speaking. The exercise increases production of serotonin and dopamine, the "feel-good" natural drugs of the brain. With a cyclist feeling happy, a greater sense of self worth is yielded.

Levels of stress and anxiety, both triggered by hormonal imbalances in the body, lower with the push of the pedal. Cycling helps to regulate hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Making cycling a regular routine is key to stress management and lessening the worry. Studies have even correlated high-octane cycling to significantly curbing depression, including major depression and various depressive disorders.

While there may be better options toward optimal health for people to seek, cycling is undoubtedly worth a try. It may be a boon for a life lacking enjoyable and effective exercise. What is important to keep in mind about cycling is that it should be done properly, or else the physical and mental health benefits will not be realized.

Article sources

Cartilage Health

Momentum Magazine

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