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Live Free and Bike

bikingBiking is one of the easiest ways to exercise. You can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and without spending a fortune. Many people are put off doing certain sports because of the high level of skill that seems to be required, because they can’t commit to a team sport due to time pressures, or cost. Most of us know how to ride a bike and once you have learned, you don’t forget. All you need is a bike, a half an hour here or there when it suits, and a bit of confidence.

Why is biking good for you? In celebration of National Bike month, check out these 8 benefits of biking that will help kick start your spring:

1. Cycling builds strength and muscle tone
Contrary to normal perceptions, cycling is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since every single part of the body is involved in cycling.

2. Cycling increases muscle tone
Cycling improves general muscle function gradually, with little risk of over exercise or strain. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will gradually begin to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end and hips.

3. Cycling builds stamina
Cycling is a good way to build stamina. It is very effective in doing so,
because people enjoy cycling and they wouldn’t really notice that they have
gone farther the last time they went cycling.

4. Cycling improves cardio-vascular fitness

Cycling makes the heart pound in a steady manner and helps improve cardio-vascular fitness. Studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.

5. Cycling eats up calories
Cycling is a good way to lose those unwanted pounds. Steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day you would burn 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride.

6. Cycling improves heart health
According to the British Medical Association, cycling just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues.

7. Cycling improves coordination

Cycling is an activity that involves the whole body. Therefore, arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination are improved.

8. Cycling reduces stress

Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well being and self esteem. Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.

Taken from adultbicycling.com.