Anatomy of a Cyclist: How Biking Builds Your Body
If you’re reading this, you probably already know: cycling is good for your body. But you may not be clued in to exactly how a biking habit can change your health and your looks, so we thought we’d drop a bit of knowledge on you with this 7-point breakdown.
- Biking Builds Muscle
Yes, cycling is often a mostly aerobic activity, but that doesn’t mean you don’t build muscle while you’re doing it. And no, you won’t just build muscle in your legs, either. Cycling, particularly when you up the intensity level, is a great way to put on muscle all over the body. Of course, it’s an amazing workout for your calves and thighs, but it’ll also provide great exercise for your butt, your core, your shoulders, and your triceps. Check out the Power and Advanced Ride classes on the OVICX App to get that intensity inspiration.
- Cycling Strengthens Immunity
Studies have found that mild aerobic exercise makes our bodies produce more essential proteins, wakes up white blood cells that are crucial to immune function, and has huge benefits for our upper respiratory tract. That means fewer colds, and one study found this translates to 40% fewer sick days. That’s a lot of productivity for you to reclaim!
- Cyclists Sleep Sounder
News flash: when you’re physically tired, you sleep better. Yeah, I know that’s common sense, but there’s actually more to it than meets the eye. You see, moderate exercise reduces stress hormones and anxiety, so you won’t experience those moments lying awake worrying before you fall asleep each night. That benefit by itself is enough to convince me to get on my Q200B! But more than that, sounder sleep means you recover quicker, you get sick less frequently, and you’re less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, or mood swings.
- Riding Helps Muscles Recover
We’ve all experienced the soreness that comes after a hard workout in the gym. Most of us react to this by taking it easy and shying away from work outs for a few days, but this is actually the best time to get on your OVICX. When you go for a moderate intensity ride, blood moves throughout your body, shuttling nutrients to muscles and removing waste – like the lactic acid that contributes to feelings of soreness. So, though the temptation may be to lay back on the couch and rest on those days when you’re feeling tight, the real solution is to hop on your bike and get into a class on the OVICX App.
- Lose Weight With Low-Intensity Cycling
I know, we’ve all heard it a million times but it bears repeating: if you burn more calories than you eat every day, you’ll lose weight, and going for a ride on your OVICX every day will help you burn more calories. In fact, it can help you burn an additional 400-1000 calories an hour, depending on intensity. Whether or not this actually results in weight loss depends, of course, on a range of other variables: what kind of calories are you eating – sugary sweets or lean meat and veg? Are you getting enough high quality sleep? What else do you do throughout the day – are you getting up and getting your steps in even if you’re spending most of the day in the office? These things are really important for achieving any weight loss goals, but adding a good ride into the mix definitely helps.
- Biking Makes Better Brains
Believe it or not, but our brain health is influenced in a really major way by blood flow, and evidence suggests that during exercise nearly 30% more blood goes to our brains. This effect lasts for quite awhile after we’ve worked out, too, though it gradually decreases in the hours after a workout. Nevertheless, getting on your OVICX and riding for 45-60 minutes 4 times a week will lead to fewer age related cognitive declines and a lower risk of dementia later in life.
- Cycling Saves Joints
A lot of the benefits listed above are really just exercise related, so you might think “Why not skip the bike altogether just go for a run?” Yes, running is a great form of exercise but it’s also a weight bearing – and force multiplying – exercise, and that means a higher rate of injury. Cycling, on the other hand, is very low impact. In one study comparing cyclists to long-distance runners, researchers found 256% worse inflammation and up to 144% worse muscle damage in the runners. One of the benefits that running has over cycling, though, is increased bone density. For you committed cyclists out there, throw some weight training into your workout programs to give yourself a thicker, healthier skeleton. And if you’re a runner, you should really be train more often on a treadmill with great shock absorbers, like the OVICX Q2S+ with Silkworm® Shocks. It’ll keep your joints healthier for longer.
The truth is, we could make this list a lot longer, but do you really need more reasons to ride? The bottom line is this: the more often you get on your OVICX, whether you’re going for a hard ride or a light workout, the better your body is going to feel, operate, and be. So what are you waiting for?