This World Environment Day, cycle your way to the planet’s health and your own 

Cycling leaves virtually no carbon footprints, and has multiple mental and physical health benefits 

author_img Team Indulge Published :  05th June 2022 05:52 PM   |   Published :   |  05th June 2022 05:52 PM
This World Environment Day, discover the benefits of cycling

This World Environment Day, discover the benefits of cycling

It is interesting to note that in 2020, the transportation sector added another 7.3 billion metric tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Did you know that among the many modes of transportation responsible for this emission, it were passenger cars that were the biggest sources? About 8.887 grams of carbon dioxide is produced with every gallon of gasoline burned. This World Environment Day, why not switch to the humble bicycle? Eco-friendly and sustainable, it is also, as the inventor Karl von Drais put it, a machine that ‘you do not need to feed’. It also has very low carbon footprint. Apart from being an effective means to reach your workplace or the shop next door, the act of cycling has proven mental and physical health benefits. We list here, some of the many health benefits of cycling.

Reduces anxiety and mental stress

Cycling is known to improve a person’s overall state of mind. It essentially releases ‘feel-good’ hormones, called endorphins. These hormones instantly relax the mind, make a person feel happier and reduce levels of anxiety. In a study published in the Lancet in 2018, it was found that cycling is one of the top stress-busting sports. Regular cyclists experience fewer poor mental health days and also learn a few tricks of mindfulness.

Also read: As we celebrate World Environment Day on June 5, we find out about maintaining a sustainable food industry

Improves cardiovascular health

The human heart adores cycling. Results of a study conducted by the Purdue University, Indiana, US, conclude that cycling can cut your risk of heart disease by 50%.  Cycling stimulates and improves circulation within the body, strengthening the heart and the lungs. It lowers the resting pulse rate and blood fat levels. Experts reckon cycling to be a formidable exercise to counter blood pressure problems, protect the immune system and make the heart healthy.

Aids balance and coordination

Cycling stabilizes the body. It activates the cerebral cortex by stimulating the motor regions of the central nervous system. The body loses its balance with age. Cycling counters this and builds a stronger motor system along with improved balance. The combined effort of the eyes, hands, and legs in moving the cycle contributes to making the coordination of the body smoother.

Also read: Cycling the talk is the new mantra of entrepreneurs in Bengaluru who are ditching Zoom calls

Builds muscles and burns excess fat

The muscles around the glutes, calves, hamstrings and quads benefit the most from regular cycling escapades. It builds lower body muscles, specifically the legs. The core muscles, which include the back and the stomach, also expend energy during rides. Tighter abs help pedal efficiently and relieve pressure from lower back muscles. Cycling also burns calories, but this primarily depends on the intensity of the cycling session and rider weight. According to Harvard University, while cycling at a moderate speed, a person weighing 70 kilograms can burn 298 calories in half an hour. Experts recommend pairing cycling workouts with a good diet to burn a considerable amount of calories.

Strengthens the immune system

The value of a resistant immune system is immense, especially post the pandemic. Cycling also has the ability to turn the wheel of age back by a few years. A study published in the journal Aging Cell, revealed that those who cycle regularly are less susceptible to diseases associated with older age groups. This is because of the higher production of immune cells called T-cells in the bodies of those who cycle regularly. This keeps the immune system young and healthy.

Switching that wheel to a handlebar, can work wonders for the environment as well as for you. Need more reasons to ride that cycle today and venture out on the open road?