The Effects of Bicycling on the Body

Bicycling is becoming an increasingly popular sport and leisure activity. For good reason too, as it is loaded with many benefits, such as cardiovascular health, muscular endurance, and physical strength.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Bicycling can be a simple way to achieve that recommendation. As with any aerobic exercise,  the heart rate rises, causing your heart to work harder. In this process, blood vessels and arterial walls are strengthened.  Bicycling can thus result in lower blood pressure, reduction in bad cholesterol, and increase in insulin sensitivity. 

Bicycling is also a fantastic way of increasing muscular endurance and strength. Though low-impact, bicycling makes many of your body’s main muscle groups work hard to keep you balanced and propelling forward. For example, your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, shins and calves are all engaged in peddling. In addition, the act of balancing your body involves the abdominals and lower back and requires the biceps and triceps to support the arms at the handle bar. Changes in altitude such as hills and slopes cause these muscles to work even harder, making bicycling a fantastic endurance workout.

Keep in mind, to always wear a helmet as you ride and heed proper traffic warnings. When done safely, bicycling is a fun, fast-paced way to achieve aerobic exercise and build strength.