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The Fun Way to Keep Fit – Cycling

Cycling in India has suddenly become quite popular, and has been chosen by many not only as a leisure activity but also to keep fit. Apart from cycling regularly to work, mountain biking is also widely practiced. There are a number of organizations that conduct cycling tours to picturesque hill stations and other cycling friendly locations. It is widely acknowledged that cycling is one of the best ways to achieve good health. Some of the health benefits include:

1. Cycling is good for your heart

By making the heart pound in a steady manner cycling helps improve cardio-vascular fitness. Since the largest muscle groups in the legs are used when cycling it benefits heart rate, which in turn increase stamina and fitness. Simply put, cycling strengthens the heart. This article gives some insights into studies conducted abroad about the benefits of cycling with respect to a healthy heart.

2. Increased joint movement

Unlike other forms of exercise like jogging, cycling is gentler on the joints. In this way cycling reduces the risk of arthritis caused by worn out cartilage. Since cycling puts less pressure on the joints, it actually provides nourishment that builds up cartilage. Cycling is a great way to keep fit.

3. Muscle toning

Cycling will not give you a bulky look that is achieved through strenuous exercises like lifting weights. But all of us would rather have a little muscle rather than the alternative-fat. There are a number of muscles that are used in cycling, starting from neck and shoulder muscles, to chest and arm muscles, all the way down to muscles in the feet. As cycling improves general muscle function, gradually you will be able to see an improvement in the muscle toning

4. Stress reduction

Everyone is stressed some time or the other. Cycling outdoors is a great way to beat stress as it will take your mind of other stress. Basically, when riding a bicycle (or exercising in general) endorphins, a brain chemical that improves our overall mood, are released. In addition, the endorphin release can also improve our sleep patterns. Over time, a happy disposition and a good night’s rest can lead to better stress management.

5. Cycling reduces back pain

If you maintain good posture while riding a cycle it can reduce back aches. Cyclic movement of the legs stimulates muscles in the lower back, where slipped discs are most likely to occur. In this way the spine is strengthened and secured against external stresses. By stimulating the small muscles of the vertebrae which are difficult to affect through other exercise, cycling can help reduce the likelihood of back pains and other problems.