The 5 Health Benefits Of Cycling

Man with helmet on lime green bike in city centre

by Jaanaki Momaya, UK General Manager, Lime


Man and woman in helmets cycling on green bikes

Pic: John Robertson for Lime.

Exercising in spring doesn’t have to mean dull gym routines or aimless after-work runs around the local park. Cycling is the perfect way to add some health benefits to your daily routine while taking advantage of improving weather.

Improved cardiovascular function

Woman in red coat on lime green bike

Pic: John Robertson for Lime.

As an aerobic activity, cycling increases the presence of good cholesterol in the body, which works to transport fat away from the arteries. Regular exercise of this kind helps reduce your blood pressure and lower your resting heart rate, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Muscle strength and tone

Cycling builds muscle, and the more muscle you build, the easier it is to burn fat. Pedalling is particularly good for increasing leg strength. When you ride over rough terrain or up hills, 70 per cent of your body weight goes through the saddle and handlebars, rather than your hips, knees and ankles, meaning you also get a good workout for your arms and upper body.

Improved mental well-being

Woman in helmet checking phone beside green bike

Pic: Kris Krüg for Lime

Those with physically active lifestyles have reported feeling 32 per cent more positive about their well-being than those without, according to a study by the YMCA in 2017. Cycling triggers the release of feel-good endorphins that contribute to a happier outlook on life, leading experts to believe that the exercise has a positive impact on riders’ mental health. For those looking for a slightly less exercise-intense route to work, e-bikes like Lime are a perfect way to enjoy similar benefits to your health and well-being.

Increased energy

Because cycling improves stamina and endurance, it can make going about your daily life less effort. Improvement in cardiovascular function also means you can perform mental tasks better, as cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus, which is the region of the brain responsible for memory. Cycling can also reduce stress, helping to take your mind off problems and giving you a space where you can think over issues calmly. As well as this, the more active you are, the easier it is to sleep, which has wider benefits for your day-to-day health.

Weight loss

Cycling is a great way to lose or control your weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, burns body fat and builds muscle. Steady cycling, for example, burns about 300 calories per hour, while intense cycling can burn up to 1,000.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!