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Get in shape: Why start cycling?

Updated 20.03.2024
6 min. read
Pavlína Straková
Do you feel unhappy looking in the mirror? Do you want to lose the extra weight but you don't know how? Try losing weight on a bike! Here are a couple of reasons why biking is the right thing to do.
Get in shape: Why start cycling?

If you want to get in shape and feel better overall, reach out for a bike. Cycling includes many benefits - from helping to preserve nature, through saving time and money, all the way to undeniable benefits for our health. That is exactly what we are going to talk about in the upcoming lines.

5 biggest health benefits of cycling

The release of endorphins

Simply said, cycling is a very pleasant activity. Pleasant activities make our bodies release endorphins, the hormone of happiness, which make us feeling better, healthier and full of energy, even though we lose some of that energy while cycling.

Weight loss

Energy consumption closely relates to weight reduction. If you have issues with higher weight, or you just want to build a little muscle and shape your body, cycling is ideal for it.

While cycling, it is easier to keep your pulse frequency in the preserved or aerobic zone, which are in the area of 60 to 80 % of the maximum heartrate. It is a feeling of expending your physical effort to the point where you still feel good and you don't even breath hard yet. This is exact intensity of physical effort, where your body gains energy by burning fat. It is not true, that if you want to lose weight, you need to work harder.

woman, that is losing weight on a bike

TIP: To capture your current heart rate, we recommend a high quality smart watch, which besides a heart rate monitor has more beneficial functions. For example, lost calories count, the time spent active or the recording and analysis of your trip.

Good to know!

Going 16 kilometers per hour is already enough to burn approximately 260 calories, which entitles you to enjoy 50 grams of quality dark chocolate without remorse.

Effective strengthening

An effective strenghtening of numerous muscles occurs while cycling - not only the legs, also arms and core. The more muscles the body has, the more calories it burns even during common activities.

Positive influence on cardiovascular system

During an activity where you keep your heart rate at the previously mentioned level, you can last for longer periods of time and you don't burden your cardiovascular system, just the opposite - you make your heart "pump" faster in a health way. Thanks to that better blood circulation occurs, and there is more oxygen going to the brain, therefore it has a positive influence on the brain's function.

Did you know, that only 30 km weekly on a bike can lower the percentage of having a cardiovascular diseases by 50 %?

Improve your mental wellbeing

Being in the nature which is something not to neglect, helps overall wellbeing of a person. It has to do with vitamin D, which is necessary for our health. Our bodies can't produce it and we get it from being in the sun, or we can ingest it in the the form of food supplements. The lack of vitamin D has a huge impact on our wellbeing and mood.

Mental wellness and calories burned on a bike

It is true that it's not always sunny outside, but there is a saying that "there is no such thing as bad weather for cycling, only unsuitable clothes", therefore with a suitably picked outfit, not even the weather can surprise you.

The same thing applies to winter biking. The market offers a quality range of compression clothes and accessories, that will keep you warm even in cold temperatures.

Additional health benefits

  • Diabetes and high blood pressure prevention,
  • the support of immune system - renewal of immune cells - only 30 minutes a day on a bike can dramatically reduce the risk of a "little cold" keeping you down,
  • reducing the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL).

Is cycling for anyone?

Cycling is really suitable for anyone, the doctors often recommend it also to patients after joint surgeries while in their recovery stage.

The production of new joint fuild occurs already after 10 minutes of cycling, which our joints require for a normal function. While being on a bike you are not overtiring your joints, because up to 70 % of your body weight is supported by the bike seat.

It is important to correctly position the height of your seat - when your leg is in the lowest position, your knee should not be completely locked, but not very bent either - because there is a risk of joint pain. Overall, bikers have a lower risk of damaging the musculoskeletal system and ligament inflammation, which are very common with runners.

Bike and health problems

Cycling can be hard for people with spine problems, people with rheumatism, who are suffering from wrist inflammation, or people that have trouble with coordination.

In general, it is very hard to specifically say who is not fit for cycling and there is no group of people who is specifically not fit to sit on a bike. It is very individual from one person to the next and in cases of serious health problems you need to consult a doctor.

Bike and pregnancy

There are doubts regarding pregnant women cycling. The biggest risk are the shocks and the possibility of falling down. These issues can be eliminated with choosing the correct path for limited shocks on the road with smooth road. In that case even an upcoming mother can reap the benefits of exercising outside.

How to start cycling?

First you will need a bike that is the first and single most important investment you will make.

Think about which terrain you're going to ride on the most.

  • If you are more of a city enthusiast, try setting your sights on city bike
  • If you want to ride on the asphalt outside the cities, try road bike.
  • If you want to avoid cities, roads and you want to test a little bit of terrain, a great option would be hybrid bike
  • For an adventure on the mountain terrain choose mountain bike.
  • If you're very concerned about your performance on a regular bike you can grab a electric bike, which will amplify your performance and will compensate for your lack of endurance.

Choose your right size of the bike.

Start easy

  1. Sit on a bike and take a lap around your house until your body tells you to stop, do not go to extremes with your body at first.
  2. At the beginning it is enough to go for 20 - 30 minutes, 1 - 2 times a week, until your body adjusts to the new body position and sitting on the bike seat.
  3. Go for a trip on an easy track.
  4. Use your bike more often and whenever it is possible - use it instead of the car and go to work or go shopping by bike.
  5. Find and interesting place, you want to visit and go there for a trip on the weekend. You can make it easier with a bike computer - many of them have navigation features and they can even show you real time information about your activity.
  6. As you gradually gain shape, go for longer time periods and choose a more difficult terrain to ride on.

If you decide to join a group of friends, cycling is going to be even more fun and you can explore new tracks and places together.

If cycling is something that will touch your heart, later you can also try competing with other cyclist enthusiasts at amateur competitions.

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