I think I’ve tried just about every keep fit program out there. All the video programs advertised on TV or the latest fitness machine. I tended to use them a lot when they first arrived but they usually ended up gathering dust in my garage.
Oh of course, I didn’t do this right away. I would first stop using the machine or video training regularly but keep it close by ‘as I would start again soon’. As the weeks went by (and still unused), I would eventually move it to the garage and pretend I never bought it!
Anyway, enough of my failures, what I have had more success in is cycling. I’m still lazy but when I do get out there on the bike I have a good time and feel I’ve worked out most of my body.
Here are the reasons why I think cycling is a great option. It’s only my opinion and I’m in no way a medical expert but I think the reasons are accurate.
Reset My Batteries
I’ll start with something that has nothing to do with the physical workout. I personally feel the fact that I’m outside looking at scenery which constantly changes as well as the mental effect that exercise has, really helps me clear my mind and reset my ‘batteries’.
The reason why I listed this first is because I have a very stressful job which can get on top of me sometimes. Getting outside on the bike helps me cope with this stress.
I believe the main physical benefit of cycling over some other forms of exercise is it has far less of a jarring effect on your joints.
The fact that you are sitting with your legs working out without any impact means it should be better on your joints compared to something like jogging.
Another reason is that this aerobic exercise can help reduce the risk of coronary disease if done on a regular basis.
You can read this Wiki to learn about the heart and how different exercises affect it.
Power and Gentle Workouts in One
Another thing I like is that most cycling trips will have a mixture of power parts (where I’m cycling up a hill or along a long stretch of road) and gentle parts (which still works out my body but in a more gentle way).
All Body Workout
Cycling isn’t just about working out your legs. You’ll actually work out a lot of other parts of your body including your arms, shoulders, chest and back.
You can help this by the way you cycle. Don’t just sit on the bike, keeping your body as still as possible while peddling. Try to get your whole body moving as well; it will come with practice.
I used to have high blood pressure which thankfully has reduced to safe levels now. This might also be due to a better diet but I believe that cycling has had a positive effect on the pressure.
This article was contributed by Jack Harris writing for PedalTours.co.nz which is a New Zealand based cycling touring company operating for over twenty years. They do cycling holidays in many countries around the world.