Alright, so tonight was a cross training night. I would generally do some elliptical and weights, but I decided that I should really switch it up and bike. Most people who know me, know that I don’t really enjoy biking at the gym. In fact, several months ago I thought I would train for a triathlon (e.g.: Calgary’s Try-a-Tri) but I couldn’t get past 15km. And tonight was no different. I couldn’t help but thinking (as I watched the seconds slowly tick by) that I would’ve preferred running outside tonight in the freezing cold + snow, than be in the warm gym on that dang bike. I sat there pedalling my little heart out, listening to Gangnam Style (thinking it would encourage me to pedal faster) and wanting to pull the plug literally every minute. But I didn’t and I lasted thirty minutes; hopped off and completed around 6 laps on the track at a quick speed. I was elated when the nights training was over for obvious reasons, but also because there was a marathon of “Breaking Amish” on TLC and I couldn’t wait to get home to watch it.
And in case you have poor willpower like myself and can’t complete the 45 minutes you had originally intended to at the gym (blast you TLC!) according to MSN Lifestyle, here’s why biking is actually good for you:
Reason # 1: Physical activity serves as a regulator to relieve the stress that is common in current lifestyles. It produces the balance between exertion and relaxation which is so important for the body’s inner equilibrium. Cycling is especially ideal for this process, countering stress in two ways: by satisfying the need for activity where people lack movement or exercise; and by balancing out increased strain, particularly mental and emotional.
Reason # 2: A few miles of cycling per day assure trimmer and toned muscles. This is because your upper thigh muscles, backside and calf muscles all get exercised by the pedalling motion.
Reason # 3: Pursuing cycling helps a great deal in building your stamina. It enables you to carry out your day-to-day activities more effectively.
Reason # 4: This might come to you as a surprise, but cycling ensures a control in the level of blood pressure.
Reason # 5: Cycling enhances the overall fitness level of a person. It makes you breathe deeper and perspire more, thereby leading to a feeling of enhanced body temperature.
Reason # 6: Cycling minimises the risk of coronary heart disease. Essentially an aerobic exercise, it gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a workout, thereby reducing the risk of heart problems.
Reason # 7: A week of inactivity reduces the strength of the muscular system by up to 50% and can harm them long-term. This is particularly true for older people as ageing causes muscles to shrink. So start with slow cycling to build up stamina.
Reason # 8: During cycling, most of the body’s muscles are activated. The leg muscles are responsible for the pedalling movement; the abdomen and back muscles stabilise the body on the cycle and cushion external influences; and the shoulder-arm muscular system supports the body at the handlebars. All this trains and tightens up the muscular system, making it stronger and able to function efficiently.