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How Cycling Can Reduce Your Risk of Coronary Heart Disease by 50 Percent

How Cycling Can Reduce Your Risk of Coronary Heart Disease by 50 Percent

How Cycling Can Reduce Your Risk of Coronary Heart Disease by 50 Percent

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on Jan 17, 2015, at 4:31 pm

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WE, AS HUMANS, have an extraordinary amount of energy within us, and we all know that expending this energy through activity is vital to wellness, specifically our hearts. Cycling, one of the most versatile heart-healthy workouts, has recently been shown to be one of the best workouts to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Recently, studies from Purdue University have shown that regular cycling has the potential to reduce one’s risk of heart disease by an astounding 50 percent – if you cycle just 20 miles a week compared to those who don’t exercise at all. This is significant because a study published in Circulation estimates there are about 250,000 heart disease-related deaths felt to be preventable with adequate exercise. According to “Cycling and Health: What’s the Evidence?” By Nick Cavill and Dr. Adrian Davis, cycling utilizes the larger skeletal muscles in a rhythmic pattern, with varied periods of rest and active work. The rest periods allow recovery from the high-intensity active periods. In combination with the distribution of body weight, varied breathing and high maximum oxygen uptake, cycling has proven to be an effective exercise for aerobic and physical fitness.

Moreover, biking is multi-functional. You can often cycle in the gym or home with a stationary bike. If the weather permits, you can utilize cycling to get from point A to point B without spending a dime on gasoline. Whether you have an old bike or new, cycling provides health benefits that typically cannot be established with other activities. Aside from being a great work out for your heart, we’ve taken our top 4 favorite reasons to cycle and listed them below.

1. Cycling increases tone and builds muscle
Cycling involves the entire body, contrary to the popular belief that it’s all about the legs. According to Chron.com, cycling effectively works your upper legs, buttocks, and lower legs, as well as your core and upper body muscles. Almost your entire body works while cycling.

2. Cycling burns (quite a few) calories                                                                                                                                     Depending on intensity, duration and the rider’s weight, cycling for about half an hour can burn 210-311 calories, according to Harvard and spinning.com.

3. Cycling is a stress-reliving activity
Stress is never healthy, but cycling provides stress-relief. According to active.com, cycling can be meditative and joyful. Getting outside and cycling brings your closer to nature, bringing peace to your work out. Also, the more you cycle, the better you’ll get at it, and that increase in confidence can lift your mood and can heal a stressed mind.

4. Cycling is easy
Although intense cycling can be challenging, it can be one of the easiest and most relaxing means of physical activity. You can ride a bike almost anywhere and at any time. Cycling is relatively cheap and can be done by people of all ages. All you need is a bike, a helmet and a bit of time!

We want to know: Have you ever tried cycling as a means of physical exercise?

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@nhcps.com.

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