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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human-heart-tech-graphic-focusedWE, 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, also known as Spinning, 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 workout for your heart, we’ve taken our top 10 favorite reasons to cycle and listed them below.

Top 10 Favorite Reasons to Cycle or Spin


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 the 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-relieving 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!

5. Cycling can help you sleep better
Cycling and any aerobic activity performed regularly for 10 minutes a day can improve how you sleep at night. Also, it can help you from having your bad night’s sleep form into sleep disorders at a later time. When life gets hectic and busy, don’t skip that ride, skipping it frequently can start to affect your sleep versus helping it. Ride your way to a great night’s sleep.

6. Cycling is a great training tool
Training for a marathon, a race, or just for fun? Cycling is a great workout that can help mix up those training days. There are many races that include cycling but if you are a runner and tend to run a lot, cycling is a way to give your muscles and joints a break from the pavement. You still get a really great workout.

7. Cycling and spinning get your blood pumping
If you ride on a regular basis you are not only working your leg muscles but you are also keeping your heart strong. A strong heart pumps blood effortlessly. Studies show that hopping on your bike and pedaling your bike gets your heart going and your blood pumping. The blood starts pumping to your legs which carries oxygen throughout your muscles to avoid painful cramping. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States affecting men, women and all races and ethnic groups. One in 4 deaths in the US is from heart disease. Cycling can help keep you out of that statistic and keep your heart strong.

8. Have you been looking for a new hobby?
The definition of a hobby is an “activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” Cycling is a great hobby to take on as it requires specialized gear. Yes, it is exercise but it can easily become a hobby and lifestyle change in anyone’s life. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get great equipment. As long as you do your research, you can find what you need.

9. Raise money for a great cause
Throughout the year, depending on where you live, you can typically find cycling races or causes that you can join to help raise money and ride for a good cause. The Bike Ride website has an extensive list of upcoming events, searchable by location. Hop on your bike for a good cause!

10. Cycling is excellent for your brain
Cycling is a great way to increase dopamine in your brain which in turn makes you feel great. It also helps your brain grow to be big and strong thus making you feel more connected. The white matter in your brain will be boosted and the grey matter will increase, thus making a healthy and happy brain. It’s a great way to decrease stress, depression, and anxiety. You will be a better you.

The most important takeaway should be that riding your bike on a regular basis helps to stimulate your heart and lungs, improves your circulation and your chances of cardiovascular diseases decreases. Your resting pulse goes down, your blood fat levels lower and your heart muscles become much stronger.

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 [email protected].
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