FITNESS: well-being benefits from cycling
With Paudie O’Donovan, Neuromuscularphysiotherapist
THE health benefits of cycling are enormous. It works almost every muscle in your lower extremities every time you take a turn.
Your quads are probably the main muscle group that works when you step on the pedals, but they’re assisted by your hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves. So almost all of your legs get a full workout every time you hop on your bike.
But it’s not just your leg muscles that get used to riding a bike. It’s a proven fact that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart. Your heart pumps blood through your legs and feet and throughout your body, so exercising this organ is vital.
Cycling also works your lungs and almost your entire circulatory system. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, which lowers your resting pulse. Believe it or not, some professional cyclists have a resting heart rate of 30 to 35 beats per minute.
The normal resting heart rate in bed at night can be between 50 and 70 depending on age and fitness.
But generally, the lower the beat, the better, because your heart is working efficiently.
There is more! Cycling two to three times a week can also improve sleep as you tire from exertion. The better you sleep, the better your brain is.
You’ll feel more relaxed, concentrate better, and generally have a better frame of mind.
Cycling and exercise have been repeatedly linked to brain health and reducing cognitive changes that can make you susceptible to dementia later in life.
Plus, using your location sense if you get lost on your bike instead of Google Maps helps improve your navigation skills.
So a stronger cardiovascular system and better brain power – What more could you want?
Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular physiotherapist
specializing in the relief of pain and the improvement of mobility/flexibility.
He runs a sport Skibbereen Injury Clinic
Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him at 086-2339618