If you’re looking for exercise machines that are good for the heart, exercise bikes are an excellent choice. These give you an aerobic workout minus the joint pain or injuries. Plus, if you have one at home, you can cycle with the TV on, at night and even when it’s raining. Here are other cardiovascular benefits of cycling that you should know.
1. Enhanced Cardio Fitness
Cycling exercise increases your body temperature, makes you sweat and breathe deep, and strengthens your muscles and lungs. Every step on the pedal lets your heart beat faster and pump more blood to transport oxygen throughout the body. This total body workout improves cardio fitness plus gives you a myriad of interrelated advantages:
- Brainpower. Increasing our heart by working out with exercise bikes improves oxygen and blood flow. This effect allows your body to deliver the essentials that keep your brain healthy and functioning. Studies even confirmed that physical exercise enhances memory and increases our resilience to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Better sleep patterns. Cardio exercises may wear you out. But it also lessens anxiety and helps you sleep better to recharge.
- Good self-esteem and mood. Ample rest means less stress, of course. But with stationary bikes and exercise thrown into the mix, your body releases the happy hormones endorphins and serotonin that keep you in a euphoric mood. A study in 2018 also concluded that cycling workout is one of the top physical activities that can lessen mental health burdens.
- Lower blood glucose levels. Our muscles use glucose for energy when we work out. This way, our body responds more to insulin and allows blood sugar levels to decrease naturally.
- Stronger immunity. Now, this benefit is something we all need today. By doing mild to moderate exercises, we’re also increasing the production of essential proteins like pyrogen and interferon. These proteins then heighten white blood cell activity to fight viruses and bacteria.
2. Efficient Weight and Fat Loss
We know that weight and body fat issues are no-good for the heart. Good thing exercise bikes are among the most effective exercise equipment for calorie burn and your weight loss plan. Depending on the intensity, duration and your body weight, a 30-minute cycling exercise lets you lose over 300 calories. Keeping the weight off is even better with low-calorie food choices and interval training workouts.
As you burn calories, you also lose fat in the process, making the heart extra healthy and happy. Without regular exercise, unused fats accumulate and harden on the walls of the veins. Narrower passages, in turn, inhibit smooth blood flow. Poor blood circulation then leads to all sorts of body pain, numbness, weakness and dysfunction. And physical activity like cycling can help you avoid them.
Research has long confirmed how exercise bikes help with fat loss. For instance, a study in 2010 concluded that pairing indoor cycling with a low-calorie diet contribute to efficient weight and fat control. More recently, in 2015, experts correlated aerobic exercises with reduced visceral fat (or belly fat).
3. Increased Good Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that helps the body produce hormones. It also serves as a detoxifier. And there are two types – the bad cholesterol (LDL) and good cholesterol (HDL).
Bad cholesterol can deposit fats (or plaque) in the arteries, leading to blocked veins and hindered blood flow. Good cholesterol, however, prevents that from happening by directing fats away from the bloodstream. Health problems then arise if fat and bad cholesterol are too high in the body.
Working out with exercise bikes is one way to address that, mainly because aerobic exercises work wonders to our cholesterol levels. Experts even suggested that cycling indoors for 45 minutes thrice a week can increase our good cholesterol in 3 months.
4. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Perhaps, one of the most crucial benefits of cycling is protecting us from heart ailments, especially as we grow older. The combined effects of increasing the heart rate, burning calories, losing fat and improving cholesterol levels ultimately cut our risk to high blood pressure, cardiac arrest and stroke.
Did you know that cycling every week for up to 32km can lower your heart disease risk by 50%? Researchers also found that exercise regimens provide similar effects as anti-hypertensive medications. This finding emphasises how physical activities like cycling can help people with existing heart conditions and make them less reliant on prescription drugs.
Still, prevention is better than cure. And that means starting your cycling exercise routine today! No need to splurge on smart stationary bikes to reap these benefits, though. Why not match your workout goals with this list of Peloton bike alternatives?