Originally published August 26 2011
Beat stress and improve health by cycling
by Shona Botes
(NaturalNews) Many health and fitness experts agree that cycling is one of the best forms of exercise available. Bicycles were first introduced in Europe during the late 19th century. Shortly thereafter, they made their way to the US. Not only does cycling burn a significant amount of calories, but it also helps to improve fitness levels and overall health.
Studies have shown that cycling is able to promote circulation in the body, eliminate the appearance of cellulite from the thigh region and even lower blood pressure. It is also able to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes by up to 50%. Those who cycle regularly display fitness levels equivalent to that of being ten years younger.
Cycling helps to strengthen the immune system and can even decrease the formation and activity of tumour cells within the body. It also has the ability to reduce one's Body Mass Index (BMI). Middle-aged women who took up cycling for just a few minutes each day gained approximately 1.5 pounds less over a 16 year period than those who didn`t. Those who only used cycling as a form of commuting experienced a significant improvement in their overall health.
Cycling is able to increase bone density and strength. It also helps to relax mind and body, which makes it an ideal way to fight against depression and other psychological conditions. It can also be beneficial to those suffering from any form of hormonal imbalance. It provides the balance between relaxation and exertion, which is important in maintaining the body`s inner equilibrium. It also greatly improves stamina levels to promote an overall sense of well-being. Those who cycle experience less strain on back muscles as well as reduced impact on knee and ankle joints. This makes it the ideal form of exercise for those who are slightly overweight.
Cycling can be a highly social activity because of the fact that you sometimes meet fellow cyclists along the way while cycling. It is also a lot cheaper to maintain a decent bicycle than a car. Those who cycle help our environment by reducing the amount of carbon monoxide emissions and other pollution created by driving.
It should be taken into account however, that you should always consult with a physician if you suffer from any form of back problem, joint condition or arthritis before taking up cycling as a form of exercise.
About the authorShona Botes blogs about green living, budgeting, saving money, natural remedies and humour (which is often combined with the abovementioned topics). Her spare time is spent tending to her organic herb garden, cycling and engaging in photography.
Her blog may be viewed here
Some of her photography work may be viewed here
Other articles written by her may be viewed here
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