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South Texas Living


Stay healthy by biking


Stay healthy by biking


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July 24, 2013
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Bicycles can make fitness fun for the family

Although there’s nothing quite like a picturesque bike ride on a pleasant summer day, research shows that biking regularly is actually a great form of exercise that promotes many health benefits.

A summer of biking is a fantastic way to enhance fitness and health in both children and adults. It’s an enjoyable activity that can be done independently or with family and friends.

Exercise

Once you’ve got a bike, and possibly some protective gear, you are ready to roll into one of the easiest forms of exercise. Cycling does not require advanced skill levels to achieve its many health benefits.

A half hour anytime throughout the day and some chosen terrain has all the makings of a great work-out session without any health club fees.

Burning calories is one of the most important health benefits of cycling. One hour of biking can allow a person to burn as many as three hundred calories.

Although the cycling should be steady in order to achieve the maximum calorie-burning benefit, it can be at your own comfortable pace.

Moreover, most people who bike become so caught up in the scenery and their destination that they may barely notice that they are, indeed, shedding some unwanted pounds.

Building muscle

Biking is an excellent way to strengthen muscle tone, increase endurance and improve overall physical strength.

Many people might think that the legs get all the benefits of the cycling workout, but truth be told, many parts of the body are busy doing something whether it’s pushing pedals or swiveling hips.

That being said, biking certainly increases muscle strength and promotes mobility of knee and hip joints.

Biking is excellent fitness for the body’s cardiovascular system too. Research has demonstrated that biking 20 miles per week can decrease the risk for heart attack by as much as 50 percent.

Biking helps to raise the heart rate and provides many of the same benefits that aerobic exercise can provide. Additionally, biking on a regular basis increases a person’s endurance so that fitness levels actually get better over time.

Mental benefits

Research suggests that biking, as well as other forms of regular exercise, is actually good for the mind.

Biking can help reduce stress levels and even decrease depression naturally and safely. The combination of exercise with the summertime beauty of the great outdoors can be an emotionally uplifting part of each day.

Remember, as with all exercise, it is advisable to consult a health care provider before embarking on your cycling routine. Wearing protective gear is also recommended for added safety.

Finally, begin at a comfortable level of exercise and increase your cycling endurance slowly for optimum benefits and safety. Most importantly, choose to ride on terrain you are comfortable maneuvering your bike across and be sure to follow bikers’ rules of the road.
 

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