Ped­alling To­wards A Healthy You

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum - Feedback: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj In­dian Ex­press

On a daily ba­sis, cy­cling is a great form of aer­o­bic ex­er­cise that will keep you healthy and fit. For in­stance, cy­cling has the ca­pa­bil­ity to re­duce the dan­ger of se­ri­ous med­i­cal con­di­tions, from heart disease to high blood pres­sure, and from obe­sity to the most wide­spread form of di­a­betes. An ed­u­cated guess has brought into no­tice that new cy­clists — even those who take the ini­tia­tive of cy­cling a short dis­tance — can in­crease longevity, as the ex­er­cise re­sults in the re­duc­tion of heart disease by 20-25 per cent.

Cy­cling can be also part of a weight loss pro­gramme, since it burns con­sid­er­ably more calo­ries than any other ex­er­cise in the short­est of time span. We’re talk­ing 300 calo­ries in just 1 hour. At the gym, that would mean a medium work­out for 40-60 min­utes. In fact, a 20-minute bike ride to-and-from work, five days a week, has the po­ten­tial of burn­ing an equiv­a­lent of ap­prox­i­mately 6kg of fat in a year, ac­cord­ing to a study (Your Com­mute Could Help You Lose Weight, by Rachel Bach­man). Cy­cling also meets the lat­est sug­gested tar­get on ex­er­cise — ev­ery in­di­vid­ual should in­cor­po­rate mild-medium phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, which might leave one a lit­tle out of breath, for close to 30 min­utes, five times a week. Head­ing out with your bi­cy­cle can also have quite a pos­i­tive ef­fect on how you feel as well. Mod­er­ate ex­er­cise has been found to re­duce ma­jor lev­els of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. It does play a vi­tal role in im­prov­ing mood swings and rais­ing self-es­teem in an in­di­vid­ual as well. In women, it has been seen to re­lieve symp­toms of pre­men­strual syn­drome.

For the el­derly, there can be in­di­rect ben­e­fits, like re­duc­ing phys­i­cal dam­age by fall­ing and hurt­ing your­self, which can be se­ri­ously dis­abling. To build one’s leg strength and co­or­di­na­tion, cy­cling is the best way to im­prove it. This is more im­por­tant than it seems, be­cause leg strength im­proves mo­bil­ity by al­low­ing peo­ple to get out of chairs more eas­ily, while im­proved co­or­di­na­tion helps older peo­ple avoid falls and the in­juries as­so­ci­ated with them.

Mod­er­ate ex­er­cise has been found to re­duce ma­jor lev­els of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. It does play a vi­tal role in im­prov­ing mood swings and rais­ing self-es­teem in an in­di­vid­ual as well.

Photo: Thinkstock Images

Head­ing out with your bi­cy­cle can also have quite a pos­i­tive ef­fect on how you feel as well.

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