Road cycling isn’t just cycling around the city on your everyday bike. Road cycling opens up cycling to greater distances, speeds and takes fitness into greater consideration. Road cycling can spawn from a simple hobby, or a greater personal challenge, or endurance and health goals.
Millions of people have taken to road cycling in recent years, so we’re going to run down the benefits so you can get involved as well. Much like most sports and fitness activities, this one comes with a whole heap of benefits to your health as well as many other areas, including the environment.
Getting a Road Bike
As this kind of cycling stands out from other forms, you’ll need to know what kind of bike you should be riding.
Road bikes are used to describe bicycles built for traveling at faster speeds on paved roads. Standing out against other styles of bikes, road bikes have unique features such as thinner, more narrow tyres, which in turn are smoother, decreasing rolling resistance, and high-pressure.
Benefits of Road Cycling
Increased cardiovascular fitness
Cycling has a key benefit on your cardiovascular health including strengthening heart muscles, reduces blood fat levels and lowers your resting pulse. Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, which reduces your risk of any cardiovascular diseases.
As with any exercise, cycling is a great way to control and lose weight by raising your metabolic rate. The suggested number of calories you should burn a week through activity is approximately 2000. An hour of cycling will help your body burn around 300.
Road cycling is a great way to improve your bone health. Due to its level of low impact, cycling is recommended for people who suffer with arthritis and other joint problems as it improves and maintains the joints mobility without the risk of further injury.
Lowered stress levels
Cycling has been proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, which will benefit a deep and restful night’s sleep. Take the scenic route and help your brain maintain serotonin levels, which will also aid a good night sleep.
For example, running would be a higher impact activity, as your feet will come into contact with the ground throughout, absorbing the force of your stride. In the long run this could be harmful to your joints. Cycling uses less impact compared to other exercises and will prevent impact injury to your bones and joints.
Strength and Stamina
Road bikes come with 27 gears, so choosing your workout won’t be limited. The intensity of your ride will be as you choose and as difficult and you desire. This makes road bikes very versatile too, so you can use a road bike just about anywhere.
Muscle benefits - improving strength and flexibility
Cycling uses all of your main muscle groups, which will improve strength and flexibility of your muscles the more your cycle. Remember to stretch properly before your ride!
Cycling in general has a minimal impact on the environment, if any at all. So many people make the switch from driving to cycling in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as companies offering cycle to work schemes to encourage people to do so.
Reduces anxiety and depression
As with a lot of fitness activities, this will have a great benefit on anyone that suffers with anxiety and depression. Regular exercise helps ease mental health issues by naturally releasing feel-good endorphins and other brain chemicals that boost your sense of well-being.
To add to these health benefits, it’s important to know that safety comes first when road cycling.
As a given, when cycling on the road, you’ll need to abide by the road laws. You’ll need to be vigilant when cycling on busy roads with heavy traffic and make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety gear, such as a well fitting crash helmet.