Life

FITNESS: Well-being benefits from getting out on the bike

June 26th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Rigorous cycling nearly always results in better sleep which promotes better well-being.

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With Paudie O’Donovan, NeuromuscularPhysical Therapist

THE health benefits from cycling are enormous. It works out nearly every muscle in your lower extremities every time you go for a spin.

Your quads are probably the main muscle group working when you press down on the pedals but they are assisted by hamstrings, gluteals, hip flexors and calves. So nearly all your legs get a full workout every time you jump on your bike.

But it’s not just your leg muscles that get used when biking. It’s a proven fact that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart. Your heart pumps the blood through your legs and feet and all your body so it’s vital to exercise this organ.

Cycling also works your lungs and nearly all your circulation system. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles which in turn lowers your resting pulse. Believe it or not some professional cyclists have a resting heart rate of 30-35 beats a minute.

Normal resting HR while in bed at night can be between 50-70 depending on age and fitness.

But generally the lower the better as your heart is working efficiently.

Brainpower

There’s more! Cycling two to three times a week can also improve sleep as you’re tiring yourself out from your efforts. The better you sleep, the better your brainpower.

You will feel more relaxed, concentrate better and generally have a better frame of mind.

Cycling and exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health and the reduction of cognitive changes that can leave you vulnerable for dementia in later life.

Also by using your geographical sense if you get lost out on your cycle instead of Google maps helps improve your navigational skills.

So a stronger cardiovascular system and better brainpower  – what more could you want?

Paudie O’Donovan is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist

specialising in pain relief and improvement of mobility/flexibility.

He runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Skibbereen

Follow him on Facebook, Instagram or contact him on 086-2339618

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