Health Benefits and Facts about Cycling | Paul Gough Physio

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Health benefits of cycling and some facts on bike riding vs running

Health benefits of cyclingThe health benefits of cycling are endless.

For a lot of people, not being able to cycle or exercise regularly massively affects their health and quality of life. To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Doing regular cycling and regular exercise can help improve physical fitness, ease mental stress (with the rush of the endorphins and ‘feel-great’ chemicals that will be released), and it’s also a great way to reduce your weight, not to mention to see some nice sights if you pick a scenic route.

We’ve been celebrating national cycling week, and for lots of patients at Paul Gough Physio Rooms this type of aerobic exercise (cycling) is a key part of their healthy lifestyle. Lots of people aged 50+ prefer cycling to running, as it has a lot less impact on your body.

Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

If you’re having regular problems with arthritic knees or hips, a really stiff lower back, or even tightness of muscles such as Achilles and calves, then cycling is a great option, and you’ll likely benefit from doing it more often.

Bike riding is a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, but is something that anyone in their 50s or above who is looking to be more active should seriously consider. It offers an alternative to pounding streets and it’s even better than walking if you’re objective is to stay active and healthy.

The health benefits of regular cycling include…

  • Helps you stay physically active 
  • Increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • Increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • Improved joint mobility
  • Decreased stress levels and good for mental health
  • Improved posture and coordination
  • Strengthened bones
  • Aids weight loss and helps you burn calories and fat

Even cycling for just 30 minutes or so at a time, two to four times a week, would help you to achieve a general improvement to your health. Why? Because you’ll be reducing the impact of the hard surface that can easily damage vital joints and at the same time, you’re still helping essential things like your heart and lungs to stay healthy.

Cycling is a low-impact exercise, as it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise. It’s a fun way to get fit, and if done outside you can enjoy some beautiful scenery.

Cycling to work, to the shops, or to meet friends and family, is also one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine.

You’ll feel a lot healthier if you vary your exercise habits and training or fitness plans and remain alert to the impact that doing the same thing night after night is having upon joints and muscles (it’s nearly always negative).

This type of regular exercise can be as intense as you want– cycling can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or if you are feeling unfit, but can be built up to a more intense physical workout.

Here are some facts on bike riding vs running…

Now let’s abolish a myth about bike riding: many people think that to have the same positive impact on your health as say going for a run, you have to do much more when riding a bike. I’ve found this confusion to be one of the most common objections when I suggest people should consider cycling.

It’s true that to get the endorphins and the feel-great rush you’re wanting from exercising, you do have to sit on your bike for a bit longer than if you were just going to head out for a run. However, cycling is a good overall muscle workout as it uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.

Someone who weighs approximately 12 stone will burn roughly 650 calories from doing an hour’s bike riding.

With a typical 20-minute run, you will probably be lucky to burn 200.

So, although it might not feel that way, you’re working just as hard, only much more safely in terms of the reduced impact on your knees and hips.

Something to think about. When the numbers stack up like this, you can see why more and more people aged 50+ are getting back on their bikes to keep healthy and feel and look great.

Do you enjoy cycling?

Maybe you cycle to stay active, cycle for a hobby, or you might even cycle to work?

We help lots of patients in the clinic that are struggling with aches and pains, but that love to cycle and are eager to get back in saddle… specially with the weather being so glorious right now.

Here’s a 5-star Google review from one of our past Hartlepool patients – we helped him get back on his bike and back to doing what he loved…

“I was referred to Jonny at Paul Gough by the insurance company. I found him to be a friendly and professional clinician. My treatment started in December and I have finally gotten the mobility back to ride a bike again with the manipulation from them and the exercises given. Literally a life changer for me. Thank you”

One of the things we hear from patients a lot, is that an injury is stopping them from doing the hobby they enjoy most with their partner or friends, or it stops their cycling to work fitness routine. Not exercising regularly can really impact a lot of things.

At Paul Gough Physio Rooms, we try to get people back to doing the things they enjoy doing most, as quickly as possible, to help with both their fitness and mental health.

Physio can be the bridge between being injured and getting back doing the things that keep you active and heathy.

If you’re reading this now and feel like you can relate, or if you want to get back to fitness and good health now lockdown measures are eased, we are here for you.

Our fantastic team would love to listen to your concerns and give you some advice or answer any questions you have. Please call us on 01429 866771 to make a no obligation enquiry.

P.S. Do you know someone with aches in their knees, hips, or a really stiff lower back? 

Who do you know that is always telling you about their aches and pains? We would love to help them live a pain free life too. 

That person could be someone who you live with, work with, or an extended friend or family member, who is maybe suffering with some kind of ache or pain that we can fix. It might even be someone you enjoy to cycle with.

Even better, if you refer someone to come and see us at the clinic, you’ll be entered into our ‘Referral for Rewards’ prize draw, to say a huge thank you.


Clinic Update: We are busier than ever as people put their faith in private practices.

All of our staff have received their vaccine (read our vaccination blog post here), and we also have a fantastic, new, full-time physiotherapist working across our 4 clinics (read our blog post here all about Shauny).

Appointments remain limited and we are experiencing an exceptionally high demand for our physio services since UK restrictions were lifted, so please contact us immediately to avoid a long wait.

If you’d like some help, please click here to complete our enquiry form or CALL us on 01429 866771.

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