Enhancing Health Through Cycling

By | October 19, 2009

Cycling makes use of the largest muscles in the body (the Gluteus Maximum and Quadriceps) so it is good for people who are trying to lose body fat. Exercising at low intensity is better for people who want to lose weight as the body doesn’t have the chance to burn fat at high work rates and will burn glycogen instead although the body will replace the burnt glycogen by metabolizing body fat.

Endurance cycling is an aerobic exercise, Sprint Cycling is an anaerobic exercise, however both types involve both forms of exercise to some degree and can improve cardiovascular health. One measure of cardiovascular health is VO2 max. The physical exercise gained from cycling is generally linked with increased health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is second only to tobacco smoking as a health risk in developed countries, and this is associated with many tens of billions of dollars of healthcare costs. The WHO’s report suggests that increasing physical activity is a public health ‘best buy’, and that cycling is a ‘highly suitable activity’ for this purpose. The charity Sustains reports that investment in cycling provision can give a 20:1 return from health and other benefits. It has been estimated that, on average, approximately 20 life-years are gained from the health benefits of road bicycling for every life-year lost through injury. Cycling is not generally considered as a high-risk activity and causes injuries in some times Injuries can be divided into two types: Physical trauma (extrinsic) and Over use (intrinsic). The most common cycling overuse injury occurs in the knees, affecting cyclists at all levels. These are caused by many factors are

  • Incorrect bicycle fit or adjustment, particularly the saddle.
  • Incorrect adjustment of clip less pedals.
  • Too many hills, or too many miles, too early in the training season.
  • Poor training preparation for long touring rides.
  • Selecting too high a gear. A lower gear for uphill climb protects the knees, even though your muscles are well able to handle a higher gear.

Best of luck!

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