Cycling Benefits: 20 Reasons Cycling Is Good For You

Improve your fitness, posture, sleep, and a lot more by cycling regularly.

Reviewed by Thais Tisatto, BHSc Thais Tisatto Thais TisattoBHSc facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years

An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the root causes of most health issues reported in recent times in individuals under 30. Though there are several ways to improve your health, cycling benefits you the most. But is cycling good for you? Riding your bicycle or bike daily can help you bring your health on track. It helps you lose weight, improves heart health, strengthens muscles, reduces joint pain, and improves posture. Do you want to know how? Keep reading!

protip_icon Trivia
Bicycles were first introduced in the 19th century, and cycling swiftly gained popularity. Cycling as a sport originated on May 31, 1868, at the Park of Saint-Cloud in Paris.

What Kind Of Exercise Is Cycling?

Cycling is primarily a cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and breathing. It is an aerobic exercise that boosts endurance and stamina. It engages large muscle groups, mainly the legs. Cycling improves cardiovascular fitness, lung capacity, and overall endurance. It is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints and is ideal for people at varying fitness levels. Whether you are cycling for leisure, commuting, or participating in intense road or mountain biking, this aerobic workout contributes to better physical fitness and overall well-being.

Learn in the next section the many other benefits of cycling.

1. Helps You Lose Weight

Cycling weight loss benefits
Image: Shutterstock

Bicycling is one the most effective exercises to do if you want to lose weight. It not only helps burn calories but also works on your quads, hamstrings, calves, biceps, glutes, shoulders, and back muscles. So, in addition to weight loss, you will also tone your muscles (1).

2. Improves Heart Health

Bicycling can help improve your heart health as it is essentially an aerobic exercise. The oxygen depletion in the muscles will push the heart to supply more oxygenated blood, thereby making it work faster. Along with your heart, bicycling also makes your blood vessels and lungs work well, which helps to boost your heart health (1).

3. Strengthens Muscles

Benefits of cycling to strengthen muscle
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This fun exercise can also strengthen your muscles. They will grow in strength and size when you work them. The more the muscles undergo wear and tear, the stronger they will grow. Bicycling helps strengthen the calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, back muscles, shoulders, and arms. It also facilitates faster healing of injuries. You will be more agile, flexible, and enduring than those who don’t ride a bicycle regularly (2).

4. Reduces Joint Pain

It’s bewildering. How can this strenuous activity reduce joint pain? Yes, bicycling actually reduces joint pain, especially knee pain. Regular bicycling helps improve joint movement (3). It has a low impact on your joints, and hence can help heal a mild joint or hip injury and restore the cartilagei  A strong, flexible, and smooth connective tissue that functions as a shock absorber and helps protect the joints and bones. .

5. Improves Posture

Cycling benefits to improve posture
Image: Shutterstock

When you ride a bicycle or a bike, you are doing a lot of balancing without even being aware of it. This balancing act helps improve your posture and full body coordination and strengthens your upper body muscles (4). Your posture and gait are also determined by other factors, such as muscle strength, fitness, weight, etc. All these factors are taken care of if you just ride your bicycle at least for 30 minutes every day.

6. Fights Cancer

Believe it or not, biking or bicycling can also help fight cancer. A sedentary lifestyle can put you at the risk of developing cancer due to toxic build-up in the body. This leads to DNA mutation and cell damage and can cause cancer. Not eating right can also lead to constipation and bloating, resulting in colon cancer. It was found that people who rode a bicycle for at least 30 minutes a day were less prone to develop breast and colon cancers. The reason is that bicycling helps keep your cells active and protects your DNA from mutation and oxidative damage (5), (6).

7. Reduces Stress

Cycling benefits to reduce stress
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Stress can do more harm than you can imagine. It can lead to weight gain, increase in LDL cholesterol and triglyceridei  A common type of fat that is stored in the body and gives you energy between your meals. levels in the blood, asthma, diabetes, digestion problems, premature aging, anxiety, headache, high blood pressure, depression, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease (7). Bicycling can help reduce stress by keeping your mind off the problems that are bothering you. So, ride your bike to beat the stress at work or school. This low impact outdoor activity is great for your mental health.

Clive Thompson, a writer, shared the restorative effect and joy of cycling in his blog. He said, “Cycling really brings my senses alive. I see more.When I arrive home, I feel like I’ve microdosed the pure essence of urban life. I’ve been in the world. I suspect this why cycling is so good at getting me out of my head (i).”

8. Improves Fitness

Bicycling can improve your overall fitness. Cycling on plains or mountain areas can help improve your heart and blood vessel functions and work your legs, arms, and back muscles. It can also improve your lung capacity, flexibility, and stamina and increase bone and muscle strength (1). The best part about cycling to get fit is that it doesn’t feel like you are working out or putting in extra effort to be fit. It is effortless as compared to other forms of exercises.

9. Eases Childbirth

Benefits of cycling to ease childbirth
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Women who ride a bike or bicycle every day for at least 30-45 minutes may have lesser complications during childbirth. Bicycling increases bone and muscle strength, improves posture, flexibility, and endurance, and helps build the back muscles. Hence, bicycling is highly recommended if you want to avoid complications during childbirth.However, before starting the practice of any exercise during pregnancy, always speak to your doctor to get clearance.

10. Boosts Brain Function

Cycling boosts brain function. Riding a bike requires you to pay attention, coordinate the muscle functions, and maintain balance. Moreover, bicycling also helps you to relax, which in turn clears your head, resulting in better decision making. Biking or bicycling also facilitates the growth of new cells in the hippocampusi  A curve-shaped structure found in the inner folds of the bottom middle section of the brain which helps in learning and memory. region of the brain and increases the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain, which in turn protects from neurodegenerativei  A group of conditions in which progressive damage to the structure and functions of nerve cells affect your body’s activities. diseases (8), (9).

11. Slows Down Aging

Cycling benefits to slow down aging
Image: Shutterstock

Age is just another number, and it should remain that way. Don’t let a sedentary lifestyle rob you of your youthful mind and heart. How about riding your bike or bicycle to actually slow down aging? Riding a bicycle helps to improve oxygen availability, reduces toxic build-up, enhances heart health, and helps build muscle. So, to stay youthful inside and out, make it a daily ritual to ride your bike or bicycle for at least 30 minutes (10).

12. Improves Sleep Quality

Bicycling regularly can help improve your sleep quality. It is especially effective for those suffering from insomniai  A common sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in falling and staying asleep or waking up too early. . The most effective time to ride a bicycle to improve sleep is in the evenings. However, you can also ride your bike or bicycle in the morning. It will keep you active throughout the day and help you fall asleep quickly at night (11).

13. Reduces Pollution Exposure

Benefits of cycling to reduce pollution exposure
Image: Shutterstock

It is thought that bikers are less exposed to pollution when compared to those sitting inside cars or public transport. This is mostly because the bikers take the bicycling lane or keep to a side of the road, which protects them from being directly exposed to the exhaust pipes of other vehicles.

14. Is Environment-Friendly

Bike riding or bicycling doesn’t require you to burn fuel. It helps to protect the environment by decreasing pollution and lowering the demand for fuel, providing you with sustainable transportation. Many countries encourage their citizens to ride a bicycle to and from work or school. It is definitely a healthy and sustainable option.

protip_icon Trivia
International World Bicycle Day was established on June 3 by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2018. It brings light to the advantages of riding a bicycle as a simple, budget-friendly, eco-friendly, and sustainable mode of transportation.

15. Helps Treat Constipation

Cycling benefits to treat constipation
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Dr. Ana Raimundo says that bicycling helps to decrease the time food takes to pass through the large intestine. This prevents water reabsorption into the body, thereby making the stools softer and easier to pass. So, if you are suffering from constipation, you should definitely ride your bicycle regularly to improve bowel movement and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer.

16. Helps You Have A Great Time With Friends

Bicycling can also help you bond with new and old friends. Your biking friend(s) can keep you motivated to continue riding your bike, and you can also talk about things of mutual interest. This way, you can reduce your stress levels and stay happy.

17. Helps You Save Money

Cycling benefits you to save money
Image: Shutterstock

Daily commute can take away a large chunk of your salary that you can save for your next trip. Invest in a good bicycle and safety gears and use it for daily commute. It will improve your health, make you fit, improve bowel movement, reduce the risk of cancer, and also help you save a lot. If daily commute to your office or school is not possible, you can use it to go to nearby places.

18. Encourages Fruitful Thoughts

If not with friends, you can go on a bike ride alone. Just like walking, bicycling can also help you think creatively. You can get creative ideas and thoughts that can help you in your work, school, or at home. You will also be able to make and take decisions that are rational and beneficial for you.

19. Increases Productivity

Benefits of cycling to increase productivity
Image: Shutterstock

Exercising regularly has many positive sides, and being highly productive is one of them. Bicycling helps to build muscles and strengthen bones, improves brain function and attention, and keeps your overall health in check. This, in turn, can help you to be more productive at work or school. You will be more swift, complete your given task at hand, exceed your targets, etc.

20. Improves Sex Life

Last, but not the least, bicycling can also help improve your sex life. Bicycling is an effective aerobic exercise that improves heart health and increases blood flow, both of which can help you have a good time with your partner (12).

Before you take out your bicycle, keep these following safety points in mind.

Safety Guidelines

  • Always wear a sturdy helmet.
  • Wear high-tech fiber cycling clothes that can dispense the sweat. The light reflecting material used in these clothes will also make you visible to other drivers.
  • Buy a bicycle or bike that has broad and good grip tyres. It should also have high-rise handles to help you sit straight.
  • Use horseshoe or noseless design saddles to support and alleviate pressure from the hips and bones.
  • Obey the traffic signals.
  • Do not wear headphones while cycling.
  • Be careful when you take a turn. Use arm signals on a busy road.
  • Be careful while passing a car as the door can open suddenly as you pass by, which can injure you severely.
  • If needed, wear knee caps.
  • Do not use your mobile phone while riding your bicycle.
  • Make sure to carry enough water with you.

Infographic: 7 Dynamic Health Benefits Of Cycling

Cycling can be fun and beneficial at the same time. It is a form of aerobic exercise that can be taken up as a mode of transport, a competitive sport, or a relaxing activity. It is one of the easiest ways to break the monotony of a sedentary lifestyle and add activity to daily life. Check out the infographic below to understand the various ways in which this popular physical activity can benefit your body.

7 dynamic health benefits of cycling (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

While there are many fitness regimens and gym workouts to keep yourself fit and healthy, it becomes easy to stick to them if you enjoy them. Cycling is one of those activities that not only keeps you fit but is follow if you enjoy it. It not only helps you lose that excess flab but also helps tone your muscles and strengthen your arms and legs. It is a good cardio workout which is not only cost-effective but also keeps you feeling fresh in the outdoor air. With the right posture and safety gear in place, it is one of the best fitness activities you pursue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better – running or cycling?

Both running and cycling are good exercises. However, running might be a bit more strenuous on your joints. Also, there’s a sense of joy and freedom associated with riding a bicycle. So, cycling is a less intimidating option as compared to running.

How long do you have to ride a bike to lose weight?

It depends on your current weight, medical history, eating habits, etc. You should ride your bike for at least 1 hour every day, do other exercises, such as weights and strength training, and eat healthy to lose weight.

Is it better to ride a bike or walk?

Riding a bike or bicycle is more effective than walking. Bicycling works on the calves, shoulders, back muscles, biceps, hip flexors, glutes, hamstring, and quadriceps while walking only works on your quads, hamstring, calves, and glutes.

How many calories do you burn on a stationary bike for 30 minutes?

If you weigh around 130 pounds, you can burn anywhere between 88 to 160 calories, depending on your current weight and the resistance used.

Can cycling help lose belly fat?

Yes, 30-60 minutes of biking or bicycling every day can help burn the fat from all parts of your body, including your tummy. Plus, as already mentioned, bicycling can relieve stress and improve sleep quality. This helps the brain relax and release “feel good” hormones, which, in turn, prevent belly fat accumulation.

Is cycling good for love handles?

Yes, cycling helps you burn your overall body fat, including love handles, and you can expect a significant reduction in visceral fat if you stay constant with your exercise.

Can cycling give you abs?

While cycling does not directly work on the abdominal muscles, it can strengthen your core to some extent. However, it alone may not give you abs.

To conclude, bicycling is highly effective and can improve your overall health in no time at all. You will reach the peak of your fitness levels if you also watch what you eat and incorporate strength training and weight training along with biking in your routine. So, get your bicycle out and turn your life downside up. Good luck!

Key Takeaways

  • Biking increases the heart rate and is a great exercise for maintaining cardiovascular health.
  • The exercise actively engages several muscles and helps build and strengthen them further.
  • It is a fun activity that reduces stress and helps the mind relax in the open air.
  • It not only reduces your pollution exposure but is also environmentally-friendly.
Is cycling good for you

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Cycling is a great way to stay healthy! Watch this video to learn about the five amazing health benefits it can provide.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Health benefits of cycling: A systematic review
  2. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor correlated with muscle strength in subjects undergoing stationary bicycle exercise training
  3. Stationary cycling exercise for knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis
  4. Effect of Stationary Cycle Exercise on Gait and Balance of Elderly Women
  5. Intentional Weight Loss and Obesity-Related Cancer Risk
  6. Sedentary Behavior and Incident Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies
  7. The impact of stress on body function: A review
  8. The effect of cycling on cognitive function and well-being in older adults
  9. Brain activity and perceived exertion during cycling exercise: an fMRI study
  10. Properties of the vastus lateralis muscle in relation to age and physiological function in master cyclists aged 55–79 years
  11. Decreasing Sedentary Behavior: Effects on Academic Performance, Meta-Cognition, and Sleep
  12. Regular aerobic exercise improves sexual function assessed by the Aging Males’ Symptoms questionnaire in adult men
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Thais Tisatto

Thais TisattoBHSc (Health Science)

Thais Tisatto is a Holistic Nutritionist from the Gold Coast, Australia. She has a very strong passion for women’s health, gut health, hormonal balance, and sports nutrition. She analyzes every single one of her cases in clinic from a holistic perspective, taking into consideration not only physical, but also emotional and spiritual factors that might be affecting an individual's full bio

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