Healthy Reasons to Give Cycling a Go

Posted on August 5, 2021

Healthy reasons to give cycling a go

There are lots of reasons to have some pedal power in your life – and you don’t have to tackle the Tour de France to enjoy the benefits of cycling. Read on for just some of the healthy bonuses of getting on your bike.

It’s a mood-booster

Like any physical exercise, cycling releases adrenaline and endorphins, giving you a natural high. Tackling a challenging climb on the bike (plus the thrill of the descent that follows) will give you a great confidence boost, plus you get to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as you pedal. It’s easy to see why cycling can be so good for your mental wellbeing.

It’s a calorie burner

Cycling burns between 400 and 1000 calories an hour, depending on your intensity. If you’re looking for a way to get trim, a combination of healthy eating and regular cycling could help. Even better if you incorporate cycling into your daily routine as part of your commute. 

It’s heart-friendly

Pushing those pedals is a fantastic way to increase the heart rate and get the blood pumping. A study of 260,000 people over five years by the University of Glasgow found that cycling to work can cut a rider’s risk of developing heart disease in half.(1) So becoming best friends with your bike is a great gift for your heart too.

It’s a muscle builder

Cycling is a blend of cardiovascular and resistance work, meaning that as well as getting your heart pumping, it can help you build muscle as you pedal. It particularly targets the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, making cycling a great alternative to the gym if you want to develop a more toned bum and legs.

It’s low impact

Unlike running, cycling is low impact and less likely to result in an overuse injury. This also means it may be a better exercise option for people who suffer from painful joints.

It’s a fun way to get fit

The beauty of cycling is that it can be as challenging or as relaxed as you want it to be. Whether you are enjoying a leisurely bike ride with friends, or pushing yourself to cycle further or faster, cycling is a fun and sociable activity that you can enjoy at any age. In fact, in England, cycling for leisure is most popular with 45-54 year olds(2), so it’s not just kids who enjoy the pleasures of pedalling.  

Make sure to eat right too

Depending on the intensity, the right nutrition can even help you get fitter. Before you cycle off, start off with a light source of protein and good hydration (like a scrambled egg or porridge and half a glass of fresh fruit juice or water), giving you sustained energy. During the cycling, carry some carbohydrate based cereal bars with you for quick energy and sips of water for hydration. After the cycle ride, have protein and carbohydrate foods (recovery bar, nuts or dry fruits). Avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes and wholegrains also contain magnesium and other minerals. Magnesium contributes to normal muscle function, maintenance of normal bones and electrolyte balance. 


  1. Celis-Morales, C. A., Lyall, D. M., and Welsh, P. et al.. (2017). Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 357 (1456). 
  2. Cycling UK. (2021). Cycling Uk’s Cycling Statistics.