Although there is a misconception that cycling only effects the lower part of the body, however, it is not completely correct. Cycling is a full-fledged exercise that involves all parts of your body, be it the upper muscles, core, or even brain. Hence, if we were to count its benefits, they are almost endless.
If you are planning to give cycling a try as an exercise and want to know how to do it in order to get the desired body effectively, I have brought together fifteen amazing effects of cycling on body shape. So, dive right in for more.
- Does Cycling Have Any Positive Impact on Body Shape?
- 15 Effects of Cycling on Body Shape
- 1. Tone the Legs
- 2. Strengthen the Arms
- 3. Stabilize the Shoulder Muscles
- 4. Reduces the Cholesterol Level in Your Blood
- 5. Tone down the Core
- 6. Improves the Functioning of the Lungs
- 7. Better Immune System
- 8. Reduce Belly Fat
- 9. Low Impact and Injuries
- 10. Improves Posture and Coordination
- 11. No Back Pain
- 12. Regulates the Blood Circulation
- 13. Reduce the Chances of Diseases
- 14. Boost Brain Capacity
- 15. Improves Your Sleep Cycle
- FAQs about Cycling Benefits
- Final Thoughts about Advantages of Bicycling
Does Cycling Have Any Positive Impact on Body Shape?
The answer to this question would be yes; cycling does have a positive impact on how your body is from the inside as well as outside. It is known to have amazing benefits, from burning calories to giving you a slim look and toning your upper and lower body without stressing any joints. And the best part is that there are tons of scientific evidence to support these claims.
15 Effects of Cycling on Body Shape
That being said, it is equally important not to be blind by the advantages and overdo. Your safety must be your first priority. So, persistent and low-intensity cycling over a longer period of time, with proper safety precautions, is the way to go. If you are a beginner, start with a flat bike and for older people, nothing better than e-biking would do the job.
1. Tone the Legs
The first and most important benefit of cycling is that it strengthens and tones your lower body, especially your legs. Peddling the bike targets the quadriceps and hamstring and makes the areas stronger. This area starts from your thought and goes all the way down to the knee. Hence, after only a little time, you will see a noticeable toning in your leg muscles.
The good part is that this exercise does all these things without stressing your legs too much, which can easily provide you with a stiff body. That said, the effects of pedaling will be different on different bodies. This is because it depends on your leg size, the fat on the leg, and the terrain where you will be riding.
So, if you are a road cyclist and mostly ride on urban streets, you may not get results as a rider who cycles on hilly terrains. And lifting heavy weights may help you speed up the toning.
Moreover, cycling will also help you build stamina over time. But the key to getting the result is to maintain consistency and always prefer low-intensity cycling over fast, high-intensity ones.
2. Strengthen the Arms
Just like the lower body, cycling improves the shape of your arms. And this goes for both the male and female body. The hand force you apply on the handle is directly proportional to the toning of your biceps and triceps. That said, you may experience a little bit of arm pain initially, but it gets easy as you practice more and more.
If your goal is specifically strengthening and toning your arms, it is advised that you cycle on hilly areas and mountain tracks. This is because it applies extra pressure on your arms and makes the entire session effective. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that a longer interval of cycling will help you with upper bodybuilding and toning your muscles.
3. Stabilize the Shoulder Muscles
Similarly, like arms, you are also getting the best results for your shoulders. This is because, when you apply pressure on the hands, especially on hilly terrains, this puts strain on the deltoid muscle of your shoulder and helps you with a quick and swift movement of the joints.
These muscles are also responsible for absorbing the shock while you are riding on uneven and bumpy terrains. Hence, all in all, cycling will help you strengthen your shoulder muscles.
4. Reduces the Cholesterol Level in Your Blood
Another health benefit of cycling is that it reduces the cholesterol or LDL level in your blood. This is partly because this exercise is directly related to the cardiovascular health of your body.
According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, indoor cycling or e-biking has the ability to reduce the LDL and boost the HDL cholesterol in your blood. So, if you are at a high risk of heart disease or obesity, you need to try out e-cycling from the comfort of your home.
5. Tone down the Core
Cycling is also known as a cardio workout. This essentially means that cycling helps you burn calories and improves the structure of your core, especially if you are a male. This is also because it targets the abdomen, spine and back area of your body, providing you with a strong and toned core.
According to a study done by Harvard University, a 150-pound rider who cycles at a medium speed (12-13 mph) usually burns around 300 calories in thirty minutes. So, if your goal is to lose weight and achieve a desirable body shape, cycling may be the best alternative.
6. Improves the Functioning of the Lungs
There is tons of evidence suggesting that riding a bicycle improves your breathing speed and capacity. Hence, after a consistent period of regular cycling, you will notice a considerable difference in your lung capacity. This improves your air intake and oxygen flow within your blood.
Note: It is not advised to cycle in extremely cold weather, especially when the temperature is negative. This is because it can negatively impact your airways and can result in tightness of breath.
7. Better Immune System
It is a known fact that cycling, be it indoor or outdoor, boosts the production and growth of tissues in the human body. This eventually improves energy production and makes your body better at absorbing nutrients and proteins.
Ultimately, you get better immunity than other people. And your body will resist the common viruses like flu, cold, and so on.
8. Reduce Belly Fat
Another best result of cycling for a woman’s body is that it burns the extra fat on your belly and gives you a desirable flat stomach. Though cycling doesn’t actively involve the stomach muscles and give you toned abs, it is an aerobic exercise, which means you are burning the extra fat from your body but there is a trick to it!
You don’t have to be extra fast and highly intense while cycling. Rather, it is quite the opposite. It is required that you be consistent and cycle at a low intensity, especially if your goal is to burn fat. I usually like to do cross-training for a longer period to get my body used to this kind of training.
9. Low Impact and Injuries
The best part about cycling is that it doesn’t pressure or stress your joints. A study conducted by ASU Appalachian State University proposed that the risk of injuries during running is far higher (almost 70%) than those of cycling. Likewise, they also found out that people who run regularly experience muscle soreness, inflammation, and tissue damage.
Moreover, cycling is an aerobic exercise that doesn’t increase or reduce bone density. This is common in other athletic activities. So, even if you want to do it on a regular basis as a part of your routine, it is completely safe and doesn’t leave your body stiff, especially your joints. Also read about testicular pain after bike ride.
10. Improves Posture and Coordination
Well, there is no science to it, and all the riders are aware of this. Cycling improves posture and coordination between your body parts. This not only makes your body balance at working on different things but also makes your mind quick at responding and improves the reflexes.
In addition, maintaining a balance while cycling reduces your chances of falling and eventually injuries. However, do consider that such balance comes with practice consistently over a prolonged period of time. So, if you are just starting out, don’t panic and commit to it persistently.
11. No Back Pain
Another benefit of cycling is that it supports your spine muscles and reduces back pain to a great extent. According to the NHS National Institute of Health, it was found that recreational cyclists notice a considerable reduction in their lower back pain, with 160 km or above in just a week. And this is partly because it helps you strengthen the torso muscles.
However, the effectiveness in this aspect depends on a number of factors, including posture, balance, type of terrain, and seating level. It is equally important to make sure that your back and stomach muscles are actively engaged while you are cycling, as only then is it possible to get rid of chronic back pain. Also read about Is cycling good for Si joint pain.
You may also be looking for best bicycle seat for Si Joint Pain
12. Regulates the Blood Circulation
Moreover, any aerobic exercise is known to improve the heart rate of a person. And cycling is no different. As your heart rate increases, so does your blood flow and its ability to absorb nutrients and protein. Eventually, it reduces the chances of blood clots and lowers the risk of development of cancers. However, this largely depends on the intensity of your ride.
13. Reduce the Chances of Diseases
It is a verified fact by the AHA American Heart Association that regular exercises like cycling and running regulate blood pressure and reduce the chances of intense diseases like stroke, dementia, diabetes, and even cancer of certain types.
Moreover, like most Americans, you are suffering from type 2 diabetes or even are at risk of obesity, cycling may be the best solution. According to AHA, it is ideal to cycle for at least 150 minutes daily to get better cardiovascular benefits and desired results.
14. Boost Brain Capacity
The good thing about any sort of exercise is that it helps you with physical as well as brain development. According to a study done by BMC Geriatrics, it was suggested that active cycling improves the cognitive functioning of your brain and reduces the early signs of dementia.
This is partly because it improves the blood flow in your body and helps you with strong mental ability, as compared to ordinary Americans who are at risk of dementia. As per the researchers, it was proposed that at least 50 to 60 minutes of regular cycling is important to get any results.
15. Improves Your Sleep Cycle
Last but not least, most people are not aware of it, but cycling is known to have a positive effect on your sleep cycle. According to research at John Hopkins University, cycling improves the wave sleep you get at night. So, if you are struggling with quality sleep, definitely try out cycling; it will surely help you.
FAQs about Cycling Benefits
Does cycling improve body shape?
Yes, cycling is a great way to lose weight and tone down your body. This is because it helps you with muscle growth and improves the metabolic health of your body. Hence, with better metabolism, it is easier to cut down the extra fat.
Which body parts are affected by cycling?
Well, the entire body is directly or indirectly affected by cycling. But, if we were to pinpoint the part that is most affected by cycling, it would be the lower body muscles, core, and arms. It is a no-brainer that cycling helps you tone down these parts of your body and give you an attractive figure.
Does cycling reduce thighs?
Yes, cycling reduces thighs and belly fat, partly because these areas are actively involved in the exercise while you are paddling. This also improves blood circulation, which will help you with metabolism and weight loss.
Final Thoughts about Advantages of Bicycling
Planning to give cycling a try? Don’t know what it has for you? You are not alone. There are unlimited benefits of cycling for all people, young or old, fat or slim. So, give this guide a quick read to find out why it is best for you.
Hi, This is Catharine Pendrel, a professional cyclist and founder of Bikeoure. I have been riding bikes for more than 23 years and writing about cycling and other outdoor magazines for about 5 years. Mountain biking has been my passion ever since I first came across it a decade ago. I participated in various MTB tournaments and won numerous mountain trail races.
I started Bikeoure to share my expertise and cycling experience with cyclists all around the world to make them addicted to cycling. My cycling and solo traveling expertise help new cyclists find the best and latest gear in the market for their cycling adventures.