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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

July 5, 2016

The Health Benefits of Bicycling

Submitted by Doug Jardine

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It takes less time than walking and produces less stress on knee and ankle joints than running. Whether it is a slow, evening joy ride around the neighborhood, commuting to work, or a vigorous weekend ride that gets the heart pumping, bicycling is an excellent health and fitness activity.

Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.

A few of the health benefits of regular cycling include:
• increased cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility
• improved joint mobility
• decreased body fat levels
• decreased stress levels and reduce anxiety and depression

Other benefits include:
• It takes less time than walking and produces fewer injuries than running.
• It uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
• It is as intense as you want it to be.

Lastly, bicycling doesn’t require expensive club memberships or even necessarily high dollar equipment. While a serious bicyclist can spend thousands of dollars on their bike, a good used bike can often be found at garage sales for under $25. If you ride it to work, or use it to run errands, it can save you gas money, too.

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