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11 Solid Reasons You Should Be Cycling

11 Solid Reasons You Should Be Cycling

There are many reasons that individuals take up cycling — to boost their fitness, improve their health, concern for the environment, or to save money. Whatever the reason is, it has the potential to be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

1. Activate Your Muscles

While cycling, almost all of the body’s muscles are being used. Even just one week of inactivity may cause the muscular system strength to fall by 50%, causing harm in the long run. Work your leg muscles, back and abdomen, and arm or shoulder muscles by cycling — this will tighten up your muscular system and allow it to function more efficiently.

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2. Help the Planet

Compared to cars, bikes take up just a fraction of the space that a car does and a bike produces literally no pollution. Bikes allow you to travel up to 3 times faster than walking, and the fuel that you will use to cycle is simply just what you choose to eat or drink.

3. Fight Back Pains and Spinal Diseases

Having good posture while cycling is very important, and the specific movement of the legs stimulates the muscles in the lower back, where many people experience slipped disks. The movements of cycling strengthen the spine and help to prevent stresses. The smaller muscles in the vertebrate are worked, reducing the risk of back pains along with other problems.

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4. Protect Your Joints

One of the best exercise benefits of cycling is the protection that it increases for your joints. The cartilage that makes up joints is worked through the circular motions of cycling, as it transports energy to the cartilage, helping to reduce the likelihood of getting arthrosis.

5. Improve Your Balance

Cycling is ideal for providing the body with exertion and relaxation, which is what makes up the body’s inner equilibrium. Cycling counters stress on the body two ways— it balances out mental and emotional strain, and satisfies the need for physical activity for those who don’t partake in regular exercise.

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6. Release Stress

The uniform, cyclic movements help to relieve anxiety, depression, along with other psychological problems. This is because it will stabilize the emotional and physical functions that make up the body. Cycling will also control hormonal imbalances.

7. Improve Heart Health

A lack of activity will damage the heart. Cycling is perfect for training your heart to be stronger, taking the stress from it. Regular cycling reduces all of the risk factors that are associated with heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases. When you cycle 20 miles per week, you can reduce your risk of a heart attach to less than half of those who are sedentary.

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8. Boost Circulation

Impaired respiration is an effect of lack of exercise — leading to poor circulation. Getting regular exercise through cycling will improve the ventilation of the lungs, leading to a more developed exchange of oxygen. The increase of blood flow will then lead to a spike in energy and processing. When an adult cycles, they will normally use 10 times the amount of oxygen needed to sit and watch TV for the same amount of time.

9. Improve Blood Pressure

When cycling moderately, you can help to reduce or prevent high blood pressure. In turn, this will help you to avoid a stroke or other damage to important organs. Regular cycling will lower the body’s heart rate, thus lowering a person’s blood pressure.

10. Reduce Body Fat and Lower Cholesterol

Cycling trains your body to use up its fat reserves, and will alter your cholesterol balance — favoring the good cholesterol over the bad cholesterol that threatens your health. Regular cycling can lead to a reduction in body weight and optimize cholesterol. If regular exercise is part of life as a youth, then it is less likely that as an adult the individual will suffer from excess body weight.

11. Increase Your Stamina

Aerobic exercises like cycling provide sufficient exercise without putting extreme strain on the body. With increased stamina, you will suffer less from perpetual tiredness or fatigue, while increasing your feeling of well-being.

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Last Updated on November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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