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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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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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