Tour De France 2017: The Benefits of Cycling
The 2017 Tour De France is in full swing, with the world’s top cyclists set to complete 21 stages of extreme conditions and undergoing strenuous endurance. For the rest of us who don’t have near-superhuman strength to tackle the likes of the Pyrenees and the Alps, a leisurely bike ride still provides us with many health benefits. Here are five health benefits that will have you hopping on your bike faster than we can say Tour De France.
Tour De France cycling benefits:
1. Takes years of you
According to Cycling UK, people who cycle regularly in mid-adulthood typically enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to someone 10 years younger. Now if that isn’t a good enough reason to take up cycling, then we don’t know what is. Cycling not only affects your fitness years but it can also improve your appearance and reduce the signs of ageing. This is because exercise enables the body to optimise collagen production, which helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and keeping your skin looking youthful.
2. Boosts your immune system
Ditch the flu shot, cycling is your natural and fun way to fight off cold and flu bugs. According to studies, exercise causes changes in white blood cells and antibodies, the immune system cells that fight off nasty illnesses. When performing physical activity such as cycling, these antibodies circulate more rapidly allowing your body to tackle illnesses at an early stage. So next time you feel a sniffle coming on, jump on your bike or join a spin class to get those white blood cells going.
3. Prolongs life expectancy
If we told you that cycling could improve your life expectancy would you jump on a bike? According to a study by Carlijn Kamphuis, from the Dutch University of Utrecht, cycling can add to your life expectancy. Carlijn said: “For every hour that you cycle, you get an hour back in return.”. Another study shows that there is an increased longevity amongst the Tour De France cyclists. After hearing this news it’s time to get your bike our of the garage, ditch the car keys and hop on your bike.
4. Improves mental health
Cyclists are all in on a little secret that we’re going to share with you, this excellent form of exercising has extraordinary effects on our brain chemistry. It has been said by scientists that it gives your brain an extra boost which sharpens your focus when studying. It also has excellent effects on mental health issues such as depression and illnesses like Alzheimer’s. A study by the University of California in Los Angeles showed that old people who were most active had 5 percent more grey matter than those who were least active, reducing their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Cycling also produces endorphins like any form of exercise, which makes us feel happier by triggering a positive feeling in our bodies, in turn fighting off depression. So it’s time to hit the open road and feel exhilarated on your bike.
5. Proven sleep aid
Do you find yourself counting sheep each night, unsuccessfully trying to get to sleep? There’s no need to pop a sleeping tablet, take a more natural option and go for a bike ride. Cycling is proven to help you hit the pillow more easily and enjoy a deeper sleep. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers produced a study on sedentary insomnia sufferers, they asked them to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. The results showed that the time required for the insomniacs to fall asleep was reduced by half, and sleep time increased by almost an hour. So switch the sheep counting for a 30-minute bike ride and reap the benefits. If these health benefits have left you feeling motivated to hit the road on a bike, then check our top 5 scenic routes in the UK.
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