By Mr. Khiev Ratha
To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.
Riding to go to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport.
It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is low impact. It causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise. It is a good muscle workout. Cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal. Unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill.
Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget. It is good for strength and stamina. Cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness. It can be done at very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout. It is a fun way to get fit. The adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places. It is time-efficient.
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. Cycling increases cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, improves joint mobility, posture and coordination, decrease stress levels and body fats, reduce anxiety and depression, strengthen bones, and prevent diseases.
Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. If you’re trying to lose weight, cycling must be combined with a healthy eating plan. It is a comfortable form of exercise and you can change the time and intensity – it can be built up slowly and varied to suit you.
Cycling can improve both physical and mental health, and can reduce the chances of experiencing many health problems.
Research suggests you should be burning at least 8,400 kilojoules (about 2,000 calories) a week through exercise. Steady cycling burns about 1,200 kilojoules (about 300 calories) per hour.
If you cycle twice a day, the kilojoules burnt soon add up. British research shows that a half-hour bike ride every day will burn nearly five kilograms of fat over a year.