Girls, it’s time to try cycling, you might just love it!
We all want to be healthy, and part of that means doing a bit of cardio here and there. However, thinking about doing cardio probably fills a lot of you with dread because if the first thing that comes to mind is running, you might want to try cycling instead.
Although running is one of the purest, simplest forms of cardio that you can do, the problem is that it can be awful. I ran cross country and track for three years of high school and although I loved my time on the teams, I probably enjoyed a total of two runs. Many other runners I knew would talk about getting into an enjoyable rhythm of running, and, as much as I ran, that never happened for me. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Running is great for some, but it’s definitely not for everyone, and that’s okay. You can still get a good cardio session by doing something much more enjoyable: cycling.
Why girls should ride try cycling
1. It’s easy on the body
Running, jumping, and other kinds of cardio can be hard on your joints, especially your knees. There were even a number of young highschoolers on my running teams who experienced joint pain. I had months of arch pains myself from all the running I was doing.
Cycling, on the other hand, is low-impact and barely puts any pressure on your joints. If you’re someone who has pre-existing joint problems or is slightly older, this is especially valuable.
If you’re big-breasted, the low-impact is also particularly helpful. I’ve known women who had to wear multiple sports bras to go on a run and experienced a great amount of discomfort from jumping exercises. Being able to stay seated while doing your cardio should do a lot to help alleviate these issues.
2. You get to be outside, but in a nice way
Part of the appeal of running outdoors is the outdoors. However, most people are not running all that fast and in the summer, this can mean you don’t have a breeze going and can end up suffocating in the heat and sweat. Even without the heat, you won’t get very far unless you plan on taking driving to different routes, running fast, or running far.
With cycling, you’re moving at speeds much faster than running which means you’ll get a nice breeze to keep you cool, will get to see a whole lot more, and travel much farther distances than on foot.
I’ll admit that taking a fall from a bike can be pretty painful, even dangerous, and that if you choose to take your bike on the road, you run the risk of getting hit by cars. However, one benefit that gets neglected is the protection from individual attackers.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases where women have been attacked while running or even just walking outdoors. The fact that women need to accommodate for the ill behaviour of predatory men isn’t fair, but unfortunately, often necessary. A woman cycling is much less of a target than one who’s running, and that could mean the difference between being attacked and brutalized or getting left alone to your exercise.
4. Effective exercise
Along with all of these perks and advantages over running and other forms of cardio, cycling is actually very effective exercise. The high calorie burn is good for weight loss and the emphasis on your legs can help grow your legs, glutes, and calves.
Many women nowadays are looking to build up their lower body. If you don’t have access to a gym or weights, cycling is a great way to do that. Even if you do regularly go to the gym to lift weights, having a day of your routine that focuses on cardio and pumper style exercises helps diversify your routine and give you better results.
At the same time, just as many women are worried about bulking up their legs. Like most forms of exercise, things come down to preference and application. Women who are looking to lose weight and slim down should be reflecting those goals in how they choose to cycle; their routine will look very different from a woman who wants to build her legs and glutes.
Although cycling requires a bicycle and potentially other gear if you want to take it more seriously, it is still hugely convenient.
One of the best low-impact cardio activities you can do is swimming. However, to swim, you need access to a pool and all the necessary swimming equipment. However, as long as you have a bike, a helmet, and somewhere to go, you’re all set. In today’s climate, where gyms are not always open, this is especially valuable.
Cycling also doubles as an effective means of transportation. You’d have to be a little crazy to run to work every day or attempt all your errands on foot, but you can go a long way in a short amount of time on a bike and even carry things with you. In some cases, taking a bike down a few blocks or to the other side of town might actually be better than taking a car because you can leave it almost anywhere you want, all while still getting a good leg pump in for the day.
6. General health benefits
Like any regular exercise, cycling on a regular basis will help boost your well-being and maintain good health.
Even the most basic google search will yield dozens of articles about the link between cycling and lower rates of cancer, heart disease, other illnesses as well as improved immune systems, better mental function, lung health, social life, and even sex life! Of course, these things are not directly causative, but the association is there and worthwhile.
Try cycling, conclusion
All in all, women who cycle are likely to see a multitude of benefits for their efforts. It’s convenient, effective, enjoyable, and, most importantly, way better than running. Cardio is important, but you shouldn’t feel like you need to stick to something as traditional as running if you don’t enjoy it.
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