Cycling, is also known as bicycling or biking, this is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as “cyclists”, “bicyclists”, or “bikers”.
Cycling is widely regarded as an effective and efficient mode of transportation optimal for short to moderate distances. In Tanzania many places biking is a root vessel for transportation such regions with high number of bikes are Tanga, Shinyanga, Mwanza and mostly around Lake zone (Lake Victoria).
Cycling for health and fitness
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.
- A good muscle workout– biking uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
- Easy – biking does not require high levels of physical skill, Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
- Good for strength and stamina– cycling increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness.
- As intense as you want– biking 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.
- 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.
- Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains or buses with healthy exercise.
Health benefits of regular bike riding
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.
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
- increased cardiovascular fitness
- increased muscle strength and flexibility
- improved joint mobility
- decreased stress levels
- improved posture and coordination
- strengthened bones
- decreased body fat levels
- prevention or management of disease
- reduced anxiety and depression.
Cancer and cycling
Many researchers have studied the relationship between exercise and cancer, especially colon and breast cancer. The chance of bowel cancer is reduced if you do biking regularly. Some evidence suggests that regular bike riding reduces the risk of breast cancer.
Things to remember
- Biking can help to protect you from serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.
- Riding a bike is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages.
- Biking is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, park, school or work.
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