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Effects of Regular Cycling on Women:
5 Reasons to Ride a Bike

By Sam Millers

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Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 1: 1903 - 1975 is available as an audiobook here. For the print and Kindle eBook versions, just click on the Amazon link to the right.

The kind folks at BikexChange sent me this:

For a long time, cycling was unrightfully considered to be an exclusively men’s sport. However, as times are changing, we are seeing more and more attention given to the accomplishments of female cyclists.

However, there has been an ongoing debate on whether cycling is actually healthy for women (for men as well) or not. Numerous studies have been completed in recent years that prove that riding a bike can be an incredibly beneficial activity for women in numerous ways.

Cycling is a low-impact aerobic activity, which in and out of itself is already a fantastic combination as it can help you get fit and lower the possibility of injuries.

Moreover, it is no longer as expensive as it was believed to be. If you want to start exploring the forests and mountains in your area, you can do it with mountain bikes under $1,000.

But, there are many other reasons why women should ride a bike. Here are our favorite 5!

Woman cycling

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1. May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer
Sadly, the occurrence of breast cancer in women is rising in many parts of the world. But according to the National Cancer Institute, numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity (including cycling) can greatly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

This effect is observed in women of all ages, but it is most common in postmenopausal women. Cycling is equally beneficial in this regard both for those who rode a bicycle before they entered menopause and for those who began riding after.

On average, women who are physically active have a 12% reduced risk of developing breast cancer later in life, which is a significant reduction.

As we have already mentioned, cycling is a low-impact activity that even those with joint pain can practice without pain. That makes it suitable for women of all ages, including older women who have never been active before.

2. Promotes Weight Loss
Cycling can be both a low-intensity leisure activity and a high-intensity calorie destroyer. It all depends on how you approach it. No matter how you ride your bike, your body will be using a large number of calories to power your legs. That makes cycling one of the best ways of promoting weight loss for women, as well as for men.

It’s hard to gauge how many calories a human body uses when cycling. The numbers differ depending on the intensity, the age of the cyclist, their weight, and many other factors. However, on average, one hour of moderate to vigorous cycling (12-16 mph) can burn anywhere between 400 and 700 calories.

The beauty of cycling for weight loss is that you can sustain the effort for much longer compared to some other high-impact activities, such as running. Not that we say that running is bad, but imagine running for 2 hours and cycling for 2 hours, which one do you think you’re more likely to be able to do?

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3. Helps You Look Younger
When we go out to cycle, we are usually exposed to higher UV radiation than usual, especially in the summer. However, though it sounds contradictory, riding a bicycle can actually help women look younger because it protects the skin from harmful UV rays.

According to scientists at Stanford University, cycling regularly will help you look younger and diminish the harmful effects of UV radiation. The reason behind this beneficial effect is that physical activity improves circulation which carries essential nutrients and oxygen to our skin. This way, our skin is better equipped to deal with wrinkles, blemishes, and other microscopic injuries.

Moreover, cycling also increases collagen production which is essential for achieving the young look. Collagen is one of the main ingredients in all anti-aging creams but you can get it without spending a dime.

But to achieve the best results, we still advise that you use a high factor sunblock before you go out, which will block the majority of harmful UV rays in the first place.

Woman on bike

4. Cycling Protects the Heart
This one is a no-brainer! You do know that your heart is a muscle that operates similarly to all other muscles in your body? If you want it to remain strong, healthy, and have endurance, you need to exercise it. Thus, cycling is a fantastic way for women to protect their hearts.

Numerous studies have proven that regular aerobic activity, such as cycling, can decrease your risk of heart disease by 50%. Honestly, it would be superfluous to start listing them here. According to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be prevented if people rode their bikes more regularly.

To achieve all of these benefits for your heart, you do not need to train like an elite cyclist. All you need to do is ride a minimum of 20 miles a week. That’s it. You could ride your bike to work several times a week instead of going in your car or riding a train, and you would cut the risk of a heart attack in half.

You could also get a mountain bike and explore your surroundings, by riding on forest and mountain roads, away from the traffic. If you’re not sure where to begin, you can read more about how to choose a mountain bike.

5. Boosts Energy and Reduces Stress
A high-intensity ride will use up a lot of your physical energy. At the same time, when you finish it and get home, you will feel energized, happy, and motivated to complete your daily goals or do more than you have initially planned.

If you are finding it hard to find enough energy to deal with your work, home, children, and private life, a vigorous round of cycling could be a solution.

Moreover, riding a bike is a great way for women to reduce the amount of stress in their lives. When you’re on two wheels, you’re usually in the sun and often in nature as well, which is a great way to feel more relaxed.

But there are scientific reasons behind it as well. When we do a physical activity such as cycling, our brains emit dopamine and endorphin, which are crucial for making us feel happy, relaxed, and blithe.

So, if you want to start feeling good both physically and mentally, you better hop on your bike and ride away!

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