How has cycling improved your overall health

Health for body, soul and spirit - this is how healthy cycling is

Cycling is the ideal sport for people of all ages to exercise the cardiovascular system. "In contrast to jogging, the joints are hardly stressed when cycling; this is particularly beneficial for overweight or less trained people. Breathing and general endurance are improved, and overall performance increases," explains Marion Reinitzhuber, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation and works as a sports medicine specialist in Salzburg. Reinitzhuber goes on to say: "Cycling has positive effects on blood pressure and weight. On the other hand, increasing cycling in cities increases the risk of accidents and many, long bike tours, especially when you sit a lot in the office, can lead to poor posture and 'Foreshortenings' are coming. "

Important in rehab

Great importance is attached to cycling in rehabilitation as well. "There is no rehab where cycling does not occur. Even for people who struggle with the ergometer and for paraplegics who can use a hand ergometer, there are ways to do something for their health. The load must be precisely controlled : A rehab patient who recently had a heart attack can only be subjected to minimal stress while cycling. A professional athlete who fights back after an injury can exercise a lot and intensively on the ergometer. "

When asked whether one should pay more attention to strengthening one's immune system through exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic (of course, in compliance with all regulations), Reinitzhuber explains: "Hobby athletes should improve their immune system in the warm season by exercising fresh air. But you should avoid large gatherings of people after particularly intense exertion, perhaps starting in the evening. Sleeping allows the stressed immune system to regenerate itself overnight. "

Cyclists should also sprinkle fitness exercises into their training from time to time. "All forms of squat are interesting for cyclists," reveals Reinitzhuber. The squats are even more effective with weight than without weight - three sets of ten repetitions would be ideal. Attention: It is very important to do it properly, especially when you start with little weight! To increase the training effect, trained people can occasionally pack water bottles or light weights in their bike rucksacks. "But don't overdo it!"

Good for the muscles

Another good thing: cyclists train many muscle groups, some of them large. "The front and rear thigh muscles are trained as well as the buttocks, calves, stomach, back and shoulders," says sports medicine specialist Reinitzhuber.

Cycling outdoors is better for the psyche, says the expert. But whether training outdoors is always possible depends on the situation: People who have little (or more) time are more likely to unwind a few kilometers on the ergometer. "Winter training can be controlled well with an ergometer. When cycling outdoors, balance and dexterity are better trained."

Cycling is that healthy

For people who work while sitting Cycling brings movement compensation to the joints in the knees, hips and shoulders. Exercise times of ten minutes or more have a positive effect. Because up to 80 percent of your body weight is on the saddle when cycling, the knee joints in particular are much less stressed than when jogging, for example.

The articular cartilages are through the circular, regular leg movement is optimally supplied with oxygen. This protects against osteoarthritis. Regular cycling is even useful if you already have osteoarthritis of the hip or knee.

Shrink from the age of 30 the muscles - and around five percent muscle mass are transformed into fat tissue every ten years. After just ten minutes of cycling, positive effects on the muscles of the entire body can be seen.

Constant sitting brings tense shoulders and pain in the lumbar region. Cycling strengthens the back muscles, trains the intervertebral discs and stabilizes the spine by strengthening the supporting muscles around the individual vertebral bodies. Tension is released - if you sit properly: The angle between the upper body and upper arm should be 90 degrees.