We keep hearing from medical professionals, news, magazines and friends that we need to get fit and I believe that cycling is one of the best options to achieve this.
If you are anyway like me then once you start doing something new, you tend to really go for it, sometimes a little too much and this can cause problems when it comes to keeping fit, so a word of advice is to start slowly and work your way up.
I'm Not a Doctor!
I have to start off by saying you shouldn't take this as any form of medical advice obviously (that is what your doctor is for) but I do truly believe cycling offers many advantages over other forms of exercises such as jogging. Just the fact that you're subjecting your joints to less impact surely must be a good thing.
Why I Think Cycling is Great
I know my knees are not in the best condition and they certain feel painful if I try to jog for a while but I do not tend to have this problem when I go for a bike ride.
For me riding a bike allows me to do short periods of intense exercise (usually up a steep hill) followed by longer periods of gentle exercise, all the while getting outside breathing fresh air and experiencing my local countryside views.
The intense periods of exercise tends to push my heart rate up which I believe is good for my cardio fitness yet I'm still keeping a sustained heart beat when I'm cycling in the less intense areas.
Do I Cycle in a Gym?
Some people like to cycle on a machine in a gym but I personally can't see the point. I know for the pure fitness benefit, there probably isn't much difference but I don't enjoy staring at a wall and I'd rather get out, pick a random route and enjoy the ride.
What About Cycling Tours?
Another thing I greatly enjoy doing is going on a cycling tour which is basically where you ride with a bike touring company in all sorts of beautiful locations around the world. They do all the work of planning the route, booking hotels etc.
Doing this is a fairly rare treat for me and my family but we really do enjoy these vacations. And we don't feel quite so guilty when we eat various deserts while on the tour because we know we're balancing it with the benefits we get from the cycling.
So for me, as well as the obvious health and fitness benefits that cycling gives me, the main thing I get out of it is the mental health benefits. It helps me 'reset my batteries' (mentally that is) and lets me live my life in a more positive manner.