Not only does it boast a heap of health benefits (both physical and mental,) it’s epic for the planet (and bank balance) too. And with the 2018 Tour De France officially underway, there’s never been a better time mix up your workout. Here, 2XU ambassador and three-time IRONMAN world champion, Craig Alexander, breaks down all the reasons you should get behind the handlebars.
1. It covers you for cardio
Whether it be on a stationary bike in spin class or making your way through the Australian landscape, cycling is great for cardiovascular fitness. Pedaling increases your heart rate and gets the blood pumping through your veins, which when done regularly, reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes. These physiological benefits can be further multiplied if you invest in the right gear. 2XU compression increases blood flow to the quadriceps by up to 18% and boosts peak power by up to 5%, meaning you can pedal harder for longer. Plus, the recovery benefits of 2XU’s graduated compression mean you won’t pull up sore the next day.
2. Everything gets worked
Few forms of exercise deliver multiple benefits at one time, but cycling improves strength, balance and endurance. As well as being great for cardiovascular fitness, cycling improves bone strength and reduces the risk of falls and fractures. It also engages all major muscle groups as you pedal and steer, building strength throughout the whole body rather than in one select muscle group.
3. Low impact = less pain
Cycling causes significantly less strain and injury than many other forms of exercise. It’s the perfect cross-training activity because you get an intense workout without too much impact on the muscles and joints. Being low impact also means that cycling is great for recovery and for maintaining fitness through rehabilitation. Maximise recovery benefits by incorporating techniques such as foam rolling and wearing 2XU Recovery compression tights after your workout to reduce swelling and soreness as fast as possible.
4. You can roll with the homies
Think you’re too busy socialising on a Sunday morning to exercise? Combine coffee with a workout by cycling to your local cafe to meet friends or organise to meet friends and cycle around your local park instead of going for a walk. Joining a cycling group is also a great way to get out and meet people with similar interests and to stay motivated.
5. Going green
Australia has some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world, so it makes sense to take your workout outdoors whenever possible. A leisurely cycle through your local park provides both physical and mental health benefits and is a fun way to explore new locations right on your doorstep.