Is Cycling Cardio? Check 7 Benefits Of Cycling As A Regular Workout!

“Is cycling cardio?” “Does cycling tone your legs?”

These are the basic queries of beginners when they start cycling for the very first time. Yes, cycling is a cardiovascular workout. This activity will keep the heart rate at a high level for a prolonged period. It is one of the best exercises to burn calories, to reduce belly fat, and promote muscle tuning. 

If someone is highly concerned about tuning the lower limb muscles, cycling is the exercise that can assist him the most. Such activity can easily overpower the lower limb muscles, such as – gluteus, hamstring, quadriceps femoris. 

In this article, we have discussed everything a starter would need to know about cycling, along with its additional benefits. So, hurry up, beginners! It’s high time for you to learn biking and go for the ride!

Why Is Cycling Termed As A Cardiovascular Workout? 

Any physical activity that can elevate the heart rate and keep it up for a long time is termed cardio. During elevated heart rate, the respiratory system will begin to work more, causing deeper and faster breaths. 

In aerobic workouts like cycling, the heart, blood vessels, and lungs work together to provide a balanced amount of oxygen during exercise. In this process, heart rate naturally increases and begins to burn more fat and carbohydrates as well. A person can quickly burn 400 calories by biking for an hour. Thus biking is definitely cardio.

Muscles Involved During Cycling:

Cyclists often wonder, “What Muscles Does Biking Use?”

As you can guess, by paddling faster, the muscles of your inferior limb will do some real workout indeed. This physical activity mainly targets your muscles of hips, thighs, knees, and legs. Elevated body temperature, faster & deeper breaths, and perspiration are the common traits anyone would face during intensive biking.

Let’s check the major muscles which mainly gains strength during cycling:

  • Along with abdominal muscles, the core muscles will gain strength from cycling as a rider needs a certain amount of power to be in an upright posture.
  • Biking is mainly an exercise of the lower limb. So, naturally, by paddling, the leg muscles will get stronger without being overstressed.
  • Cycling mainly causes major workouts of muscles like – Quadriceps femoris, hamstring, calves, and the gluteal region muscles.
  • Biking primarily doesn’t engage our back muscles. If a rider wants a workout that will involve both the upper body, core, and lower limb, he should go mountain biking. Thus, we can count mountain biking as a total body workout.

Is Cycling Better Cardio Than Running?

Cycling Vs. Running, Which is the better cardio?

It’s a common query among people as they are confused in choosing between cycling and running.

Burn The Calories: 

  • We consider both running and cycling as a form of cardiovascular exercise. In the case of burning calories, running is more helpful than cycling. 
  • By riding longer and faster, you might burn so many calories as running. 
  • Uphill biking will assist in burning more calories indeed.

Building Muscle: 

  • Running is a weight-bearing exercise involving the entire body, where cycling mainly focuses on building the muscles of the lower limb. 
  • However, running won’t help build up the bulk of muscles; instead, it would ton them.

Weight Loss:

  • Running is a better form of exercise if a person aims to lose weight. 
  • As biking is a form of low-impact workout, a cyclist might be able to ride for a prolonged period. This might exceed the number of calories a person usually loses by running.
Running Cycling 
A person can burn more calories by running.It usually burns fewer calories
It won’t help in building Muscle. Best workout for building muscles.
Running is more effective if a person tends to lose weight.Less effective in this context.

Check 7 Benefits Of Cycling Right Now! 

Like aerobic exercise, regular biking is beneficial to health. Let’s check the significant benefits of cycling daily.

Strengthen The Immune System: 

  • Regular cycling will improve the immunity of the respiratory system resulting in reduced instances of cold.
  • Mild to medium workouts are pretty helpful to empower the immune system by producing more protein and enforcing more WBC.

Promote Weight loss: 

  • Many people begin cycling to burn their belly fat or reduce their weight. Averagely, a cyclist uses 400 to 1000 calories per hour.
  • If a rider can burn more calories than he consumes, then he might lose some weight quickly.

Improves Mental Health: 

  • By riding through different roads & trails, a rider will feel more refreshed.
  • You can even ride with buddies or local groups to enhance your social skills.
  • It will eventually boost up mental health.

Builds And Tone The Muscles: 

  • By paddling faster, a rider can build and tone the gluteal region’s muscles, thighs, and legs.
  • Riders with high bulk of muscles can burn more fat than general people.

Promotes Lung Health: 

  • As the heart rate will increase during biking, a rider will take deeper breaths which will overpower the surrounding muscles.
  • The fresh oxygen will keep the lung refreshed.
  • According to researches, cyclist experience lower air pollution than a driver or a bus user. So, his lung stays in a better state.

Reduces Heart Disease & Cancer: 

  • Increase heart rate and blood flow. Thus, there are low chances of cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrest with aging.
  • As cycling burns calories and helps in reducing fat, this regular cardio activity will keep you safe from chronic heart diseases and cancer.

Best Low Impact Workout:

  • We count cycling as the best low-impact workout as it is not, so weight bearing as running.
  • It provides strength to joints.
  • Cycling has a lower risk rate than running.

Can Cycling Assist Improve Special Health Conditions?

As a simplified statement, yes, cycling can quickly improve certain health conditions like arthritis, diabetes, or high blood pressure.

  • Biking means working on leg muscles, build muscles and tune them properly. Likewise, it is not as rough to the joints as running. Moreover, cycling provides strength to the junction of the limbs and reduces pain.
  • We consider cycling an ideal exercise to recover a patient from arthritis of the lower limb.
  • Either a rider wants to lose weight, maintain average blood sugar level, cholesterol level, or high blood pressure. This cardio workout will help him indeed.
  • At the very beginning, many cyclists wonder, “Is cycling cardio?” As we have phrased, yeah, it certainly is a lower-body cardio workout that highly targets heart muscles and makes the heart stronger. Actually, biking is even helpful to improve heart diseases.
  • During special health conditions like pregnancy, cycling is a fantastic workout. We would recommend riding indoor stationary bikes instead of outdoor ones to be on the safest side.

The Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Cardiovascular Exercises Benefit Your Heart? 

Cardiovascular exercises keep the heart muscles strong enough to pump blood more efficiently. Let’s check the benefits of a regular cardiovascular workout!

  • Cardiovascular exercises reduce blood pressure and may even prevent the rise with aging.
  • Regular cardio activity can highly improve blood flow and reduce the blockage of small arteries. 
  • It is an ideal exercise even to prevent heart attack.
  • Regular cardio workouts will eventually raise the rate of HDL and lower LDL.
  • According to research, this type of exercise can reduce the rate of coronary artery diseases around 21% to 29%
  • A daily habit of exercise tends to reduce the incidents of cardiac arrhythmia such as – atrial fibrillation.

Thus, cardiovascular activity is definitely helpful to improve overall cardiac health.

What Do You Need to Start Cycling?

In order to start cycling for the very first time, a rider needs a cycle. If he is in indoor workouts purchasing a stationary bike will suffice. Other than the bike, he may need some additional equipment like –

  • Helmet for additional safety. 
  • Bike locks to keep the bike safe.
  • Lights for a safer journey.
  • Repair tools.

Is It Possible To Lose Weight By Cycling For an hour? 

If losing weight is the main focus, biking at a slow pace won’t assist you much. A rider must increase the intensity level by paddling at a faster pace. He must go through high-intensity exercises to be fit and to reduce belly fat. According to Harvard medical school studies, A person of 125 pounds can burn 260 calories by cycling for half an hour.

If a rider can push himself hard enough to burn calories by paddling faster, he might progress towards the aim of weight loss. That’s because – the more you burn calories; the more energy will be used, resulting in more weights to shed.

Final Words

Cycling is a popular low-impact exercise that can keep the body fit while enjoying the natural view, hilly areas, or usual city roads. This article has highlighted a low-impact exercise cycling along with its health benefits. We have also answered several common questions like “Is cycling cardio?” I hope the article was a helpful one to inspire beginners to go for their first ride. So are you ready with your bicycle for a refreshing ride?

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