In the USA today, less than 5 percent of adults spend 30 minutes or more on daily physical activity.

Just a half hour of exercise each day sounds easy to achieve, but millions of us struggle to do so. After all, we have responsibilities, jobs, chores, families, hobbies – carving that time out can be far harder than it should be.

Still, it’s vital to stay as fit as possible, especially as you get older. Cycling is one of the simplest, more relaxing, most popular forms of exercise; all you need is a bike, a helmet, and somewhere to ride.

What health benefits can you get from hopping onto the saddle?

Increases Stamina

One key benefit of cycling? The more you ride, the longer you’ll be able to go on and on.

Having greater physical stamina means your body will cope with high-intensity activity; general everyday exercise, such as climbing stairs or running, will gradually become easier.

Try to ride three times each week, going for as long as you can without over-exerting yourself.

Combats Depression

Research has demonstrated just how effective exercise can be in elevating your mood and combating depression. Just a half hour of exercise has the power to leave you feeling better, and when done daily, may make a significant impact.

When you cycle outdoors, you’re not just in a gym or circling a track: you’re taking in fresh air, enjoying the view, and have physical distance to mark your progress. Cycling with family and friends can help to lift your mood further, as you’ll be talking, having fun, and sharing the sense of achievement.

Burns Calories

So many of us want to lose weight, but don’t quite know where to start. Whether this is for your health or your waistline (or both), cycling is an incredibly effective way to burn calories.

Steady bike-riding can burn as many as 300 calories in one hour. If you do this three times a week, you’ll burn 900 calories; do a half hour instead, and you’ll blast through 450.

Enhances Strength

Cycling is well-known for toning the legs, but it actually works on full-body strength too. Riding a bike is terrific for enhancing your core and building your abdominal muscles (though you need to engage them as you ride, keeping your rectus abdominis muscles taut).

If you can feel a slight squeeze in the lower abs, you’re doing it right.

Your shoulders, biceps, and triceps all get a decent workout while cycling too.

Builds Cardio Fitness Levels

While riding a bike, your heart is given a healthy, steady workout. This gradually boosts your cardiovascular fitness, helping your heart and lungs to become stronger, though if you have any issues with your cardiovascular health, speak with your doctor before embarking on a cycling routine.

You’ll be at lower risk of heart disease, and with improved lung-function, you’ll feel like you have more energy.

Low Impact on Joints

While running’s a popular form of exercise, it can potentially cause discomfort or injuries to the knees and ankles.

Cycling, on the other hand, is a low-impact workout, keeping your leg muscles engaged without placing the same amount of stress on your joints.

Boosts Muscle Tone

Having a sleek, toned, muscular figure is not just a sign of good health, it’s a real boost to your confidence. Cycling boosts the general function of your muscles, without the same risks of straining or over-exerting yourself.

With repeated riding on a regular basis, such as at least 90 minutes per week across three sessions, you’ll start to notice a difference in your definition. In particular, your thighs, calves, buttocks, and hips will gradually become more toned and stronger.

Better Coordination and Posture

Cycling also improves your posture and coordination. Why is good posture important?

It means your muscles, ligaments, and joints can work as they should, and your bones will be aligned correctly. It also helps your nervous system work properly, too.

As you can see, there are at least eight fantastic reasons to get out there on your bike. Whether you cycle to work, ride through the city on a crisp afternoon, or hit the open country road, riding a bike on a regular basis has the power to transform your life.

Not only will you look better over time, you’ll feel better too – for longer!