Cycling is one of the best forms of cardio.
That’s it; thanks for reading!
In all seriousness, you can’t beat cycling when it comes to the world of cardiovascular fitness. It is by far one of the best ways to get the necessary exercise for your heart, lungs, and other parts of your body that are targeted when doing cardio.
A bike ride is certainly more entertaining than a run or walk, you can be outside, and you’ll burn more calories than any other cardiovascular exercise. What’s not to love?
Obviously, it isn’t for everyone — which is probably why you’re here. Today, we’re going to present to you all the facts surrounding cycling and cardio so you can make an educated decision on if it’s right for you.
Let’s get to it!
What Is Cardio?
To give the simplest definition we can think of — cardio is aerobic exercise marked by increased heart and breathing rates for an extended period of time. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the easiest definition.
Because an increased heart rate directly correlates to an increased breathing rate during exercise, this allows for a huge influx of oxygen to enter your body. From there, it reaches the bloodstream and allows more oxygen and blood to be pumped throughout your body.
Cardio promotes lung and heart health and improves circulatory system health and overall fitness levels. Besides the heart health benefits, depending on what type of cardio you do, certain muscle groups can reap the rewards too.
Why Is Cardio an Essential Form of Exercise?
If you made a list describing the “essential” forms of exercise, cardio would almost certainly be number one.
Cardio is like the exercise of exercise. It’s the workout all other workouts stem from. There are few things more important to your overall health than regular cardio. Cardio increases the health of one of our most important organs: the heart. You’re not getting very far without a healthy heart.
It’s also the easiest form of exercise — you don’t need any equipment or training in order to get your steps in. Let’s take a closer look at why cardio is the king of exercises.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Can anyone take a guess as to what health condition is the leading cause of both morbidity and mortality worldwide? If you’re stuck, we’ll give you a hint: it starts with “cardiovascular” and ends with “disease.”
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for over 600,000 deaths in the United States annually.
Yes, the heart is our body’s prized possession. If we don’t take care of it properly, it can lead to a list of health complications longer than this article. What’s the best way to keep your heart healthy and happy? Anyone?
Yup, your heart. Keep it happy, keep it pumping, and keep your heart ready to go with daily cardio.
Boosts Lung Health
Rule of thumb: if any type of exercise gets you breathing heavily, you’re doing it right. Okay, that might not be 100% foolproof, but it’s a solid start.
Cardio, in particular, is one of the best ways to increase your breathing rate for an extended period of time. Breathing heavily and pumping more oxygen through your lungs and body is one of the only ways to ensure they’re functioning properly and getting the care they need.
Of course, there are always breathing exercises and meditation. We’re not saying those don’t help because they absolutely do. However, to maximize lung health, start getting your daily cardio.
Supports the Circulatory System
The circulatory system is essential for daily functions. Think of the circulatory system as a business, and the heart is its CEO.
When we exercise, specifically with cardio, our blood pressure rises due to the increase in our cardiac output. However, over time, consistent cardio lowers overall blood pressure compared to those who don’t practice cardio regularly.
The circulatory system is one of the reasons we live and breathe every day. Just like the heart, take care of it with regular cardio exercises.
What Are the Different Types of Cardio?
There are so many different forms of cardio:
This makes cardio one of the easiest and most versatile exercise methods out there. From an easy walk all the way to boxing and Zumba, there is absolutely no shortage of ways to get your daily cardio intake.
Cardio doesn’t necessarily have to be a specifically planned exercise, either. We can get our daily cardio by simply walking to a destination or tossing a football around. Of course, we recommend actually planning on getting your cardio, but there are other ways too.
The usual suspects of cardio are walking and running or jogging. This can be outdoors or on a treadmill/elliptical machine. After a warm-up, you can move on to sprints or long-distance cross-country running.
Whatever your preferred method is, simply getting your legs moving is a perfect place to start on your cardio journey, and it’s probably the easiest. As long as your legs are moving, your lungs are working, and your heart is pumping, you’re doing it right.
Unique Cardiovascular Exercises
The Usual Suspects sequel? Nope, just water aerobics.
There are, of course, a lot of options available to you for cardio if you’re not a big runner. Any form of swimming or water aerobics is an excellent cardio workout, as is boxing and wrestling, rowing, jump rope, and climbing.
As we said, there is a seemingly infinite selection of exercises you can do in order to get your daily cardio intake. Pick your poison and put that heart to work.
While those are all fantastic options for cardio, there can only be one cardio king:
Technically, walking or running is probably the most common form of cardio. We’re talking about the best form of cardio, which as the title directly above suggests, is the reason you’re reading this article.
Electric bike, regular bike, stationary bike — whatever! Well, actually, not whatever: We prefer electric bikes, but still, exercise is exercise!
Cycling is so amazing for your body, and it’s a huge bonus that this particular cardio exercise can also focus on certain muscle groups in your legs. It’s super easy to do, and it’s even easier to get your heart and breathing rate up once you get going.
For those looking for a relaxed exercise like pedaling by the beach, an electric outdoor bike can do that for you. Some cyclists prefer hitting the open trails on weekends, while others use their electric road bikes to commute to work, swapping time spent in a car to feel the wind blow their hair through the tiny ventilation gaps in their helmets.
For those looking for more intense exercise, cycling can absolutely serve as your new favorite HIIT workout. HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training.” These workouts build muscle and burn calories faster than traditional exercise, helping you meet your fitness goals in less time. For this exercise, cyclists will alternate between high resistance for a few seconds (15, for example) followed by a slightly longer amount of time at a lower resistance (like one minute).
For an info boost on your workout boost, head to a local outdoor cycling class or ask a personal trainer.
The Benefits of Cycling as Your Main Cardio Method
Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for: There are a million benefits to cycling, but today we’re talking about cardiovascular benefits.
Let’s take a look.
The Most Important Body Parts
Here are some names for you: heart, lungs, and the brain. What do they all have in common?
First, they are our essential internal body parts. We can’t live or be ourselves without them. Second, there’s strong evidence that concludes cardio improves health across the board and especially the big three (heart, lungs, brain).
Cycling gets your heart and breathing rate going the fastest, so you’ll be sure to give all three the best workout you can give them.
Plus, as we’ve mentioned before, cycling also targets certain muscle groups in your legs and overall builds lower body leg and muscle strength. Dedicated bikers see gains in their hamstrings, quads, and glutes.
Easy and Fun Workout
Cycling can be a “relaxing” exercise. You’re putting barely any strain on your ankles and knees and getting a full-leg workout. You can go as fast and slow as you want, or you can get an electric bike to help you out. Electric bikes are super helpful because they can help extend your workouts.
If you thought that your stationary bike was serving you well, take it up a notch and head outdoors. Indoor cycling is great, but heading outdoors makes this hobby even better. Harvard Health reports that time spent outside improves mental health.
Whatever you decide, there really isn’t a cardio exercise more effective, simple, and fun than cycling. Take your day into your own hands when you grab the handlebars and head out for an adventure.
At Velotric, we’re dedicated to creating a bike that can help you achieve all of your fitness, recreational, and exploratory goals.
We like to think somebody’s bike is an extension of themselves, and to us, that’s priceless.
Our product is safe, affordable, stylish, elegant, and reliable. We can’t wait to join you on your cycling journey.
There’s no better cardio than cycling, and you won’t find any bikes better than right here. Get out there, explore, and keep your heart healthy — we’ll see you on the trails!