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Is Biking an Aerobic Exercise?
Whether you ride the boardwalk on a cruiser or pedal high speed with traffic, a bike ride definitely qualifies as aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise uses large muscle groups of the lower body repetitively and steadily for a minimum of 12 minutes. Go out for a ride to burn calories and build cardiorespiratory health and stamina.
Importance of Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, along with strength training, forms the foundation of fitness programs. You’ll want to perform it for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week, for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Aerobic exercise improves the health of your heart and respiratory system. Staying fit has a positive influence on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight and increases longevity. Regular aerobic exercise can also boost your mood and ward off the diseases of aging, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Plus, you'll experienced improved quality of life by experiencing better sleep, metal clarity and intimacy.
Cycling Makes a Good Choice
Biking, indoor cycling, walking, swimming, jogging, dancing and elliptical and treadmill machines offer choices for aerobic workouts. Unlike other forms of aerobic exercise, biking has additional benefits for people who suffer from arthritis or are more than 50 pounds overweight, as it helps the heart without stressing the back and leg joints.
Indoor cycling classes, stationary bikes or the purchase of appropriate lights, helmets, gloves, goggles and outerwear for road biking can allow you to ride year-round. Beginners can start at a modest pace and build aerobic fitness. More advanced exercisers can challenge themselves with longer rides and hill training.
Proper bike fit helps you avoid overuse injuries, particularly of the knee, if you pursue cycling as your main aerobic exercise. At a group indoor cycling class, arrive early and ask the class instructor for help is setting the height and forward or rear position of the seat and handlebars. On a road or mountain bike, update the seat to an anatomically designed model and set the seat post so your knee is slightly bent when on a full downstroke.
An award-winning writer and editor, Rogue Parrish has worked at the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun and at newspapers from England to Alaska. This world adventurer and travel book author, who graduates summa cum laude in journalism from the University of Maryland, specializes in travel and food -- as well as sports and fitness. She's also a property manager and writes on DIY projects.