Fighting Fit – The benefits of bike cardio - MMA - TheMacLife

Fighting Fit – The benefits of bike cardio

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By John Balfe - 25 Oct 2016

Of all the different ways to improve your cardio, cycling can be the most enjoyable and effective.

Cardio is key for an athlete of any kind. You can have the best technique, the most intricate gameplan and god-given power but if you don’t have any gas in your tank it can all be for naught. You won’t find any top level mixed martial artist nowadays (or a high level athlete in practically any sport) who hasn’t dedicated long, hard hours to increasing their body’s ability to efficiently absorb oxygen in the blood stream.

There are numerous different ways to approach this and the most time-honoured variety of this is, historically at least, pounding the asphalt and getting some miles in on a jog. There is no denying that this produces results but for all its benefits, running on concrete can be incredibly damaging to your body.

Your knees, for example, aren’t designed for the repetitive shock they sustain while running on concrete (a fact this writer knows more than some after a semi-serious knee injury sustained during a 10-mile race in 2013) and while this likely won’t be a problem in your twenties, by the time you hit the big three-oh than can change dramatically.

Now, there are lots of different ways to work on your cardio. Rowing is another than works very well, as well as being kind to your joints, but the rowing machines in the gym aren’t exactly the most enjoyable devices in the world. So unless you have access to a conveniently placed estuary of some kind, there’s no better way to give your lungs a workout than on your bike.

Let’s examine some of the reasons:

A casual bike ride burns more calories than a walk

If calorie burning is your goal, get on your bike. You will shave more calories out of your system on the bike than you will on foot.

It’s good for the soul

If you have some leisure time a bike ride isn’t just good for your health; it’s good for your general sense of well-being.

It’s much easier on your joints

As mentioned above, you are far less likely to do any damage to your ankles, knees or hips while cycling than you are when you are on foot.

Cyclists are catered for in most major cities

There’s never been a better time to be a cyclist, in most major cities at least. While risks are always present on the bike, the cycle lanes which circumnavigate cities have made cycling as safe as it’s ever been.

It’s a mode of transport

It almost seems redundant to say, but any cycle you take on is good for you. Heading to the office? Get some cardio in on your way there.

It will be with you for the rest of your life

You could be the most impressive physical specimen in the gym but, let’s face it, that’s not going to last for ever. As age gets its hold on your, eventually your tolerance for weights or machines will drop. Cycling, on the other hand, will always be there.

Cycling is a stress reliever

Like most forms of exercise, cycling is very good for your mental health. And you won’t have to sit in those infuriating traffic jams that most of the population endures through gritted teeth each and every day.

You can learn more about where you live

Whether you have moved to a new town or grew up in the area you currently live, there really isn’t a better way to explore your local area than on your bike. You’ll be surprised at what you can discover on two wheels that you didn’t know was there before.

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