Specialists at Quirónsalud Torrevieja state that the bicycle improves the immune system and prevents back and joint pain
Riding a bicycle reduces the risk of suffering a heart attack, according to specialists at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja. The use of a bicycle has several important health benefits, saysDoctor Juan Luján, a specialist in cardiology at the Hospital Quirónsalud Torrevieja: “it is one of the most complete activities that helps to prevent back pain, protects the joints and improves the circulatory and immunological system, as well as maintaining good mental health.”
According to a survey by the Organización de Consumidores y Usuarios (OCU, Spanish acronym for the Organisation for Consumers and Users), the number of people using a bicycle more than once a week has grown in the past four years, to 47%. In addition, the number of people riding a bicycle to work has doubled, going from 6.8% to 11.9%, according to the latest Barómetro de la Bicicleta [Bicycle Barometer] issued by the Dirección General de Tráfico [General Transit Department].
Cycling is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, with a very low risk of injury. Doctor Juan Luján, states, “In physical medicine and rehabilitation, it has been proven that cardiovascular exercise on a bicycle lowers the risk of heart attack, since it promotes an improved resistance to insulin, lowers blood pressure, increases the contractile capacity of the thorax and promotes a significant improvement in the balance of lipids in the body, lowering bad (LDL, Lipoprotein A) and raising good cholesterol (HDL).”
When riding a bicycle, we exercise the upper and lower parts of the body, performing a very complete workout, which is particularly indicated for people with weight problems or cardiovascular diseases.
Below, we explain some of the benefits of switching to two wheels:
More Pedalling, Less Heart Attacks
Riding a bicycle lowers the risk of heart attack by 50%: cycling raises your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, so the heart saves resources. In addition, it lowers bad cholesterol, while increasing the amount of good cholesterol, which protects our blood vessels. Therefore, blood vessel flexibility improves, plaque accumulation becomes less frequent, and the risk of artery calcification is lowered.
A Good Posture prevents Back Pain
Depending on the type of bicycle we use, we must choose the recommended posture. The bicycle seat is our weight-bearing point so, depending on what height we adjust the seat at, we will not only be more comfortable, but benefit our back as well. In general, we recommend adjusting the seat so our body is leaning forward, so that the back muscles are engaged and the core stabilised. Cycling strengthens the lumbar region and prevents the appearance of herniated discs.
Exercised and Protected Joints
Some cardio exercises, such as running, overload the joints, especially the knees. On a bicycle, however, 70-80% of the body’s weight is supported by the seat. This way, the joints exercise, but they are protected from harsh impacts and overloading. When the joints work under low pressure, energy and nutrition can be spread to the cartilage more easily. These long-term benefits prevent arthrosis.
A Stronger Immune System
Cycling favours the mobilisation of phagocytes, the cells that devour bacteria in our body. This mobilisation also aids the destruction of bacteria and cancer cells, which makes it a good therapeutic complement for cancer and AIDS patients.
A Small Effort with a Large Reward
It’s not necessary to invest too much time to feel the results of cycling on your body. With only 10 minutes of cycling a day, you can feel the results at a muscular level, in your blood flow and in your joints. With 30 minutes, you can feel heart benefits, and 50 minutes stimulate the fatty acid metabolism.
A Healthier Mind
When cycling, the brain’s oxygenation improves and it produces more endorphins, “the happiness hormones”, which are produced in greater amount during exercise. In addition, it has been proven that people who ride bicycles suffer less from depression and other psychological conditions.
Quirónsalud is the most important hospital group in Spain, and the third largest in Europe. It can be found in 13 autonomous communities in Spain, has state-of-the-art technology and offers over 6,500 beds in more than 100 healthcare centres, such as Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Hospital Universitario Quirónsalud Madrid, Hospital UniversitarioDexeus, Ruber, Centro Médico Teknon, Hospital La Luz, Policlínica de Guipúzcoa, Hospital Quirónsalud Valencia, etc., as well as a huge team of highly qualified professionals of international prestige.
We promote teaching (seven of our centres are university hospitals) and medical and scientific research (we run the FJD [Spanish acronym, Jiménez Díaz Foundation] Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria [Healthcare Research Institute], the only private research centre licensed by the Secretaría de Estado de Investigación, Desarrollo e Innovación [Ministry for Research, Development and Innovation]).
Likewise, our healthcare service is organised in units and crosscutting networks that allow for the optimisation of accumulated experience at difference centres, and the clinical application of our research. Currently, Quirónsalud is developing many research projects across Spain, and many of its healthcare centres carry out cutting edge work in this field, as pioneers in different specialisations such as radiology, cardiology, endocrinology, gynaecology, neurology, oncology and sports medicine, among others.