The benefits of hybrid bike touring

It might be a solo ride or a trip with friends or family. It might be to spend a weekend (or longer) exploring somewhere new. Maybe you want a well-being escape that gives your muscles a bit of a workout too. These are just some of the many fantastic reasons to go bike touring, no matter your age or fitness level.

If you thought bike touring seemed like the perfect way to spend time in the great outdoors, at any time of year, while looking after your health... you'd be right! It's the ideal activity if you want a breath of fresh air and a full-body workout. But did you know that there are many other benefits to bike touring too, particularly for your mental and physical health and your social life?

Cycling to keep fit!

It's well known that cycling is an all-round activity that'll keep you in shape in the long run. Riding regularly, at a moderate intensity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and increases your life expectancy.

Which parts of the body get a workout when you go cycling?

Cycling is good for your heart, lungs and respiratory system in general. It's a great way to strengthen your muscles – especially the glutes – and keep your legs feeling nimble.

Another advantage is that the act of pedalling strengthens your bones and joints, and over time you'll see improvements in your strength, flexibility and endurance!

Which muscles does cycling work?

Bike touring is suitable for absolutely anyone, no matter their age or fitness level, and is an all-round activity offering numerous health benefits. Most importantly, it strengthens the muscles in your legs (thighs and glutes), arms and back.

How will 30 minutes of cycling improve your health?

It's a question people often ask. Besides working all of your body's muscles, cycling helps you lose weight, tones your muscles, reduces stress and strengthens your cardiovascular system – something that's certainly not to be sniffed at!

Start by thinking about your expectations, your goals and how much cycling you intend to do. You can then hit the roads and trails at the right pace, stress-free, and enjoy seeing how far you've come in terms of strength, cardio fitness and general health.

The benefits of hybrid bike touring

Cycling to slim down and lose weight

Bike touring isn't just about keeping fit. It's also the perfect activity for losing weight. In fact, you could burn between 400 and 600 calories per hour, depending on how hard you ride! Even if you're only taking things gently, averaging around 16 km/h, you'll still burn around 250 calories. 

Another point worth mentioning is that cycling will help you to slim your figure and fight a common foe for women: cellulite! When you pair cycling with a balanced diet, you're sure to see rapid results.

Don't forget the psychological benefits

Take a moment to notice and appreciate the sense of freedom you get as you glide along on your bike, the simple pleasure of watching the natural world around you, and the feeling of a gentle breeze on your skin and the sun on your face. As well as being good for your physical health, cycling is great for your mind too! No matter how intensely you ride, cycling has an amazing effect on stress levels, well-being, memory, and even sleep. You'll feel the benefits right from the first turn of the pedals!

Give yourself regular breaks to explore landmarks you've never bothered to visit before, to have a natter with fellow cyclists, to sit with your nose in a book on a park bench, or to spread out your picnic blanket and have a lazy lunch. The more you ride, the further afield you'll go. Climbs that previously seemed impossible will become a doddle. Incredible views will open up before as you reach the summits of hills. And your nearest and dearest will be champing at the bit to join you on your adventures! With each ride, your self-confidence can't help but grow!

Ride and explore…


The benefits of hybrid bike touring

…at your own pace!

Bike touring is a brilliant way to:

- rediscover hidden gems in your local area
- treat yourself to local delicacies by stopping off at local markets and producers
- travel far and wide, exploring landscapes that you would never have even seen on other means of transport
Basically, it's the perfect way to relax!

If you want to escape the traffic, then head for greenways and official cycle routes where you can explore your holiday destination or your own neighbourhood at your own pace. Whether you're going out on your bike for half an hour, a day, a weekend, or several weeks in a row, bike touring is all about taking it easy as you travel from A to B, with absolutely no requirement to get somewhere within a given time!

The concept of 'slow tourism' really comes into its own with bike touring. The main aim, health benefits aside, is to spend time with others, enjoy incredible views and make lifelong memories, all in a way that you wouldn't be able to if you weren't on a bike. When planning your route, be sure to look out for businesses advertising themselves as being bike-friendly.

… no matter who you are

Cycling is a mixed activity that anyone can do and that offers multiple benefits for people of all ages! There are only a small number of cases in which cycling isn't recommended. So take care if you have back or joint problems, and if you have any concerns at all, consult your doctor before you get started.

Whether you want to ride gently for leisure, more actively to energise yourself, or intensely for a real adventure, cycling has something for everyone! All you need to do is choose the bike that's right for you.

An intergenerational activity you can do together

Cycling also gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family. It's a fun, affordable, outdoor activity that can be done as a family, without any moaning or arguments! Because, as we all know, kids love cycling! So why not take advantage of that to get them exploring local parks, little country lanes, or even other areas when you're away on holiday? They'll come back bursting with brilliant memories of the time you spent together getting away from it all! If you have very young kids, you might want to consider getting a child seat or child trailer, because you're never too young to enjoy that breath of fresh air! 

The benefits of hybrid bike touring

But don't worry if you don't have a family to drag along with you! Your partner, friends or members of your local cycling club will all make great cycling buddies. And take advantage of those chance encounters with other cyclists as you're riding along. Want to take things even further? Find your feet by going on a small tour first, before stepping things up to a national or even a world tour!

Cycling: an alternative to driving

Bikes are less noisy and polluting than other vehicles, kinder on your wallet, and allow you to glide past traffic jams unimpeded. At a time when the environment and cost of living are two of our biggest concerns, bike touring has the answer, not just for getting to work but for getting away on holiday too. There are no fuel costs to worry about, you won't have to pay for parking or tolls, and you'll be doing your bit to protect the planet, all while benefiting from the physical exercise yourself. 

It's such a practical, eco-friendly way of travelling at your own pace that, once you've tried it, you'll soon be hooked.

Over recent years, cycling has become more and more common as a way of commuting to work, travelling to social events and doing the shopping. Bike touring, too, has won over numerous new fans thanks to its many advantages, both physical and mental. Want to come along for the ride? All that remains is to find the bike that's right for you, and off you go! 

The benefits of hybrid bike touring

Caroline Segoni

"Ever since I first rode a bike, I've been hooked on cycling. Be it solo, with family or with friends, I simply love exploring the forests of Picardy, the mountain bike trails of the Chaîne des Puys and France's many dedicated cycling routes. It's so much fun cruising along the trails and discovering the local architecture, culture, art and cuisine. It's a passion I share through my blog, Graines De Baroudeurs, and in my travelogue, Notre Tour à 7 Roues, which tells the story of the 8-month cycling tour of France I did with my kids.

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