The World Health Organization has published new guidelines on the amount of physical activity needed to stay healthy, and that's good news for cyclists and the advocates of the right mix between wellness and business we are. The article here is highly recommended reading and the bottom line is that 4 to 5 million deaths per year could be avoided if humans were more active physically!
Source: The WHO highlighted six key messages in their latest physical activity recommendations.
Drilling down from this high level consideration I looked at the health impact on myself after I decided to be more active 10 years ago and after the WfH boost of 2020. I don't have medical follow up and can't proof anything with blood analysis and the like but just based on how I feel it's a no brainer. I feel way better and have more energy and more mental resilience. Next to that I have some clear benefits like a drop in BMI to 22.4
It's easy to track, just measure your weight and divide it by the square of your height in meters and follow up in a tool like Garmin Connect or Apple Health and you see what's happening.
As cyclists we all know that your FTP divided by your weight is a key indicator of your fitness and obviously losing weight is beneficial. As an anecdote I remember a friend with some overweight asking a cycle vendor about the benefits of a carbon frame. The answer was bold and not very polite stating that my friend would benefit more from losing 5 kg than winning 2 kg on the weight of his bike... (room for sales training here 😂).
Another track of your fitness level is the VO2 max level. Basically it reflects cardiorespiratory fitness and endurance capacity and almost every tracking tool measures this with more or less accuracy. The absolute number is less important than the trend and training more isn't always beneficial when you overdo it. Discipline is key and avoiding to go into deep red territory is important. As with everything in life it's finding the right balance which is best.
Last data point is coming from Strava with the Fitness and Freshness overview. Here you can clearly see the seasonality of your condition and also see how fast you can drop, get exhausted or gain again. Compared to Garmin you also get indoor cycling results to count and that gives a better view.
Based on 10 years of experience I can say that cycling twice a week keeps you in shape. Using indoor training like Zwift is important to avoid the winter collapse. With regular exercise you increase your fitness levels, reduce your weight, increase your cardiorespiratory capacity and feel better in general. The World Health Organisation confirmed this with scientific evidence. Sic Moventur!
Needing help to transform intention into action? Some tips here!