HomeAnswersIs cycling good for your lungs?

Is cycling good for your lungs?

This question is about Cycling
Sarah Achleithner
Yes, research indicates that cycling is good for lung function and improves cardiovascular fitness  [1]. Cycling promotes lung health for people with or without a lung condition, and studies have shown that those with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer can use cycling as part of a pulmonary rehabilitation program [2, 3]. Lung function can be greatly improved by cycling for about 170–250 minutes per week, however, some people see an improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness from cycling as little as 20 minutes a day [1,4]. 
The back of two cyclists in yellow jerseys with a mountain in the background
[1] Oja, P., Titze, S., Bauman, A., de Geus, B., Krenn, P., Reger-Nash, B., & Kohlberger, T. (2011). Health benefits of cycling: a systematic review. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 21(4), 496–509. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01299.x
[2] Cavalheri, V., & Granger, C. L. (2020). Exercise training as part of lung cancer therapy. Respirology, 25(S2), 80–87. https://doi.org/10.1111/resp.13869 
[3] Spruit, M. A., Burtin, C., De Boever, P., Langer, D., Vogiatzis, I., Wouters, E. F., & Franssen, F. M. (2016). COPD and exercise: does it make a difference? Breathe (Sheffield, England), 12(2), e38–e49. https://doi.org/10.1183/20734735.003916 
[4] Møller, N. C., Østergaard, L., Gade, J. R., Nielsen, J. L., & Andersen, L. B. (2011). The effect on cardiorespiratory fitness after an 8-week period of commuter cycling--a randomized controlled study in adults. Preventive medicine, 53(3), 172–177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.06.007