You don’t have to look far to discover some of the amazing benefits of cycling. It can improve your physical and mental health, save you money, help the planet among a whole range of other things. Taking up cycling often brings a huge boost to peoples lifestyle with many people claiming it’s the best choice they ever made. If you’re not quite convinced, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the benefits of cycling.
It’s not a race. You don’t have to be flat out all the time, trying to get as sweaty as you can before you get into the office to tell Dorothy the receptionist you cycled to work in the hope it’ll make her feel guilty and start buying 11am apples instead of the usual biscuits. It’s actually a really friendly ordeal. You’ll notice people that ride the same ways often, you can chat and cycle with friends. And before you know it, you’ll have chatted the journey away. It’s not always about how fast you can get there, some times it’s about enjoying the journey!
You Can Lose Weight.
Its easy to lose some of that timber cycling. It doesn’t put the pressure on your joints that running does and its much easier to recover from. Not to mention you can enjoy doing it with friends. It’s not often you get that from the gym or pool! Making the move to cycling can trim your stomach and you’ll enjoy yourself too!
You won’t have to subscribe to the local gym if you cycle or join the local club. And the membership is often less than £20 per year and a bike is a one off payment if you look after it well. Granted a bike isn’t the cheapest of things – but if you already have your bike – then riding with the club can be a great saving on your regular fitness classes. You’ll also save a lot of money on petrol and public transport along the way.
Exercise helps to boost the immune system and makes the cells that fight off illness more active. There’s a reason the annoyingly fit bloke in the office never gets ill! The body can be more efficient at regenerating it’s cells. Though exercise is often also associated with a healthy all round lifestyle, so this may also play a factor in the tests that have proved these results for the benefits of cycling.
Increase Your Lifespan.
Even when you ignore the other factors involved in a healthy lifestyle that exercise brings, exercise has been shown to keep your physiological age younger. By keeping the risk of disease low in later life, this can help you see a few more winters. As well as this the boosted immune system helps you keep smaller illnesses away.
Help Your Heart.
Cut your chances of heart disease in half by regularly getting out on the bike. We could save up to 10,000 heart attacks a year by people keeping themselves fitter. You don’t have to become Chris Froome – a gentle ride once or twice a week for around an hour can have huge benefits.
You’ll Sleep Better.
The first few rides might make you sleepier in the short term. But as the days go on it’ll help you feel energized and much better about your daily routine. Then when you get to bed in the evening you’ll have much better quality sleep. Insomniacs are often prescribed gentle exercise daily to encourage the body to fall back into a healthy sleep pattern. This can be for a number of reasons such as hormones and exposure to the outdoors.
Improve Stomach Health.
Exercise can help to decrease the amount of time it takes your body to process food as energy. This has a number of benefits but one is often that stools are easier to pass. It can improve the digestive system as a whole and when combined with a healthy diet can see huge progress in this area.
You’ll Arrive Sooner.
In the majority of UK’s cities, it’s actually faster to travel by bike. You can even do half bike half train if the distance is too far. But by cutting through the traffic, using cycle lanes and some parks you can often average 12-15mph. Whereas including traffic, the car can often barely get above 10mph as an average journey time. Not to mention the emissions that’ll cause.
See The Family.
If you can’t beat them, join them…. or something like that. If you’re struggling to get the kids looked after or plan a fun activity, taking the family out cycling is a great way to combine the two. As they grow you’ll be able to ride further and further and incorporate more fun. If you can all cycle a safe route to school, you’ll be able to get your training clocked off on the way back or to the office once they’re dropped off.
Support A Charity.
If you’ve signed up to an event that’s a significant milestone, it can motivate you to train and also help you to give something back to charity. Often people fundraise for sporting achievements to help causes close to their heart. This can inspire an incredible amount of people to get out of their comfort zone and make a difference.
Improve Sex Life.
Cycling can improve both male and female sexual health. Male athletes can perform in the bedroom with the energy of men up to 7 years younger studies have shown. It can also help to fight male erectile dysfunction and delay the start of the menopause in female athletes.
Save The Planet.
Now more than ever environmental impact is coming to the forefront of importance. Reducing your carbon footprint will help to save the planet for future generations. Spinning your legs around rather than pumping Co2 into the atmosphere will begin to help make a change. Cycling 10km to & from work can save 1500kg of greenhouse gas emissions year on year. It’s one of the best benefits of cycling.
You’ll Learn a Place Better
Everyone already thinks that they’re king of the city. But when you’re on a bike you get to explore areas even the taxi drivers don’t know. Just because you’ve lived there years, doesn’t mean you know it well. You’ll find a whole host of new routes, shortcuts, hangouts. Parks to explore on the weekends, tracks you’d like to come back & walk down. You might cycle past new coffee shops, learn the way the traffic flows. Travelling by bike is an incredible way to explore the local area.
Guilt Free Goodies.
It’s not often you can warrant piling in the sugar and salt. But if you’re building up to a big event or recovering then you’ll be able to afford some extra snacks. Or another trip to the dessert table. This can keep a smile on your face too, which in turn will keep you much healthier in the long run.
You’ll Hit More Deadlines.
If you exercise for 20-30 minutes or more at lunch, it’ll boost the hormones and chemicals in your brain to leave you feeling motivated and happy for the afternoon. You’ll interact better with your colleagues and get more out of your team. You also won’t need as many breaks in the afternoon meaning that you can accomplish much more and still leave at a reasonable time!
Exercise, specifically cycling, have been linked to creativity boosts. You can solve difficult puzzles or mental blocks while you’re in the saddle. As little as 30 minutes can really help you to get past the mental barrier and boost the creativity. It’ll increase the oxygen flowing through your brain which will help to give you that clarity of thought. Plus you can’t be stuck doing mind numbing chores while you’re riding.