Cycling is a fantastic way to get aerobic exercise that is exciting and low impact, helping people get in shape and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Simply jumping on a bicycle, sticking on your helmet and going for a ride can be very therapeutic and healthy, not to mention a lot of fun! So what is it about cycling that makes it so great? Is it the spandex? The flowery helmets and sporty water bottles?
It’s great exercise
Unlike running, cycling does not mean you are carrying your own weight and putting stress on your muscles and joints. This means you can get a great workout even if your body is less able, or not used to more impactful exercise. It also exercises a number of key muscle groups in the body including the arms and legs, not to mention the stomach and back muscles when keeping balance. As it is a form of aerobic exercise (using oxygen) it means that you’ll be able to go on for longer, as well as increasing your metabolism which is great for weight loss.
It has been estimated that each commuter in the UK emits 3.5kg of carbon a day through various modes of transport. Multiply that by the tens of millions of commuters, and you suddenly have a fair chunk of pollution. Cycling is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint and caring for the environment. Not only do you get some fun exercise, but you get to save the planet doing it! Cycling to the shops, to a friend’s house or even to work are perfect excuses to hop on the saddle and go for a ride, sparing the cost of fuel for your car. Of course, safety whilst cycling (especially in built up city areas) is very important, but fortunately there’s an increasing number of special cycle lanes and training programmes available.
It’s Fun and Free
There’s nothing quite like getting up on your bike and expending some energy out in the open, especially if you live near some beautiful green areas and open spaces. No matter your age or ability, cycling is one of those things that everyone can do. You can go at your own leisurely pace or enjoy some fast downhill action (avoiding other people of course). It’s also a great family activity and is an effective way to get the kids out of the house for some exercise.
At the end of the day, cycling is good for both the body and mind, paving the way for a healthy lifestyle. Don’t have a bicycle? Rent one or if you are in London, use one of the famous ‘Boris Bikes’ that can be found throughout the city. Forgotten how to ride? You’ll be surprised at how quickly it all comes back. Pedal away your worries, build up some speed and most importantly, have fun!