Is your New Years resolution to get healthier and reduce your carbon footprint?
If so, cycling is a step in the right direction. If you’re not already a keen cyclist, you may be unaware of all the positive health and lifestyle benefits. Amongst all the physical and mental health benefits, taking to the saddle also has significant financial and environmental benefits.
Short commuter journeys between work and home heavily contribute to global pollution levels. Often these short commutes consist of individuals sitting in heavy traffic, wasting fuel and therefore time and money.
So, what are the health benefits?
On average cycling burns between 400 to 1000 calories an hour, depending on intensity and rider weight. By swapping your 5-minute car journey to a 30-minute cycle, you’re also increasing your daily activity levels. For many individuals that work seated for large proportions of the day, this is a drastic increase in activity. So, just by swapping up your commute, you are already achieving 1 hour of cardio exercise!
Assuming that other lifestyle factors are balanced, cycling to work should result in overall weight loss.
Cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise that raises your heart rate helps to pump blood around the body. In turn, this burns calories and reduces the chance of being overweight. Amongst other exercises recommended by the NHS, cycling cuts the risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
By taking the bike to work you are not only burning fat, but you are also building muscle. The resistance that is felt when cycling is in fact building and toning muscle. Areas such as the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves are often the most targeted muscle groups. So, you can dismount from your commute knowing that you’re improving your overall wellbeing.
Individuals that have a physically active lifestyle are often healthier mentally. When an individual takes part in physical exercise adrenaline, and endorphins are released. As a result, the general mood is boosted and can leave people feeling more confident. By taking to the bike, you are combining physical activity with being outdoors, which is a tremendous emotional benefit. Whether you choose to ride to work solo or with a work colleague, it’s a great way to start the day healthy, both mentally and physically.
Exercise is an essential part of living a balanced lifestyle. For some individuals, exercise can result in muscle related injuries. Unlike running, cycling is a non-weight bearing exercise. This means that there is less pressure placed on joints and muscles in comparison to activities like running.