Yes, Summer has arrived! Granted, it’s a very British Summer: rain one minute, blazing sun the next, but it is here. So, why not get out and enjoy the weather while we can. I’ve put together a foolproof list of ten reasons why YOU should get out on the bike today. No excuses allowed.
If you’re feeling tired and down in the dumps the best thing you can do is get outdoors and start a daily exercise habit. Whether it’s running, walking, cycling or some other physical activity the important thing is you’re out in the fresh air getting your daily dose of Vitamin D. So if you’re having a bad day, feeling bored and lethargic then head out for a spin.
One of my favourite things about cycling is the fresh air and discovering treasures I’ve never seen before. It sounds cliche I know and I’m as much attached to my phone and laptop as the next person but nothing beats the Great Outdoors and the freedom of whizzing through stunning country lanes.
Although there are many ways you can make cycling costly, it turns out to be one of the least expensive forms of exercise. All you need is a bike and there are plenty of inexpensive options out there. AND if you’re looking for a cycle on a tax-free gradual payment basis you should check out the cycle to work scheme. If you are commuting to work you’ll save on travel costs and get fit at the same time (no need for that gym membership after all).
- It’s a great way to get fit –
Did you know cycling uses almost every muscle in your body? The lower body is used the most, but that’s not to write off the abdomen and back muscles which play a predominant role in keeping the bike upright and stabilising your body. Plus, your metabolic rate which is boosted during the ride will keep burning fat for you afterwards (so take advantage of that with guilt-free snacks).
Cycling reduces anxiety and depression and puts you in a great mood. Endorphins are also known as the ‘happy hormone’ and released into your body when you exercise. So if you’re feeling anxious, depressed or stressed the magic cure is, of course, a bike ride.
- You’re saving the planet –
Travelling on two wheels is one of the greenest ways to travel from A to B and it turns out if you do something good you get something back! According to a study carried out by Imperial College London city cyclists breathe in substantially less pollution than the unfortunate drivers and passengers on the road. The presiding theory is that unlike drivers, cyclist ride on the edge of the road and avoid the worst of the exhaust.
- Cycle with others (if that’s your thing) –
Cycling isn’t something you have to do alone. There are lots of cycling clubs and societies and you’ll easily make new friends. Even if you don’t have that much in common cycling is a common interest. Sharing the pain and joy of an event you’ve just ridden together will be enough of a bonding experience. If you’re interested in cycling in a group then enter your postcode to find a local club near you.
Yes, Cycling does actually make you smarter.A study from the University of Illinois proves cycling increases the hippocampus, one of several parts of the brain attributed to learning and memory. Thus the loss of brain function normally associated with ageing is counteracted.
If you start cycling you’ll notice how much better you’re sleeping at night. This is because you’re exposing to skin to the sunlight and getting rid of the stress hormone, cortisol. So if you don’t get out much then we recommend giving cycling a go. We promise you’ll notice the difference if you just take the bike out for a thirty minute spin.
I started cycling when I was three or four and was friends with an old gentleman who cycled every day of his life. The important thing to remember is anyone can cycle. Nowadays, cycling even caters for the disabled with the advent of tricycles and cycling with your hands for wheelchair users. So if you are disabled have a look at this website: get cycling.org.uk and start cycling today.