You will get to work happier and more productive
It has been found that those who cycle to work turn up happier and more productive. A study of 200 employees showed that those who exercised either before work or during their lunch break showed improved time and workload management, and it boosted their motivation and ability to deal with stress. They also took fewer breaks and found it easier to finish work on time.
So not only can cycling help with your fitness and stress levels, it can also make your boss love you!
Cycling can help you look and feel up to 10 years younger
Studies have shown that those who cycle regularly can enjoy the general health of someone up to 10 years younger!
Exercise increases circulation and helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to cells, while flushing harmful toxins out, it also creates the perfect environment for optimal collagen production; these factors help to speed up the healing process, protect the skin from harmful UV rays, and reduce signs of ageing.
So rather than constantly spending on all the latest beauty products, take up cycling and enjoy your new found youth!
Easily do your bit for the environment
Hopping on a bike is one of the easiest ways to dramatically reduce your carbon footprint and to do your bit for the environment.
To state the obvious, riding a bike uses zero fuel (except that from yourself) and so doesn’t pollute the atmosphere with harmful emissions. The manufacturing of a bike is also less harmful to the environment as it only uses around 5% of the materials needed to make a car.
You are also doing your lungs a favour as despite what you may think, cycling exposes you to substantially less harmful pollution than riding in a car, taxi, or on a bus.
The initial purchase of a bike may be slightly pricey but is still much cheaper than a car. In fact, it costs around 20% less per year to maintain a bike than it does a car. If you live a reasonable distance from work, try biking there, not only will you improve your fitness, but you’ll also save a ton on fuel and car service costs.
Lose weight and Improve overall health
You may already know that cycling helps you to keep fit and lose weight, but you may know exactly how much. Cycling at a brisk speed for an hour can see you burn up to 600 calories! In fact most bike commuters have reported losing 15 to 20 pounds during their first year, without even changing their eating habits.
Not only is cycling great for keeping off the pounds, it’s also good at keeping the doctor away
Moderate exercise helps keep out immune cells more active and ready to fight off infection, not only that but cycling just 30 minutes a day can reduce the risk of developing cancer; it has been found that men who exercise can half their risk, and women can see up to a 34% less chance of developing breast cancer. It also helps to dramatically lower the risk of fatal heart attacks.
So hop on the bike and live a long and happy life!
Beneficial for your mental health
As well as being great for your physical fitness, cycling also has proven benefits for your mental health. It can help with everything from stress and hypertension, to depression and anxiety.
It has been shown that those who exercise regularly experience reduced stress, improved sleeping patterns and, generally, a better outlook on life. This is because exercise decreases stress hormones, e.g. cortisol, and increases feel good hormones, e.g. serotonin and dopamine, which leads to a feeling of euphoria and a state of wellbeing.
Guilt free snacks
With regular cycling you can justify the odd indulgence; like that slice of cake or chocolate bar you’ve been eyeing for a while.
In fact, before a big ride it is advised to stock up on carbs and protein for energy and salty foods, e.g. crisps, which you would usually avoid, preventing hyponatraemia; caused by drinking too much water without sufficient levels of sodium, which can cause disorientation, illness, and worse.
Developing a positive addiction
Taking up cycling is a great way to curb those potentially harmful cravings; whether it be smoking, alcohol, or chocolate.
German scientists proved that the phenomenon called a ‘runners high’ does very much exist, and applies to all endurance sports.
They visualised endorphin in volunteers before and after a 2 hour cardio session and found more of the happy hormone in the frontal and limbic regions of the brain (associated with with emotional processing and stress relief) after exercise. Concluding that exercise is a great way to get that healthy (legal) high you’ve been looking for.
Enjoy healthy family time
Cycling is a sport the whole family can enjoy; from toddlers to grandparents. It’s a great way to spend some quality family time together while keeping fit and active! (you never know you may even be raising the nest Chris Hoy or Victoria Pendelton).
Rather than spending every weekend with the kids going to the cinema and hitting the fast-food restaurants, try taking a ride out to the countryside (or even the local park) and be sure to pack a picnic for a well-deserved treat.
What more of a reason could you need to hop on the saddle! Whether riding alone or with family or friends, you’re sure to have a great time while benefitting from all the things listed above.
So what are you waiting for, get on your bike and get cycling!