Today 3rd of June is World Bicycle Day, a day that aims to encourage more people to get on their bikes to discover the many benefits of cycling. It's no secret that we're big fans of cycling! So here we reveal eight of the best benefits of cycling, for some coffee break inspiration to get you on your bike.
8 reasons to cycle more
1. The feel-good factor
Many types of exercise are helpful for boosting the feel-good hormones, endorphins, and cycling is one of the best. Cycling also makes you smile and feel better because it’s outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight. Even if you are not in the best of moods when you get on your bike it’s likely that you will find yourself smiling half-way through your ride – and especially afterwards. That feel-good factor can last for many hours more as well.
2. For weight loss
Cycling is a great calorie burner because it is a cardiovascular activity. The number of calories burned will depend on your weight and how hard you cycle, as well as the distance travelled, but even a short but regular bike ride will be beneficial to your physical health and can help you to lose weight.
3. To boost your health
Another benefit of cardiovascular exercise is the boost to your longer-term health. This type of exercise has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, some forms of cancer and diabetes. It is also a great way to improve your immune system and research shows that people who cycle regularly enjoy the well-being of someone 10 years their junior.
4. Saves money
Apart from walking and running, cycling is the cheapest way to get from A to B. You could aim to cycle to work a few times a week if that is feasible or try cycling to the shops instead of taking the car.
5. Saves the planet
It takes about 5% of the materials and energy that are used to make a car to build a bike. And a bike produces zero pollution when it's being ridden. In addition, if more people swapped the short journeys made by car for a bike there would be a lot less carbon pollution.
Switch up your commute. Good for you, good for the planet.
Did you know that more than two-thirds of all car journeys made in the UK are between one and two miles and almost 75% are less than five miles? Yet many of these these journeys could be done by bike instead. A cycling holiday is also a way to reduce the impact of your holidays on the environment.
6. It’s faster
Cycling short distances, especially at busy commuter times, can often be quicker than driving or taking public transport. In fact, research by Citroen found that cyclists in many of the UK’s major cities arrived at a destination in half the time of cars. In cities where there is a good network of cycle lanes and cycling paths, you’ll get to your destination quicker than if you have to face the stop-start of driving a car through traffic lights etc.
Try a bike mapping app like Ride with GPS or Map my Ride to plan a safe route and track your progress. Even google maps will let you select a route from A to B by bike, suggesting the best route for cyclists.
7. For quality family time
Many families find they can happily cycle together. Younger children can cycle on a tag-along or sit in a bike seat, while older children will normally find they can keep up with their parents so long as the routes are not too long or hilly. Cycling together can be very enjoyable and it offers the perfect activity for chatting and laughing together. Cycling as a family also promotes a positive and healthier lifestyle, which many children then take on into their adulthood. If you enjoy cycling together as a family, why not think about a family cycling holiday?
Bring the kids along, on a bike seat, trailer, or their own bikes as soon as they're old enough.
8. You’ll sleep better
Cycling is good for promoting a better quality of sleep. American researchers asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20 to 30 minutes every other day. They found that the time it took them to fall asleep was reduced by half and their sleep time increased by an hour.
Inspired to get on your bike? Great! Do it today, dust of the bike this evening and take a ride, plan a cycling trip, or switch tomorrow's commute!
This post was originally published in June 2017