Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling is an aerobic form of exercise that provides considerable benefits to your health. It will leave you feeling better in yourself and it can provide protection against a range of illnesses.
To get started you do not need any special clothing just a roadworthy bike. Once your confidence has grown you will soon find that it can be a quicker way of getting around the town or your local shops than by car.
There are plenty of quiet routes within the town in addition to the cycle paths covering many of the main roads into town that you can use to get started. By building up slowly from shorter distances, to nearby shops or some quiet roads near where you live, your confidence will grow, you will soon be able to commute within the town & you may also consider cycling as a leisure activity.
- Cycling 20 miles or more a week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than half that for non cyclists who take no other exercise.
- Cycling can also reduce the risk of other serious conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and the most common form of diabetes.
Cyclists and pedestrians absorb lower levels of pollutants from traffic fumes than car drivers.
Regular cycling can add in excess of 2 years to your life expectancy.
A 15-minute bike ride to and from work five times a week burns off the equivalent of 11 pounds of fat in a year.
Occasional and regular cyclists enjoy a level of fitness equivalent to being between five and ten years younger.
Moderate exercise such as cycling has been found to reduce levels of depression and stress, improve mood and raise self-esteem. It has also been found to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
Moderate cycling will burn off calories at a rate in excess of 300 calories an hour.
- Cycling as part of normal daily activities can yield much the same improvements in physical performance as specific training programmes.
Are there risks?
In 2003 there were around 40,000 deaths per year due to physical inactivity and 113 deaths due to cycling.
There is one cyclist death for every 7 million miles ridden in the UK.
See how much you can save by cycling to work instead of using your car on the Cycle to Work Now Scheme site and read their information on the health benefits and details of cycle purchase under the scheme. You can also read Rob's blog and find out his experiences when he started cycling to work & the improvements he benefited from in his health & how he made significant costs savings of £60 a week on his 20 mile commute to work & back.
See how many calories you burn up every day by using our link to a Calorie Counter provided by the Food Standards Agency. Simply enter your weight & the time in minutes spent on each of your activities each day.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a useful indicator of whether you are a health weight for your height so simply enter your details on this BMI Indicator provided by the Food Standards Agency to find out more.
Sources of information