Cycling is a fun and easy way to get more active and can be enjoyed by everyone at all ages. It allows you to easily incorporate exercise into your daily routine because it is also a great form of transport.
Cycling is a low-impact type of exercise, so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities. As for exercise in general, it is recommended that you do at least 150 minutes of physical activity, so with just a few rides this can be easily achieved!
With summer upon us, cycling is the perfect option to get plenty of vitamin D if you don’t like exercising indoors at the gym. It’s also great for weight loss as brisk cycling burns around 500 calories per hour?
Cycling can not only help you lose weight, but also maintain weight and it has numerous other benefits too. Cycling can:
Boost your mood
Reduce your stress level
Reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke
Save you some money i.e. your daily commute and gym membership
Help the environment
To increase your weekly exercise, why don’t you cycle to work a few days a week, or do a couple of shorter rides during the week and add a longer ride at the weekend?
If you’re thinking about commuting by bike, you can plan your route to work using Sustrans or contact your local council for free cycling maps. You can also check Transport for London for interactive cycle journey planner and free local cycling maps.
As much as cycling is fun, don’t forget to stay safe while on the road. Here are a few tips you can follow are:
Look behind you before you turn, overtake or stop
Use arm signals before you turn right or left
Obey traffic lights and road signs
Don’t cycle next to another person on busy or narrow roads
When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely
Don’t use headphones and mobile phones whilst cycling
If you’re new to cycling or are out of the habit, find a traffic-free area to practice, such as your local park. Try to ride single-handed so you can make hand signals, and get comfortable looking over both shoulders to improve your visual awareness. If you want to cycle with confidence, visit CyclingUk and Bikeability for information on training schemes.
Unless you’re aiming to become a pro, any good working bike will do – hybrids, road or mountain bikes are the most popular. Go to any bike shops and talk to a specialist who can advise you on the correct frame size and help you choose the right bike to suit your budget and the type of cycling that you want to do.