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The benefits of cycling: 10 reasons to ride a bike

Photo Credits: Mabel Amber @ Pexels

Are you thinking about getting on the saddle? Cycling is a low-impact exercise that is both physically and mentally health-giving – the health benefits are endless. Here are 10 reasons why you should get on the saddle and start cycling this summer.

1. Boosts Mental Health

Just like the ‘runners high’ there is such a thing as a cyclists high.  Not only does cardio activity reduce stress, but cycling, in particular, is also proven to reduce anxiety. The continuous uniform movement of cycling has a relaxing effect on the brain and improves creativity. Now we can see why cycling to and from work is a great idea – stimulate your creative juices and de-stress on route home.

2. It’s great for beginners

You need very little equipment to get started, just a bike and a cycling helmet. For newbies, remember one of the many benefits of cycling is that it is low impact. Take it at your own pace. As you get fit, you can increase the intensity.

3. Weight Management

Cycling is a fun way to exercise and lose a few pounds. You can add it to your daily commute, challenge yourself to interval training or plan a weekend bike ride with friends. Just 30 minutes of cycling along with a balanced healthy diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

4. Cycling builds muscle

The movement of pedaling encourages your muscles to grow from working against resistance. You’ll see the results in your lower body, particularly your quads and glutes. Cyclists that use clip pedals will also work the hamstrings.

5. It could be a new hobby!

There is more to riding a bike than just a means of travel. Get the whole family involved and enjoy the many bike paths that we have on our doorstep. Plan a picnic and make it a full-day family affair. Once you catch the cycling bug, there are also so many great cycle paths to explore – from the Danube Cycle Path in Austria to the Sea to Sea Cycle Route here in the UK. New hobby pending!

6. It’s environmenally friendly

Opting to use your bike instead of a car or public transport is one of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

7. Better for your purse strings

There are many economic benefits to cycling. First and foremost, it’s cheaper to own a bike than it is to have a car. Once you buy the bike, there are no monthly payments, insurance, or fuel to pay.  And, for those not ready to buy there are many bike-sharing options to explore.

8. Improves your overall health

Cycling raises your heart rate and burns calories, reducing the chance of you being overweight, which has a huge impact on your overall health and cuts your risk of developing major illnesses later in life.

9. Improves posture

Office workers will know it can be challenging to maintain an upright position sitting at your desk all day. Riding a bike forces you to stabilise your body and makes you more aware of your posture.

10. It’s FUN

Most importantly – cycling is fun! And, what’s not to love? Better sleep, more energy, it’s easy to fit into your daily routine, better overall quality of life and you’ll reap all of these incredible benefits. Ready, set, go!

What to wear cycling: the checklist

Now that you’re ready to pedal here are a few of the essentials for cycling safely.