It will keep you slim
It may not be rocket science, but it is proven; cycling is one of the best forms of exercise for staying trim. Researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Centre for Diet and Activity Research found that for people who switched from driving to cycling to work and rode for more than 30 minutes each way, there was an average reduction of around one stone over 12 months.
It could prevent heart disease
It may be an ambitious claim, but a five-year study of 250,000 UK commuters was published in April which showed that regular cycling to work reduced the risk of death by heart disease by 46%. The research, from the University of Glasgow, also revealed that taking to two wheels cut the incidence of cancer by 45%, with the team claiming that cycling took no willpower once it became part of the work routine.
You’ll see another side of your local area
Parks, water, historic buildings . . . they’re all right here on your doorstep, but how often do you really notice them? Stuck behind a wheel, we rarely get the chance to look at our surroundings, but move onto two wheels and you’ll see your environment from a whole new perspective.
It will help you to de-stress
Numerous studies have shown the mental health benefits, with one in particular finding that after pedalling a stationary bike for 15 minutes, the levels of stress hormone cortisol in people with depression who were being treated with antidepressants, declined.
Another piece of research, by researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) found that active commuters felt better able to concentrate and under less strain than when travelling by car.
It will help the environment
Requiring no fuel to run, less energy to make than a car, and no batteries or motor oil, bikes are an extremely green form of transport. And that’s before you take into account the polluted air and car particles and debris that end up in the atmosphere. So, by jumping on a bike, not only are you improving your own wellbeing – you’re also doing your bit when it comes to saving the planet.