Cycling to work brings many positives – physical, mental, environmental and financial – so here’s a quick run down of why you should hop on your bike!
Cycling is a great way to improve your general health and fitness. According to the British Heart Foundation, around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people kept themselves fitter. Incorporating cycling into your daily commute is a great way to get some exercise if you’re already busy – whilst going for a swim or lifting some weight requires you to take some time out of your day, cycling to work fits in with what you already have to do.
Other physical benefits of cycling include the fact that it’s a low-impact exercise, with 70% of your body weight going through the saddle and handlebars rather than your ankles. This makes a big difference if you’re looking to lose weight, as the reduced stress on your joints means you’re less likely to get injured as you build up your stamina.
It can also help you avoid illness! According to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, ﬁve days a week take about half as many sick days as those who don’t.
If you regularly have to deal with the stress of late or overcrowded trains, then cycling could provide you with a double de-stressing benefit. Not only do you avoid becoming too acquainted with a stranger’s armpit, but regular exercise reduces levels the stress hormone cortisol, meaning you’ll be in a great mood once you get to work!
Of course, there are huge environmental benefits to cycling in that you’re not producing carbon emissions whilst you travel. With 49% of commutes in England and Wales under 5km (typically taking 15 minutes to cycle), there’s huge scope for emissions to be reduced.
The cost of commuting can be a burden, particularly if you work in London, so choosing to cycle instead of getting the tube could save you heaps of cash. An annual Zone 1 – 3 travel card in London costs £1,472 – whereas cycling is free apart from the cost of your bike. A good bike for commuting can cost as little as £100, with the majority of bikes available under £500 – so it makes financial sense to start cycling.
So now you know, why not consider making the switch to two wheels instead of two rails?
For more information about Cycle to Work day, please visit their website: https://www.cycletoworkday.org/