There’s just not enough hours in the day, it seems. Between getting to and from work, to the working day itself, getting home, cooking tea, doing some housework, catching up on the latest episode of your favourite show so no one in the office can spoil it for you…aaah we’re exhausted just listing it! With so many plates spinning, as well as trying to remember to get your five-a-day and drink enough water, it’s no wonder many of us feel we don’t have the time or energy to squeeze into our gym gear and squeeze in a workout.
But here’s the thing. What if we were to say that by simply altering your routine, you’ll be able to incorporate enough exercise into your life to keep you fit, healthy and full of vigour? The best way to do this, we think, is through cycling. Simply replace the daily commute, the thrice weekly trip to the shops, the drive for pleasure at the weekend, and more, with a trip out on two wheels. So even if you don’t know your BMX bikes from your Cube mountain bikes, we’re here to help, with this; our 6 IDEAL ways to add cycling into your daily routine.
A BOOST TO MENTAL WELLBEING
Cycling isn’t just a quick and enjoyable way to get from one place to another. It can also help with your mental wellbeing. A study by the YMCA found that people who had physical activity in their daily routine held a 32% higher wellbeing score than those who didn’t. For those pressed for time, cycling is an easy way to achieve this without sacrificing precious free time.
Although it’s a traditionally a seat for one, cycling can be as sociable as you like. Former hour record holder Graeme Obree commented to Cycling Weekly that “getting out and riding will help [people suffering from depression] … Without cycling, I don’t know where I would be.” Much of this is due to the social aspect, with clubs and events up and down the country offering a much needed chance to many to meet new people. This sense of community extends to the commute; you’ll find an increased camaraderie with others in the office who choose to do the journey on two wheels. Before you know it, you’ll be discussing best routes and places to lock up your bike with colleagues over a pint.
YOU’LL LOSE WEIGHT & GET TONED…
If you’re seeking some weight loss too, good news; cycling can burn between 400 and 1,000 calories per hour, depending on factors such as weight and intensity. It’s also a brilliant muscle-builder, so if you’re looking to tone up, cycling has you covered.
….AND INCREASE THE LIKELIHOOD OF LIVING LONGER
That’s without mentioning the improvements to a person’s overall health from cycling. Cycling is noted to contribute towards reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improving your lung health. It is also known to aid in getting a good night’s sleep, and even increase your brain power! Get smart and get fit, all while getting to work. Does your car offer that?
IT MIGHT MAKE YOUR COMMUTE QUICKER
Speaking of your car, you might worry about the speed in which you’ll get to work on a bike compared to your car or public transport routes. But cycling to work could actually be a quicker method than driving, depending on the distance and the traffic. Always hitting the rush hour or stuck in traffic? A bike can give those problems a swerve.
A BUDGET FRIENDLY OPTION
So, by cycling to work, you could potentially make your commute shorter, healthier, and more enjoyable. But it can also save you money! Cyclescheme.co.uk presented the following scenario: a cyclist travels a total of 10 miles to get to and from work. Taking holidays out of the example, in a 48-week year the cyclist would cover 2,400 miles. In fuel costs, this would be around £320, based on the fuel prices of that year (2011). Given the surge in fuel prices in the last ten years, you can imagine how much that saving has increased. Yes, you might need to buy the odd chainset – check out BikeParts selection – but bike repairs are much more affordable than your typical car equivalent.