Cycling can be a good way to fit exercise into your daily routine; whether it’s cycling to work, taking on the British countryside or pedalling away at a spinning class. It's an activity that can be easily enjoyed by all – not to mention it’s a great way to keep fit and healthy!
So what are some of the benefits of cycling, and how can you get involved?
Burn those calories away
Depending on your weight and how fast you pedal, you could burn anywhere up to as many as 300 calories for a 20 minute bike ride.1 What’s more, after cycling for 30 minutes, you could be burning a higher amount of total calories for a few hours after you get off your bike.2
It’s a great overall workout too – not only does it tone the muscles in your legs, the faster you pedal the faster your heart rate will be, so you’ll benefit from the cardiovascular exercise too.1
Pedal away your worries
According to a study, bike commuters have reported lower stress levels than their driving counterparts.3
It can also bring about other mental health benefits too – cardiovascular exercise is the best for releasing endorphins, or ‘happy hormones’4, so getting on your bike could help to boost your mood, as well as burning off calories.
If you don’t fancy cycling on your own, there are many cycling clubs across the UK you can join – check out British Cycling’s club finder to find one near you. Joining a cycling club would give you the added benefit of social interaction whilst exercising, yet again helping to boost your mood.4
Don’t fancy getting out on the roads just yet? Why not try a spinning class. Most health clubs and gyms run regular classes, plus doing your cycling indoors means you won’t get wet or cold, although getting sweaty is a guarantee.
Help the environment
Cycling is good for the environment too as it helps reduce carbon emissions – an average car produces over four tons of carbon dioxide per year5 whereas on a bike, the only energy burnt is calories. You can also save money that would normally be spent on fuel commuting to and from work.
Cyclescheme is an employee benefit that can save an individual between 25 – 39% on the cost of a bike and accessories. If your employer is involved in the scheme, you don’t pay anything upfront for the bike and the payments are taken from your salary by your employer, making it tax efficient. Find out more about the scheme here.
Some fun facts you might not know about cycling6:
- There are twice as many bikes in the world than cars
- You can fit about 15 bikes in the same space that just one car occupies
- It’s 20 times cheaper to maintain a bike than a car
- The world manufactures about 100 million bikes each year
So what are you waiting for? Get back on your bike and get pedaling to a healthier lifestyle. Don’t forget to always wear your helmet and, if it's dark, make sure you're wearing suitable high-visibility clothing and have lights on the front and rear of your bike. Get more information on cycling health and safety here.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and how our cash plans can help with your everyday health and wellbeing, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/good-all-round