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There’re 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…our time is a precious thing! 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 time to squeeze in a workout on top of all that. Hey, the day’s rushing about must be exercise enough, right?
In your heart, you know that’s probably not the case. So why not change one of your routines to deal with two issues at once — change your travel method to be a means of travel and exercise! Have you ever considered cycling to work? Even if you don’t know your BMX bikes from your Cube mountain bikes, cycling to work is super-accessible for newcomers. It’s a fantastic way to bring cycling into your daily routine seamlessly, and it offers a wide array of benefits for you.
The perks of cycling
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.
Plus, you can choose to cycle alone for some much-needed alone time, or if you prefer, you could join a group and build up a new social circle. Former hour record holder, Graeme Obree, commented to Cycling Weekly: “Getting out and riding will help [people suffering with depression] … Without cycling, I don’t know where I would be.”
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.
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?
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 will skip over all those problems!
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!
Bringing cycling in
No doubt you’re itching to jump on a bike now to start reaping the rewards, but hold on a second. There’s a few things to prepare before you jump on a bike seat and pedal off.
First thing’s first, you’re going to need a few bits of kit. According to Cycling Weekly, the key ingredient to a successful cycling commute are:
- A bike that will see you through any weather and not need much maintenance. A road bike is perfect for this.
- Mudguards, so you’re not splashed with dirt upon arrival!
- Wide tyres, to grip better in wet weather and keep you comfy.
- A white front light and red back light, as these are a legal requirement when riding before dawn or after dusk.
- A backpack, to carry your stuff in.
- A bike lock.
After you’re all set up, the only other thing you need is confidence. According to Cycling Weekly: “Hugging the curb often encourages drivers to pass closely, which will only increase any nervousness that caused you to do so in the first place — so avoid this and keep a safe distance that affords you room to swerve around a pothole should you need to.
“When approaching junctions, check behind you and move into the centre of the lane when it’s safe to do so — this prevents anyone from overtaking or undertaking when it’s not safe to do so.”
Make sure you can look behind you when cycling, as well as being able to ride one-handed. The latter is useful as you’ll need to use your hand to tell other road users that you’re turning.
When you get to work, hop in the shower if you have one at the office, or whip out some dry shampoo and wipes to freshen up quickly before heading to your desk. Keep a pair of office shoes under your desk to change into as well — another perk is your office shoes will be clean, as you won’t be using them outside much if you have shoes to cycle in!
No doubt you’re raring to go, so get out there and improve your commute to make it healthier, greener, and cheaper!
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed this post.
If you enjoyed this post, you may like my post on alternative ways of getting fit.
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