Whether you’re a committed cyclist or relatively new to it, chances are you’ve been peddling about a bit more over the last year. And there are so many reasons to continue cycling and build on the health benefits you’ve gained so far.
Cycling is great cardiovascular exercise, which is good for your heart and lungs, and it also helps raise your metabolic rate – not only while you’re on your bike but when you’re resting too – which means you’re burning more calories the whole time, and not just when working out.
Because it uses the big muscles in your legs, it’s also a great form of resistance exercise – another metabolism-booster and a brilliant way to build stronger, healthier bones.
If you’re strapped for time but you still want those health benefits, hop on your bike and grab a quick blast of fitness. And while we’re talking of speed, remember cycling is a great way to get to wherever you need to be, avoiding traffic queues and getting fitter at the same time.
If you cycle three miles by bike to work every weekday, for example (a total daily journey of six miles), you’ll easily achieve your recommended amount of activity each week (150 minutes) without ever having to set foot in a gym. You’ll also be notching up two benefits in one, getting your workout on your way to work!
Studies have shown that adults who cycle regularly enjoy the general health of someone ten years younger, and it’s well known that exercise boosts brain cells, which helps with co-ordination and concentration.
Regular exercise is a great investment in your long-term health too, helping reduce your risk of major illnesses like heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes by up to 50% and lowering your risk of early death by up to 30%. And because cycling helps support your immune system, you’ll be more resistant to bugs than people who don’t exercise.
We have plenty of cycle routes for you to try on The Bridgwater Way – many of them with very little on-road cycling, which is great if you’re a little nervous or just starting out. There’s also a useful route-planning map that will help you plan any journey on your bike from start to finish: maps.thebridgwaterway.co.uk