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Cycling and the benefits for health and weight management.

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Along with walking, cycling is a brilliant form of cardio exercise. The bike supports the body which means it has a low impact effect on all our joints but gives high cardiovascular results. In essence, you can work hard without straining yourself too much.

A recent study of 264,337 people, found that cycling to work is linked with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared to commuting by car or public transport. As little as 20 miles a week (4 miles each work day) on a bike can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by half.

Cycling enables the heart to work harder, improving blood flow and circulation. It also improves breathing and oxygen absorption. In addition to the physical benefits, cycling will also burn those extra calories. A four mile cycle, which will typically lasts around 20-25 minutes, will burn around 200 extra calories.

Cycling not only benefits our bodies, but it also has huge benefits for the environment. The UK Government have set into Law that the country will be carbon neutral by 2050. A typical car will produce 221.4g of carbon dioxide by mile, where as cycling will only produce 18g of carbon dioxide per mile. Immediately, cycling ensures we have cleaner air to breathe which benefits everyone's health, and supports the 2050 carbon target.

Cycling is also a wonderful shared experience to do with friends or family. It enables you to explore new parts of your local area and many woodland and green spaces now have designated cycle routes. This leads to a boost in well-being, greater number of calories burnt and it is a fun social activity for everyone to share.

Sometimes, the purchase of a bike can put many people off cycling. The UK Government runs the Cycle Hire Scheme, sometimes referred to as the Cycle to Work Scheme. The scheme has been designed to encourage employees to cycle to work with tax incentives for employers. You effectively hire a bike with the option to purchase it after two years. Speak to your local cycle shop and your employer about the scheme. The link below provides some additional information.

Happy cycling, but don't forget your helmet!

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