Cycling to Work: The Benefits

You only have one body. While we’re young, it’s fair to say that we have a bad habit of taking our bodies for granted. We park them behind desks, fill them with junk foods, put them through hangovers and don’t let them get the sleep they need to recharge and maintain optimum health. Most of us try to keep ourselves in shape by attending the gym 2 or 3 times a week and keeping an eye on what we eat… most of the time and watching our alcohol intake. However, in order to embrace the healthy lifestyle, sometimes we need to think a little more outside the box. This might mean jogging instead of walking, getting out and about more instead of spending a clement evening in front of the TV and never picking up the car keys to go somewhere when we can cycle.

No automatic alt text available.
When people say thank god for puberty, this is what they mean. Killer wet-look spiked hair!

I used to be really into BMX (see pic above haha), whilst it doesn’t carry the same purpose as getting from A to B on a road bike the benefits were still evident. During the peak of my riding ‘career’ I had the best leg development I had ever had. It also provided a form of exercise on a daily basis that I actually loved to do.

While the allure of the car is easy to understand, especially when the alarm goes off in the morning and we’d rather sacrifice an opportunity to cycle to work when we can have an extra 20 minutes in bed. It offers convenience and protection from the elements, but cycling has some very real benefits that will improve your health, your fitness and your quality of life if you’re prepared to commit to leaving your car on the driveway…

You may well be safer than most drivers

Although cyclists are relatively vulnerable compared to their car driving peers who are safely ensconced in boxes of metal, plastic and glass, there is evidence to suggest that cycling may actually be safer than driving, especially for young people. Cyclists are more agile and better able to perceive hazards and react to them quickly. While you should contact if you are injured on your bike as a result of another driver’s negligence, as a cyclist you will be better able to prevent yourself from steering into hazards. Plus, you’ll be able to hop off your bike and wheel it along the curb when you see hazards ahead, so they won’t even slow you down.

Your risk of heart disease and cancer drops

Cycling is more than just a mode of transportation. It’s also a great exercise for cardiovascular fitness. If you cycle to work every day for a year not only will your cardiovascular and respiratory fitness skyrocket, not only will you blast body fat while toning your legs, glutes and core, along with burning calories and increasing your resting heart rate, a study by the British Medical Journal has concluded that it also leads to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, two of the western world’s most prolific killers.

You’ll even get smarter

Not only will your physical health improve with regular cycling to work, your mental, cognitive and emotional health will improve too, and you may even get smarter! Cycling has been proven to help to combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression and lead to mental well-being but it can also improve cognitive function. All that cardiovascular exercise will help your brain to get more oxygen and nutrients, enabling your mind to be keener and sharper.

So, what are you waiting for? Get on your bike!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s