Commuting to work is one of the main reasons for cycling. There are more cyclists on the road that use their bike for commuting than they do for purely leisure purposes, but aside from the fact they don’t own a car, why use a bike to commute to work?
There are several answers to that questions, ones that have always been the case and some new ones that have only developed now due to the times we are living in. Of course I’m talking about Covid, the fact that we all need to social distance has had a massive impact on cycling. Getting on a crowded bus sharing the same air with potentially 40 other people was never appealing, but now with the increased risk of contracting Covid it is even less so. Getting on a bike now has huge health benefits, not just the fact you’ll be getting fitter by cycling, you also drastically reduce the risk of contracting any contagion.
Aside from the benefits of not sharing your air with a load of strangers, cycling also will get you physically fitter. It’s a low impact, adaptable exercise that can burn calories at a rate of 400-750 calories an hour, depending on the weight of the rider, speed and type of cycling you’re doing. Cycling to work can be a great way to lose weight, whether you’re just starting out or are looking to use your cycling as a way to trim up and shift a few pounds. So it should be no surprise that cycling will improve your fitness. If you don’t currently exercise regularly, the improvements will be even more dramatic and the benefits greater.
A recent study looking at commuting found that those that cycle to work have a massive 41% lower risk of dying from all causes. As well as all the other benefits of cycling, you’ll make a huge difference to how long you will be around – and we’re sure that’s a good thing.
A 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 on a bike can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by half. If that sounds a long way, consider it’s just a two-mile trip each way (assuming you work five days a week).
Mental Health Benefits:
Regular cycling isn’t just good for your physical health, it also benefits your mental wellbeing.
Riding a bike is relaxing. If you’re stressed at work, you can often burn it off by cycling home. And if you’re dealing with a more serious problem cycling can help you regain some balance in your life. Exercise like cycling has a range of benefits for mental wellbeing. There are many articles and studies out there that have proven regular exercise such as cycling reduces stress, reduces anxiety and combats depression.
Just one bout of moderate intensity aerobic exercise for as little as 30 minutes has also been found to improve some aspects of cognition, including your memory, reasoning and ability to plan – including shortening the time it takes to complete tasks. Sounds like a good reason to cycle to work.
With modern-day stresses, high levels of screen time, disconnecting and falling asleep is a struggle for many people.
A study of over 8000 people from the University of Georgia found a strong correlation between cardio-respiratory fitness and sleep patterns: a lower level of fitness was linked to both an inability to fall asleep and poor sleep quality.
The answer could be cycling – regular moderate cardiovascular exercise like cycling boosts fitness and makes it easier to fall and stay asleep.
No More Traffic Jams:
Fed up sitting in queues of traffic? It’s not good for your happiness levels, and it’s certainly not good for the environment. If you switch to commuting by bike, you’ll not have to sit in traffic on congested streets and you’ll be helping the planet too by reducing the number of cars on the road. Save time, improve your mood, and benefit others too.
Getting out of the car and cycling contributes to cleaner, healthier air. By cycling, you are helping to reduce the harmful and deadly emissions, effectively saving lives and making the world a healthier place to live.