Around two million adults are reaping the benefits of cycling every day. From saving money on fuel and public transport to boosting your brain, here are the reasons why more Britons are choosing to ride their bikes to get around.
Cycling to work just a few days a week is one of the best ways to build cardiovascular fitness. Research published in 2015 in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that even pedalling for just five to 10 minutes on a regular basis can help improve your heart health.
Workout for the brain
Scientists at Illinois University found that improving cardio-respiratory fitness from five percent led to an improvement of 15% in mental tests. According to the study, cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus, the brain region which plays an important role in short-term and long-term memory.
Cycling burns fat and calories, while toning the legs and bottom. And because it is a low-impact exercise, it places less stress on your joints than running. The NHS recommends cycling to work a couple of times a week and heading out for a longer ride at the weekend.
According to the Harvard Heart Letter, riding a bike for one hour each day at a pace of 14 to 15.9 mph will burn between 4,000 to 6,200 calories a week — depending on your weight.
It is well-known that exercising will help you sleep better at night. Cycling is also one of the best ways to keep up your fitness levels. Analysing the health habits of more than 8,000 men and women over 35 years, scientists at the University of Georgia found when participants became less fit over time, they struggled to sleep well. Getting 150 minutes of exercise a week can improve the quality of your sleep.
Combat global warming
The levels of carbon dioxide are at their highest for 650,000 years with nine of the 10 warmest years on record since 2000. Cycling, instead of taking the car or getting the bus to work, can help avoid polluting the atmosphere further with carbon emissions.