Health and wellbeing is the main theme of this year’s Bike Week, which is running from 30th May – 5th June. To celebrate this exciting week, we’re going to explore some of the main benefits of cycling for your physical and mental wellbeing, and also what makes our favourite form of exercise so special.
But first, what’s Bike Week?
Bike Week is the brainchild of Cycling UK. An annual event, this year’s Bike Week aims to promote health and wellbeing, show people that there’s a bike for everyone and help people discover their passion for cycling.
The #7DaysofCycling challenge is a big part of Bike Week, which encourages all of us to get on our bikes for seven days in a row. There are some great prizes to be won if you accept the challenge (including a kids’ bike from us) so what are you waiting for? Get on that bike and see what you can do!
The advantages of cycling
1. Cycling is suitable for everyone
As long as you know how to ride, cycling is an exercise for all ages, disciplines and fitness levels. It’s particularly good for people who have problems with their hips, knees or feet, because it’s a low-impact exercise that takes the pressure off these weight-bearing joints.
With the right equipment and a little guidance, there’s no reason why most people can’t reap the health benefits of cycling. Check out our helpful cycling guides for more information.
2. Cycling can help to keep your heart happy
Any exercise is great for your overall health and fitness, but cycling is particularly great. By jumping in the saddle, you’ll get your heart pumping, burn off a load more calories than you would on a walk or run, and be working on your core and resistance without even noticing. It’s the ultimate one-stop-shop workout and a clever way to get from A to B quickly while making the most of the journey along the way.
3. Cycling can help to boost your mood
It’s a simple equation, exercise = endorphins and endorphins put you in a good mood for the rest of the day. Cycling is a great way to keep those little neuropeptides and peptides high and the more you ride the better you’ll feel.
Riding while the sun’s out will also increase your serotonin levels, something that contributes towards mental wellbeing and happiness. And even when the sun’s hiding behind the clouds (in typical English weather fashion!), you’ll still get a serotonin boost so taking to the saddle is always a good mood-boosting option.
4. Cycling provides thinking time
We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home lately, which can feel restrictive, and that makes exercising outside all the more important. A nice long bike ride is the perfect opportunity to give yourself some time and space to think things through, find solutions to problems and get some much-needed perspective on issues that might have been troubling you. Just relax, let your worries go and enjoy the feel of the wind on your face as your bike eats up the miles.
5. Cycling provides family time
It might not just be you that could benefit from time outside of the four walls of your home. Hop on your bike and bring your kids along for the ride to explore the great outdoors. You don’t need to go far; how about just turning left at the end of the road instead of right for a change? You never know what hidden surprises you might find just minutes from your doorstep.
As long as you’re mindful of your distance to others and show your kids how to stay safe while riding, it’s an ideal way to spend time together as a family while getting some fresh air into your lungs.
6. Cycling is cost-effective
After an initial investment, cycling is a relatively inexpensive form of exercise thanks to the fact that fresh air is free! There are none of the monthly charges that are usually attached to gym memberships or exercise classes. There’s just you, your bike and the (free) open road.
7. Cycling can fit around you
We’ve all got commitments, be they personal or professional, and that can sometimes make it difficult to fit in regular exercise sessions.
Not so with cycling. Your bike will be patiently waiting for you whenever you need it and it’s easy to hop in the saddle and pedal away at whatever time you wish. The ability to ride later in the day and into the evening also fully opens up your schedule. Just make sure that you pick a well-lit route and add lots of lights to your bike so that you stay safe on the roads (front and rear lights are a bare minimum, but the more the better!).
Hopefully that gives you all the motivation you need to head out on two wheels – something that will help keep you healthy and provide a mental boost at the same time.
Remember when riding that you still need to adhere to social distancing rules.
You want to ride to a healthier you, you want Halfords!