We all want to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
Recent years have highlighted the importance of looking after our health, and many of us have had to think creatively about how to incorporate outdoor exercise into our daily routine.
Here at Halfords, we believe cycling is the best way to exercise outdoors, clear your mind, and work those muscles. Here’s everything you need to know about the health benefits of cycling and how you can gain some cycling momentum.
Cycling is all inclusive
If 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.
Cycling keeps your heart happy
By jumping in the saddle, you’re committing to using your own body to get you from A to B, which is pretty impressive when you think about it. You’ll get your heart pumping, burn off a load of calories (more than a walk or run would), and be working on your core and resistance without even noticing.
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.
Hop on your bike for a trip around the block or along your favourite trail. Bring your kids along and spend some time together as a family outside of the four walls of your home. If you’re mindful of your distance to others and show your kids how to stay safe while riding, it’s a great way to get some fresh air into your lungs.
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.
Cycling provides thinking time
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.
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.
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.
How to keep cycling
Take advantage of the sunlight hours
As mentioned earlier, riding while the sun’s out will increase your serotonin levels, something that contributes towards mental wellbeing and happiness. Even when the sun’s hiding behind clouds, you’ll still get a serotonin boost.
So, hop in the saddle before work in the morning and go for a quick spin. If you’re not a morning person, take advantage of your break to go and refresh your body and mind with a bike ride.
Prepare for riding in the dark
Riding around during daylight hours can sometimes be a struggle, particularly during winter as the nights draw in. This isn’t a problem, and your mental health and fitness will still benefit from riding in the dark.
When riding later in the day, try to pick a well-lit route. Also, make sure to add lots of lights to your bike. Front and rear lights are a bare minimum, but the more the better. So, why not also use reflectors, reflective clothing and wearable lights? You may resemble a Christmas tree, but at least you’ll be seen!
Invest in cycling clothing
Throughout the year, temperatures and the weather can vary, so always be prepared for the conditions by wearing the correct clothing including cycling gloves and cycling jackets.
Plan ahead and have your clothing prepared ahead of time. If you plan on going for an early morning ride, you’ll be more motivated if your clothes are laid out ready to go.
If you’re unsure what clothing you’ll need, head over to our Cycling Clothing Buyer’s Guide for help.
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.
You want to ride to a healthier you, you want Halfords!