Bike Week, the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event will take place this year between 15-23 June. If you’re looking for a great way to get fit, or just a new hobby this is the ideal time to do it so why not get involved? For those who haven’t considered cycling as an option before there are some great benefits to taking it up…
1) Cycling helps to deal with stress. Physical activity is a great way to help you handle stressful times, anxiety and even depression and an activity like cycling where you are out in the open air and focusing on where you’re going can be a fantastic distraction.
2) Cycling is great for your heart. Taking up a sport like cycling that is considered to be of ‘moderate’ impact can have a positive overall effect on immune health and make your body stronger in fighting illness and disease. It also has a very specific benefit for the heart, improving cardiovascular fitness and reducing the risk of heart disease.
3) Cycling is an effective way to lose weight. Aerobic exercise is probably the best way to burn calories and cycling falls firmly into this category. It will give your metabolism a great big boost that will last long after the ride has finished, as well as increasing the strength of your muscles. As you can decide how fast you cycle you are in complete control of how many calories you burn per ride.
4) It is a great all-over muscle toner. As well as helping with weight loss, cycling also increases muscle tone and leanness all over, working calves, thighs, bottom, shoulders and arms. As a lower impact sport than something like running it also has the advantage of being easier on the joints.
If you’re considering taking up cycling, the most important thing is to make sure that you do it safely.
– Get the right kit i.e. bright or reflective clothing so that you can be seen no matter what the weather or the time of day, and we recommend that you always wear a helmet to protect your head.
– Buy front and back reflectors for your bike and make sure you also have working lights front and back.
– Stay alert to what’s going on around you – ride confidently and decisively and give yourself plenty of time to make turns or stops, and for those around you to understand what you’re about to do.
– Don’t be a bully – give way to pedestrians, don’t be impatient at crossings and lights and don’t take unnecessary chances.
Other than that – have fun! Cycling is a fantastic hobby and an effective sport so don’t hesitate and get started now. For all available cycling routes around West Midlands visit this site.
Featured image by: Flickr/kharied