Many people will be preparing to embark on some sort of exciting lifestyle change in the coming weeks. New Year resolutions dominate the landscape as we wave goodbye to the indulgences of Christmas and gear up for a healthier 2017.
You might want to lose weight or just be more active. Perhaps you want to tone up and get that body you always dreamed of. And with some belief and self-discipline, you can achieve what you put your mind to. You could take up jogging or go swimming. You could sign up to a gym membership and start lifting weights.
Alternatively, you could adopt pedal power to achieve your goals in 2017. Cycling is a fantastic way to get fit, stay fit and keep healthy. It can be done on your own or as part of a group, and it’s also a family-friendly activity that will entertain kids and grown-ups alike. Whether you use your bicycle to commute, or just cycle to the shops, there are so many benefits to getting on your bike in 2017.
Here are 11 reasons you should take up cycling in the New Year:
A bicycle is cheaper to buy and maintain than a car. Once you have a bike and a helmet, you can enjoy cycling - and the running costs are minimal. There are no barriers to getting out on a bike. And it is an activity you can do by yourself without signing up to any memberships or subscriptions. Cycling will also save you money. If you commute to work on a bike you won’t have to spend cash on fuel and parking.
If you use your bike to commute in many UK cities, the chances are you will get to your destination quicker than by driving a car. Research conducted by Citroen showed that it took half the time to get to your workplace/home than it took for vehicles. Cycling infrastructure is improving every year with more lanes dedicated to cyclists. It will keep you out of those frustrating traffic jams.
You could dedicate a whole blog post to the health benefits of cycling. Better sleep, increased brain power, boosted immunity and an improvement in your overall appearance are just some of the advantages that have been reported. According to the National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation in the US, regular cyclists enjoy a ﬁtness level equal to that of a person who is 10 years younger.
According to research conducted by Imperial College London, you will inhale less pollution when cycling than passengers sitting on buses, cars and taxis do. It is believed that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because they ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren’t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.
Pollution remains a major problem throughout the world, especially in our towns and cities. Cycling can counter that problem and improve the environment. Cycling doesn’t emit any poisonous fumes or pollutants. The only fuel that you use are the calories you burn in getting those pedals moving. A bicycle has zero pollution so it has no negative effects on the environment. Cycling can significantly reduce transportation emissions and also reduce traffic congestion and the need for petroleum.
Cycling, like any other exercise, helps you burn calories and fat. It is a great way to get in shape and improve your overall fitness. Sports physiologists have found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efﬁciency with which it burns calories and fat – is elevated during a ride, and for several hours afterwards - even when you are sitting on the sofa!
You are never too young - or old - to enjoy cycling. Memories are made when you are a child, riding around your local neighbourhood with your friends and family. And that tradition can continue when you have your own children. Cycling is an activity a family can do together, and even young toddlers can sit on a bike seat or get towed along in a buggy.
Cycling is low impact so it won’t be as harsh on your joints as jogging would be. Two to three times your weight crashes down when your foot hits the ground, which is quite a shuddering impact on your joints. When you ride a bike, your saddle absorbs most of your weight, and your body will thank you for it.
Some people like riding on their own, but cycling is also a great way to meet people and stay motivated. You could join a cycling club in 2017, or you could just meet up regularly with some friends for a leisurely run and coffee stop. Cycling with a group gives you an added incentive to get out there and ride, so it will keep you on track to achieve your fitness goals in the New Year.
Cycling, like other forms of exercise, is great for the mind and body. A good blast on the roads will release those happy-inducing endorphins that help combat stress and lift your mood. Exercise is now being viewed as a common treatment for depression, with four times as many GPs prescribing regular activity as positive therapy.
Cycling isn’t season-sensitive. You can get out on the roads from January to December, from spring to summer, through autumn and winter, and enjoy all types of weather. Modern bike lights including the See.Sense ICON keep cyclists visible in all conditions, during the hours of daylight and darkness. It means you have no excuse to not get pedalling!