Telford and Shropshire has some great cycle routes that can easily enable commuters to cycle to work. So why aren't more of us doing it? Here are 5 benefits of getting on your bike!
Apart from the increased self-esteem and confidence that getting fitter and leaner will give you, simply spending more time outside will cheer you up and improve your mental well being. This is thanks to the ability of sunlight to boost your levels of the feel-good hormone serotonin.
With fuel prices at the pumps costing roughly £1.16 per litre, according to the RAC, the yearly cost of car ownership in the UK is about £5,869 – the large proportion of this being fuel. Public transport costs have gone skyward too and the solution hundreds of thousands are turning to for daily travel, just as in the ’70s, is the bicycle. With cycling, the only inflationary factors are the rising cost of food and the payouts for your bike and kit. But you have to eat anyway, and the cost and depreciation on a new bike is at worst measured in hundreds of pounds, compared to the thousands lost on a car.
Sports psychologists have found that the body’s metabolic rate – the efficiency with which it burns calories and fat – is not only raised during a ride but for several hours after. Lots of people who want to lose weight think going out for a jog is the best way to start. But while running does burn fat well, it’s not kind to your body. Running is weight bearing – and therefore injury rates are higher. Cycling, by contrast to running, is not weight bearing. In fact, Doctors will generally advise that you take up cycling before running to build up strength in your legs.
A 16 mile commute will burn around 800 calories – that’s four bags of crisps! One of the most attractive advantages of cycling for fitness is that you can combine it with commuting, getting to work earlier and fresher after an invigorating ride.
Exercise has been repeatedly linked to brain health – and the reduction of cognitive changes that can leave us vulnerable to dementia later in life. Cycling encourages blood flow in the brain; improved blood flow is good because the red stuff delivers all sorts of goodies that keep us healthy and alert.
It takes around five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to manufacture a bike, and cycling produces zero pollution. With nearly a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions now coming from road transport, it's no surprise that leaving your car at home is going to help pollution both locally and globally. Oh, and 10 bikes can be parked in one car space.
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