Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.
- low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise
- a good muscle workout – cycling uses all of the major muscle groups.
- easy – It's not difficult to learn to rid a bike most people learn as a child and once you learn, you don’t forget.
- good for both strength and stamina
- can be low or high intensity to suit your needs and level of fitness
- fun and good for your mental health
- is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, park, school or work
The health benefits of regular cycling include:
- increased cardiovascular fitness
- increased muscle strength and flexibility
- improved joint mobility
- decreased stress levels
- improved posture and coordination
- strengthened bones
- decreased body fat levels
- prevention or management of disease
- reduced anxiety and depression.
Despite the risks, cycling is emphatically good for you
A 2010 Dutch study estimated that, on average, the benefits associated with regular cycling equated to up to 14 months extra life expectancy. While the risk associated with cycling equated to a decreased life expectancy of 20-day. This represents an impressive benefit of 20:1 looking at the just physical benefits of cycling. However, there are also documented psychological benefits of cycling, such as an improvement in mood, increased self-confidence and reduced risk of depression.
The NHS Agree
"This review found that walking and cycling benefit health in a number of ways: people who walk or cycle have improved metabolic health and a reduced risk of premature mortality walking and cycling reduce the risk factors for a number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, some cancers, and Type II diabetes walking and cycling also have positive effects on mental health and general wellbeing. The mental health and neurological benefits include reduced risk of dementia, improved sleep quality, and a greater sense of wellbeing in environmental terms, health benefits accrue for the general population from a reduction in pollution due to car use and a decrease in road congestion the evidence is that the health benefits of walking and cycling outweigh any potential health risks and harms – for example from injury or pollution"
Health Benefits are supported by the evidence
A quick web search for "Health benefits of cycling" will give you access to load of material supporting the health benefits of cycling, But to pick out just a few:
- The Australian Victoria State Government "Cycling - health benefits"
- NHS Scotland "Cycling"
- The Guardian "The 'miracle pill': how cycling could save the NHS"
- The Telegraph "Eight healthy reasons why you should go cycling this summer"
- The British Heart Foundation "Heart Matters"
- Cancer Research UK "The benefits of cycling"