The benefits of cycling
There has never been a better time to take up cycling. As a result of the pandemic, the government is investing £2 billion to help encourage more people to use active travel, of which cycling is a key component. The Highway Code has also recently changed to make our roads safer for active travellers including cyclists and walkers. On top of these recent encouragements, there is also lots of research on the benefits of cycling. From improving your health and wellbeing, to the positive economic and environmental impacts, there are so many reasons why you should be incorporating cycling into your everyday travel plans.
Health benefits of regular cycling
Some of the biggest benefits of cycling are to your health and wellbeing. Here are some of the key ones.
- It is an easy form of exercise. Most people learn to ride a bike as a child and it’s a skill that stays with you.
- It is a low impact form of exercise compared to many other forms of exercise. It causes less strain on your joints and muscles and is also shown to cause fewer injuries.
- It gives you a good muscle workout as it uses all the major muscle groups.
- It can improve your posture and coordination.
- It can increase your cardiovascular fitness and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It is believed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer.
- It can decrease body fat levels and the risk of developing obesity.
- It can reduce stress levels and decrease the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Economic benefits of cycling
Swapping your car for a bike also has many economic benefits. Here are some potential savings to consider.
- It’s much cheaper to buy a bicycle than a car.
- There is no tax, insurance or fuel costs in riding a bike.
- Bike maintenance is far cheaper than car maintenance.
- You don’t need to pay for parking if you cycle.
While replacing your car completely may not be an option, swapping some of your shorter car journeys for cycling could still have a significant impact on your back pocket.
Environmental benefits of cycling
We all know about the climate crisis and we all want to do what we can. Swapping your shorter car journeys for bike journeys is an easy way to do this. Here are some of the environmental benefits of cycling.
- More people cycling means there will be fewer cars on the road and lower carbon emissions. This not only improves our air quality but also lessens the impact of pollution on our green spaces, and buildings.
- There will also be less congestion in our city centres, making them nicer places to be.
- Noise pollution will be reduced as bikes make minimal sound compared to cars & trucks. Electric cars will reduce some of this noise but there will still be tyre and wind noise, honking horns and electric car AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System), a sound to alert pedestrians that an electric car is coming.
- The environmental impact of manufacturing and maintaining bikes is significantly lower than that of cars. Even electric cars still have tyres which are significantly bigger and more difficult to recycle or reuse because they contain steel belts, and oils and fluids that are difficult to dispose of, or can be leaked into the environment. Cycling infrastructure is also less impactful on the environment compared to car infrastructure.
As you can see cycling has far reaching benefits to you as an individual as well as the wider community. If you’ve not ridden for a while and would like help getting back on your bike then our Cycle Buddies programme might be just what you need. To register click here.