Here are just a select few of the many reasons to ride:
Exercising regularly significantly lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity.
BE AS FIT AS A FIDDLE
A study of identical twins in London found that those who cycled for forty five minutes, three times a week were nine years ‘biologically younger’.
REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
German neurologists have proven that endurance sports produce feel-good endorphins around the areas of the brain involved in emotional processing and dealing with stress.
CURB YOUR CO2
In Scotland, sixty-three percent of car journeys are less than five miles. It’s been estimated that if all commutes less than five miles were cycled, it would save enough CO2 to heat 17,000 homes a week.
Not only do bikes produce no CO2 emissions themselves, but Imperial College in London have found that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes – 8,000 ultrafine particles per cubic centimetre compared to 40,000 inhaled by those in cars.
Cyclists do the equivalent of 2,924 miles to the gallon. And the fuel that they consume is a lot more renewable than the fuel pumped into cars.
KEEP THE DOCTOR AT BAY
Research from North Carolina has shown that people who cycle for thirty minutes, five times a week, take half as many sick days as those who do little or no exercise.
A QUICKER COMMUTE
Research by Citroen found that commuting by bike in the major cities of the UK takes half as long as driving to work. This is probably due to the half a million traffic jams in Britain every year.
IMPROVE YOUR THINKING
Illinois University have found that an improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness leads to a significant improvement in mental tests. Another study found that just twenty-five minutes of exercise boosts creative thinking, breaking mental blocks.
SAVE MONEY ON PETROL
Nesta estimates that cycling a six mile commute, there and back, daily will save individuals over £1,000 per year in travel costs (as well as burning 8000 calories a month).
SHED POUNDS, SAVE POUNDS
A researcher at Ohio State University analysed data from a study of 7,300 people between 1985 and 2000, and found that a one unit increase in BMI corresponded to a £800 (or eight percent) reduction in wealth.
It is estimated that a 20% increase in cycling could release a cumulative saving of £500 million to the British economy by 2015. A fitter nation could also help save the NHS over £1.6 billion – the direct cost of physical inactivity.