Couple cycling on a cycle route
  • 30 April 2020

Benefits of…cycling

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Rebecca TunicliffeExplore Kent

The many and varied wonders of cycling make it an activity that is loved by people of all ages, all around the world. Kent and Medway offers so many types of cycling to enjoy, and so many types of terrain to discover – whether roaming the hills and valleys of the High Weald, weaving along the Viking Coast or using your bike to help you get around town – you can cycle purely for the thrill of it, or for purely practical reasons. Either way, it is a wonderful activity that can bring many benefits, both physical and mental. Here are just a few of them…

Low impact activity

Cycling is a low impact activity, so it causes less strain on the body, and less injuries than many other forms of exercise. It’s good muscle exercise, using all of the major muscle groups as you pedal across a variety of terrains. Cycling also helps build stamina and aerobic fitness as well as improving strength, balance and coordination.

Lots of ways to enjoy

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or someone who prefers life at a leisurely pace, cycling is for you. You can keep things more relaxing by sticking to flatter routes and cycle paths, or get a buzz from tackling rough terrain and conquering hills. Either way, simply being outdoors and enjoying your surroundings means you’re more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or place.

Lose weight, reduce risk of chronic illness

Cycling is a good way to control or reduce weight, as it raises your metabolic rate, builds muscle and burns body fat. Studies have shown that regular cycling can reduce the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, while your chance of bowel cancer is reduced. Some evidence also suggests that regular cycling reduces the risk of breast cancer.

Boost your mood

Mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced by regular cycling. Being alone on your bike gives you the chance to get away from it all and focus on the act of peddling, helping to clear your mind from distractions. If you’re a more social animal, cycling also gives you the chance to spend valuable time and share the experience with a friend or a group.

Fit it into your routine

Cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine, providing you with the option of replacing shorter car journeys with cycling, including trips to the shops, park, school or work. Commuting by bike is cheap and green as well as easy to fit into your routine, and as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sitting time spent driving motor vehicles or using other public transport with healthy exercise.

Great for families

If you’re looking for an activity to enjoy as a family then look no further than cycling. Riding to school is a great way to help children be more active, offering many benefits for children including improved health, confidence and concentration. Days out with the kids on your bikes also gives you a great chance to make some priceless family memories.

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