We could all do with some useful hints and tips to improve our lifestyle, but did you know that it may be as simple as hopping on your bike and cycling to work each day?
Cycling provides an easy way of getting in exercise before the day has even begun. It also provides the chance to snatch some valuable ‘me time’ each morning and evening, so you can enjoy a little space with no phonecalls, emails, friends or family to distract you.
Here's six ways of how cycling to work can improve your life:
1. Saving money on your weekly commute
On average, people who cycle to work every day save £285 every single month. Buying a bike and the necessary equipment might seem like a big investment in the first place, but those monthly savings will make it all worthwhile.
If your employer offers a cycle to work scheme, you can also save a significant amount of money on a new bike whilst spreading the cost across the year. Interested in just how much you could save? Check out this handy calculator to see just what it could come to. It could be as much as £30 a month!
2. Kick starting your day and metabolism with cardio
Exercising speeds up your metabolic rate and has a lasting effect which means the metabolism remains elevated for some time afterwards. Although this effect will slowly fade, by sandwiching the working day with two bouts of cycling, you can help maintain a faster metabolism throughout the day.
3. Suppressing appetite through early exercise – you’re less likely to gorge
Research suggests that aerobic exercise (like cycling) leads to a temporary suppression in appetite. The biology behind it works two-fold; exercise leads to a suppression of the hormone ghrelin, a hormone which increases the appetite, and an increase in the production of peptide YY, an appetite suppressing hormone.
Science aside, it is very important to refuel and enjoy a healthy breakfast after cycling to work. But by avoiding ravenous hunger, your food choices are more likely to be considered and nutritious, rather than just a quick fix to keep you going.
4. Avoiding energy dips and sugar boosts
Solid blocks of exercise help elevate energy levels and all without the influence of sugar! By helping keep energy levels at a stable level, you’re less likely to feel lethargic and seek a sugary snack to lift your spirits.
Those little spends on snacks can take their toll on your wallet as well as on your waistline - regular exercise can help avoid the craving.
5. Looking after body and soul
If you start your day with a breath of fresh air and a bowl of something delicious, you’ll be in a different place to those late start mornings when you sit on the train with a groggy head and a bacon sandwich.
Kick start your day with a positive decision for your mind and body, and you’ll reward yourself with a series of better choices throughout the day which will help you be healthier and wealthier.
6. Saving money on gym membership and classes
If you’re getting the miles in at the beginning and end of your day, you can forgive yourself for not hitting the treadmill at lunch or getting up early to run before your commute.
Cycling into work – even if you cycle to your nearest transport stop rather than the whole way in – can slot a good chunk of exercise into your daily routine, without you needing to make extra time for it.
There is also evidence to suggest that energy expenditure cycling outside is greater than inside, so whilst whipping through the streets with the wind on your face, you’re actually doing a better workout than sat on a stationary bike at the gym!
Cycle to Work Day is 13th September and is a chance for you to ditch the car or public transport commute, and swap to cycling instead. Join cycle commuters across the country as they hop on their bikes! Get involved and pledge your miles for this Cycle to Work Day.