Are you tired of having to drive everywhere in your car, or having to wait for what feels like an eternity on the bus that always seems to be running late when you’re in a hurry? Got a bike rusting away in the shed that you bought years ago as part of a bungled new year’s resolution to keep fit and/or get in shape?
Well it’s never too late to act on that resolution, and while we’re at it there’s a solution to your travel problems. That solution is of course cycling (why else would I mention a bike). In the following piece I’m going to list four reasons why, if you are cycling, to keep it up, and if you don’t why you really should do as the benefits are rewarding to yourself and to the rest of the world.
- It’s good for your physical health
Let’s start with an easy reason; cycling is good for you. Are you after that summer beach body? Perhaps just wanting to get a little fitter? Cycling exercises all the important muscles and joints in your body, but it is less strenuous than running and allows for the body to have a pleasant experience while loosening up your body and making it much stronger. Cycling can in the long term prevent the future suffering of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, high blood pressure or heart attack, so it will ultimately help you to live a healthy long lasting life, and isn’t what we all strive for.
- It’s good for your mental health
Asides from being good for the body, cycling is also a great way of maintaining the strength of the mind. Had a stressful week and feel that the world is falling in on you? Well get on your bike. Cycling can be a useful way of reducing stress and alleviating feelings associated with anxiety and depression, this can be due in part to the exercise our body is experiencing and allowing for our mind to focus on the task at hand. Let us not forget also, the act of cycling is generally an enjoyable experience so it allows us to feel a sense of pleasure free from pesky stressful feelings.
- It’s good for your wallet and the economy
Let’s start this by saying that while buying a bike may be a costly purchase, the long term benefits to your wallet will be most beneficial. Aren’t we all tired of spending a small fortune on the costs of petrol for our cars and fares for public transport? Well if we took up cycling then you would save hundreds or possibly thousands of pounds a year.
Not only is cycling kind towards your bank balance, it’s been found to be helpful for the economy. Cycling and the sales of cycling related goods made around £3 billion for the British economy in 2010 alone, and cycling ultimately saves the UK economy almost £83 Million a year owing to the fewer sick days that cyclists take than their car driving colleges . So as we can see, cycling is good for the wallet and ultimately it helps the country’s economy grow and save money at the same time. Isn’t it about time we heard some economic news that was positive for a change?
- It’s good for the environment
Of course it is common knowledge that petrol powered cars and public transport have contributed to the gradual environmental decline that the world has been going through for decades. So why not ditch the car and take up the bike? If we take up cycling we are saving the planet and our own money! We can preserve the environment that we still have and prevent any further erosion. What’s the point in cycling if we didn’t have some nice scenery to enjoy while we did it, so let’s cycle to preserve the world’ natural beauty.
- It’s good fun
Last but certainly not least, this point really shouldn’t need an explanation. Cycling is good for many things, the economy, the environment and the health of people both physically and mentally. While all this is amazing there is a far cleaner cut reason for doing it. It is downright good fun! Whether you are cutting down a mountain trail at 30 mph or making your way across the city to meet friends, getting out in that fresh air is an awesome experience. If you are not doing it for any of the reasons above, just do it for the fun of it. You won’t be disappointed!
We hope that this week’s blog post has inspired some of you to get yourselves back in the saddle this spring, as you can see there are plenty of reason why you should certainly think about it at least. A major part in SAUWS Environment’s newly funded project will focus on active travel over the coming year and there will be a load of opportunities for students and staff to get involved. Amongst the planned activities are group bike runs and Maintenance workshops providing in depth training on how you can maintain your own bike.
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