Top ten reasons you should get on your bike
Leave the car and breathe less pollution, improve your memory and save time
1. Save time
Research shows that commuting by bike takes approximately half the time of driving at rush hour plus you’ll be more productive at work – employees who exercise before work or at lunchtime improve their time and workload management, and it boosts their motivation and ability to deal with stress.
2. Increase your brain power 3
Researchers found that a 5% improvement in cardio-respiratory ﬁtness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region responsible for memory, which deteriorates from the age of 30
3. Make creative breakthroughs 4
Just 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts at least one measure of creative thinking. Credit goes to the ﬂow of oxygen to your grey matter when it matters most, sparking your neurons and giving you breathing space away from the muddle and pressures of ‘real life’
4. Improve your mood5 and reduce stress 6
Cycling helps to prepare you for the day ahead or recover from the one you’ve just had
5. Beat illness and boost your immune system
And avoid cancer with as little as 45 minutes cycling three times a week. People who cycle for 30 minutes, ﬁve days a week take less sick days than those that don’t 9,10
6. Avoid pollution2
You’d think a cyclist would suck up much more pollution than the drivers and passengers in the vehicles chucking out the noxious gases. Not so, researchers found that passengers in buses, taxis and cars inhaled substantially more pollution than cyclists and pedestrians. It’s thought that cyclists breathe in fewer fumes because we ride at the edge of the road and, unlike drivers, aren’t directly in the line of exhaust smoke.
7. Lose the pounds3
Each hour in the car is associated with a 6% increase in the likelihood of being obese, whilst people that cycle are the least likely to be overweight.
8. Sleep better 4
Exercising outside exposes you to daylight, which helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync, and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep
9. Look younger 5
Increased circulation through exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively, while ﬂushing harmful toxins out. Exercise also creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise collagen production, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process
10. Live longer 6
Cycling regularly to work has been shown to be the most effective thing an individual can do to improve health and increase longevity, and this applies even to people who are already active in sport and other physical activities