Did you know that the UK its own dedicated Bike Week? The website www.bikeweek.org.uk explains that Bike Week was started in 1923, and here we are 95 years later in the middle of a cycling boom! This year Bike Week runs from Saturday 9th to Sunday 17th June, and events to encourage participation are happening up and down the country. Events can be found at www.cyclinguk.org.
Last year our physiotherapists embraced Bike Week and cycled to work rather than taking their usual trains and buses.
What are the benefits to getting on your bike?
Whether you’re aiming to dust off your bike on sunny weekends for a cycle in the park with your family, to regularly cycle to work, or be the next Tour de France winner, there are huge amounts of benefits to cycling.
- Cycling gets you out in the fresh air
- Cycling can save money on travel
- Cycling can be fun, especially when cycling with friends
- Joining a cycling group can help make new friends to enjoy exercising with
- Cycling has huge health and fitness benefits
Let’s focus on the health and fitness advantages:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness – this relates to improving our heart, circulation and lung function. When cycling, our breathing and heart rate increases initially putting more demand on these systems but in time making them more efficient, improving overall ‘fitness’.
- Improved strength – this refers to using our muscles whilst cycling, for example when going uphill when you can feel more resistance. Building stronger muscles helps to support our skeletal system, especially our joints. When cycling it is not just our leg muscles that are having a work out, our arm muscles, our spinal and trunk muscles are all working hard to maintain position and balance.
- Improved mental health – exercise such as cycling is known to help with relieving stress, depression, anxiety and other issues associated with mental health. More information on the benefits of exercise for mental health can be found at www.mentalhealth.org.uk
- Weight management – a wide variety of weight management programs exist but most are in agreement that combining healthy eating and exercise is the most effective way to manage weight. Cycling is a great all over body exercise that can be considered when managing weight. You could have a check up with your GP if this is something you are embarking on for the first time.
- Cycling, like most forms of exercise, can help manage long term conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and chronic pain. Physiotherapists can help get you started on supervised exercise to help manage conditions such as these.
Click on this link to see our 51 ways to increase your cycling fitness from our physiotherapy experts!
Across our three Central Health Physiotherapy clinics we have specialist physiotherapists who provide cycle assessments to help with your bike set up and your body position. Read more about our service here.