Keeping Fit With Cycling
Many people undertake cycling as a way to keep fit and healthy. There’s no reason why you can’t continue to cycle during the winter or even to take it up. Cycling is a low impact type of exercise, meaning it’s much easier on your joints than other types of exercise and activities.
Brisk cycling can burn around 500 calories an hour, with helps to control weight gain and can even contributes to weight loss. Most people living and working in the city of London, choose to cycle as it’s an easy way to get around the busy city.
Cycling in London
Santander Cycles (Formerly Barclays Cycle Hire) is one of the most popular ways of travelling around London. Many people know the scheme as Boris Bikes due to him being Mayor of London at the time of the scheme launching. The bikes are a publics hire scheme which is currently sponsored by Santander UK.
There are a number of cycle routes throughout the city and most people become familiar with them the more they cycle. However, for new cyclists or anyone looking for a new route to take throughout the city, then official cycle routes can be found on the following:
Whilst many people choose to hire bikes due to the convenience it offers, there are many cyclists throughout the city that choose to use their own bikes. Using your own bike means you can use your bike at any time of day or night and you aren’t just restricted to using it in the London area.
Benefits of Cycling On Health
If you’re considering taking up cycling to keep fit this winter, then good for you. Cycling is a great way to keep healthy meaning you can burn calories and strengthen your joints. Many people choose to undertake cycling as it’s a much more low impact exercise meaning it’s perfect for anyone that struggles to incorporate other types of exercise into their daily life and work routine. Some of the main health benefits that cyclists can benefits from are:
- Improved Mental Well-Being – Cycling has been proven to improve the overall mental well-being of the people that participate in it regularly.
- Promotes Weight Loss – If you’re struggling to find time to go the gym and you’re wanting to burn a few calories, then cycling is a great way to burn calories and it can easily anywhere between 200-500 calories depending on the length and briskness of the session.
- Helps to Build Muscles – Cycling helps to strengthen and build muscles in all parts of the legs and even in the back and shoulders.
- Better Lung Health – Regular cycling can help to improve overall lung strength, which in turns benefits your overall health.
- Overall Health Improvements – Cycling can help to reduce the risk of cancer and heart conditions. Regular participation will improve a person’s overall health.
- Low Impact – As a low impact exercise it isn’t to strenuous on the body, which means you won’t tire as easy and it won’t have as much of a negative impact on the joints.
Is Cycling During The Winter Dangerous?
No, as long as it’s carried out correctly and during the right conditions then cycling during the winter months is perfectly safe. Most people will find it difficult to keep living a healthy lifestyle during the winter due to the weather conditions. However, cycling is a great way to keep fit and it can easily be carried out before and after work.
10 Winter Cycling Tips
- Dress for the weather
- Invest in some quality bike lights
- Plan your route and an alternative
- Ride with a friend
- Remember it’s only weather
- If you cycle regularly buy a reliable bike
- Keep your bike maintained
- Always carry a pump or puncture kit
- Carry a drink with you
Importance of a Well-Maintained Bike
As soon as the winter hits, it’s important to give your bike a quick service, this will help to keep you safe when you’re riding it during the winter. Checking things such as the tread on tyres, the bike bearings, and brakes, will ensure your bike is safe to use. Keeping the bearings maintained and replacing them will help your bike wheels to run much smoother, meaning less effort is needed to get the wheels going around; helping to prevent any muscle and joint damage to yourself. If your bike is well maintained, then it will help to keep you safe when riding during the winter.
Should I Consult with a Doctor Before Taking Up Cycling?
Cycling should be fine for anyone to undertake, however if you suffer from an underlying medical condition, then it’s best to consult with your doctor. If you’re unsure about cycling or you need help with planning a diet, then book an appointment at Broadgate GP. Our team can provide guidance and advice in regard to nutrition and fitness.