In true northern spirit, what a welcome we gave the Tour de France as the race kicked off in Leeds, followed by stage deux departing from York to Sheffield. And lastly, stage 3 from (not so northern) Cambridge to Londres!
Many of the team here at Nutracheck are keen cyclists and enjoy the benefits riding a bike can bring. Whilst we're not cycling 150-200km to work each day (that would be some commute), just incorporating riding a bike into your lifestyle has great health and fitness benefits. And as a company that specialises in diet services to encourage healthier living, that's music to our ears!
So from my personal experience, and with some expert input from our fitness expert Kelly Marshall, let's have a look at great reasons to get on your bike.
We're all trying to live a little more frugally and cycling is a great way to save on public transport or fuel costs if you drive. It may be easy to dismiss the cost savings as negligible, but if you've ever used the petrol calculator on Google Maps, you'll see how quickly the savings add up.
I checked the cost of fuel for my drive to work - it reckons £0.54 each way, so a total of £1.08 per day. Multiply that by 225 working days in the year, well, you do the maths! That's an annual fuel cost of £243 - yikes! Expect that to increase to approx £390 if you have a higher consumption car.
It's also worth bearing in mind the savings you make on insurance (for driving less miles) and vehicle depreciation, but I don't want to bore my readers with that!
Depending on distance, the time it takes to cycle to your destination could be the same as driving or getting the bus - if not quicker! I always ride my bike to the gym, and the way I see it is that it takes the same amount of time to cycle as it does to drive, and I then don't need to go on the bike in the gym for 10 minutes when I get there - time saved.
Best of all, you're getting a good quota of daily exercise done whilst travelling at the same time. If only we had cars like Fred Flintstone eh!
I was getting so caught up planning my next holiday with the money I'm saving that I almost forgot to mention the obvious health benefits! Kelly Marshall goes into detail here about the benefits of cycling, but in short, it has tremendous, positive effects on your health. To summarise:
For even more benefits be sure to read our article on "10 good reasons for riding a bike".
As a rough estimate, here is how many calories you can expect to burn whilst riding a bike.
|Cycling intensity||Calories burned per hour (based on a 10 stone female)|
|Cycling 10-11.9 mph light effort||381 calories per hour|
|Cycling 12-13.9 mph moderate effort||508 calories per hour|
|Cycling 14-15.9 mph vigorous effort||635 calories per hour|
|Cycling 16-19 mph Very fast, racing||762 calories per hour|
|Cycling above 20 mph racing||1016 calories per hour|
So in summary, hopefully it's easy to see how riding a bike can benefit your health in tandem (pardon the pun) with saving you money and time at the same time.
I'd love to hear your thoughts and if cycling has benefited you in a similar way, so please leave a comment below. :-)
Nutritionist Emma Brown, MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.