Benefits of cycling
Regular cycling can help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness. As well as information on the health benefits, you’ll find plenty of tips below on equipment, road safety and cycle routes.
Cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK. An estimated 3.1 million people ride a bicycle each month.
As a form of exercise, cycling has broad appeal. Toddlers, pensioners, the able-bodied or people with disabilities can all enjoy cycling if they have the right equipment. Read our guide to cycling for beginners, which includes tips on staying motivated.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.
It’s a low-impact type of exercise, so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities. But it still helps you get into shape.
For example, someone who weighs 80kg (12st 9lb) will burn more than 650 calories with an hour’s riding, and tone their legs and bottom. If you ride up hills or off-road, you’ll also work your upper body.
The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness on the bike is to ride for at least 150 minutes every week. For example, you could cycle to work a few days a week or do a couple of shorter rides during the week with a longer ride at the weekend. You’ll soon feel the benefits.
Cycling safety tips
- Look behind you before you turn, overtake or stop
- Use arm signals before you turn right or left
- Obey traffic lights and road signs
- Don’t ride on the pavement unless there’s a sign that says you can
- On busy or narrow roads, don’t cycle next to another person
- When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely
- Don’t use headphones while cycling
- Never use a mobile phone while cycling