If you are middle-aged and like to cycle, then, according to statistics, your fitness level is the about same as someone ten years younger than you, and your life expectancy is approximately two years above the norm. In addition, people who cycle to work take less time off per year than their colleagues who drive to work. This effort alone saves UK companies about £83m yearly in health care costs and employee down time. In addition, people who do not cycle-commute on a routine basis have about a 40% higher mortality rate.
Why Cycling is Beneficial
Plus, the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risk of injury. Government research cites that the years of life gained through cycling versus the years lost through injury is figured at a ratio of about 20:1. Facts also reveal that boys aged 10 to 16 who cycle to school regularly are 30% more likely to meet their recommended levels of fitness. Girls of the same age group who take part in the activity are seven times more likely to reach their suggested fitness levels.
A Way to Get Around and Exercise at the Same Time
Cycling fits into people’s daily routines much better than other types of exercise too. You can use cycling as a way to exercise while also getting from one place to the next. You do not have to find the extra time to visit a gym, and therefore can also save on that fitness expense.
In England, physical inactivity leads to about 37,000 premature deaths amongst people ages 40 to 79. That is why, if you have not done so already, you should buy a bicycle and outfit yourself in a cycling jersey and pants. When you make it your goal to cycle, you will improve both your mental and physical health and lower your risk of disease.
When people do not exercise, they become obese and much more likely to suffer from various illnesses, including life-threatening diseases. Weight gain, coronary heart disease (CHD), cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes frequently develop when exercise is not made a part of one’s regular routine.
A Healthful and Safe Activity
Unlike driving, cycling causes a negligible amount of harm to others since it doesn’t expose people to pollution or the risk of a vehicular mishap. Therefore, choosing to cycle is not only healthful for the cycler but for other people too. Indeed, cycling should be promoted in the UK, since the country has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe.
Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is also an issue in the UK. CVD is an umbrella term for ailments relating to the circulation and the heart, including coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, and stroke. CVD is responsible for approximately one fourth of the deaths in the UK annually. Currently, about seven million people in the UK have CVD.
A dependency on cars not only adversely affects levels of fitness but is also a major source of pollutants which lead to respiratory illnesses. Nitrogen oxides and other particulate matter contribute to about 40,000 deaths in the UK per year. By cycling more and driving less, people can experience less respiratory discomfort and fewer illnesses such as asthma or bronchitis.