Cycling for health
Cycling is fun for all the family, a great way to keep fit and one of the most enjoyable ways of exploring Britain's beautiful canals and rivers.
Get on your bike
Riding a bike is like swimming. Once you learn how to do it, you never forget. What's more, there are an estimated 27 million bikes across the UK - so the evidence suggests that many of us own one.
Is your bike one of the hundreds slowly rusting away in the garage or garden shed? Now's the time to blow away the cobwebs and take it out for a spin.
Pedal your way to health
Cycling is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise. It's free (especially if you already have the bike) and it's something you can do with all the family. Alternatively, if you fancy a bit of peace and quiet, nothing could be nicer than a leisurely cycle ride along a tranquil river or canal.
Cycling is so good for you because:
According to NHS advice, a person who weights 80kg will burn, on average, more than 650 calories by cycling for an hour. That’s over two Mars Bars or three pints of beer depending on your vices.
As well as burning calories cycling increases fitness. Your strength, stamina and major muscle groups will all benefit from regular cycling.
It's a low weight bearing/low impact activity. Because the bike itself carries the weight of your body, cycling is a much safer, lower impact form of exercise than sports such as jogging. This also means that people with joint problems are often able to cycle.
It requires low levels of skill. This isn't ice-dancing or rock climbing; most people can ride a bike - and most people enjoy doing it. All you need is a bit of confidence.
Cycling along the canal
Add to that the positive health benefits that studies show come from being in a soothing waterway environment, and the case is clear. Get on your bike, visit your local canal or river and pedal your way to health.