The year may be nearly at an end, but there is no need to wait till January 1st to start making good changes that will make your life better. While it may not seem to be the season for it, there is never a bad time to switch from your usual commute to cycling to work instead. In fact, cycling on cooler mornings and evenings can actually be a lot more comfortable when you are getting started. Here is everything you need to know about why and how you should think about a cycle commute:
Several Good Reasons Why Cycling Is Better Than Getting the Train, Bus or Driving
There are dozens of benefits, both large and small, to getting on your bike instead of using public transport, driving, or even walking! Here are some of them to help you make the decision:
You will save loads of money. Whether you currently drive or fork out for the train, tube or bus, you will save all of that money because aside from initially buying a bike and the odd bit of maintenance, there is no real cost associated with a daily cycle commute. This mounts up pretty quickly in terms of savings, so you will be surprised how much more money you have each month.
You will be getting fitter. Cycling is a great all over workout, which gives special attention to the lower body as well as being good cardio exercise for your heart. You will notice more toned calves, thighs and buttocks in weeks, and will also see your fitness improve in general (results will vary depending on how far and how challenging a ride you have).
You will be less stressed. Research has shown that people who get exercise every day, especially out in the fresh air, find it easier to relax and sleep better at night. It can be a great way to throw off the problems you encountered at work and prepare for a relaxed evening.
It is better for the environment. As well as helping you be healthier, you will also be reducing your carbon footprint and keeping more pollutants out of the air. Whether this is important to you or not, it is a nice bonus to bear in mind.
If you work in London, you can avoid the congestion charge, as well as parking fees, making your cycle commute even more of a money saver.
There are some schemes where you can borrow or hire a bike for the day, which mean even if you can’t afford to buy your own right away, you can start getting the benefits of cycling right away.
You may think, if you currently walk to work, that you are already getting all of the health, financial and environmental benefits, but cycling is of course faster, so you get more time at home!
How To Get Started
Obviously the first thing you are going to need if you want to start riding a bike to work is the bike itself, along with a helmet and a good lock. Bike theft is unfortunately fairly common, so as well as protecting your bike whenever it is parked with a sturdy lock, it can also be a very good idea to get some insurance for it. Plenty of companies offer affordable bike insurance, including gadget insurance companies you may more usually associate with things like laptop and phone insurance like ProtectYorBubble.com, and it is well worth protecting your bike if it is going to be not only an investment but also a prime means of transport for you.
When you first start out you may find that the physical exercise is a bit too much for you, especially if you are going from an almost completely sedentary lifestyle to riding miles every day. Stick with it though, your fitness will improve fast and you will find you can easily manage your regular commute. When starting out, take it easy – perhaps only cycle every other day until your feel fit enough to make it your normal routine. It can also be a good idea to go for rides at the weekend just for fun, and to help boost your stamina. Of course, if you find yourself really enjoying it you can also do things like go on cycling holidays in the summer around Europe! Cycling is a sport and a hobby as well as an easy and cheap way of getting around, and the more you do it the more you’ll enjoy it!
Cycling is a fantastic way to stay in shape, save money and help the environment, so don’t put it off until the New Year – get a bike and get on the road tomorrow!