From 30th May - 5th June 2021 Bike Week is back! This year Bike Week focuses on the wellbeing and health benefits cycling can bring to you and your family, and how cycling can reunite you with your friends and family outdoors. Bike Week is an organised event by charity Cycling UK, you can get involved using the #7daysofcycling hashtag.
As a thank you to Cycling UK’s hard work, and to get more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling, Asgard are offering all Cycling UK members 10% off Asgard bike sheds!
This offer is not restricted to bike week. See Cycling UK for more information.
What are the mental health benefits of cycling?
Most of us are familiar with the physical health benefits of cycling, or the fundamentals of exercise = healthy body, but how many of us realise the mental health and wellbeing benefits to exercising?
After a tough and emotional year(s!) of Covid-19 lockdown, more people than ever have realised mental health is just as important. Regular cyclists have reported about a “cycling high”, similar to “runner’s high”, cycling pumps endorphins (relieves stress and pain), dopamine (plays a role in how we feel pleasure), norepinephrine (stress hormone) and serotonin (mood and happiness stabiliser) around your body fast. We like to think of it as a cocktail of happiness! This helps boost self-esteem, combat depression, anxiety and stress.
We know what you’re thinking, the key word ‘regular’ cyclist - we haven’t got time for that! Well, the good news is that scientists have suggested a minimum of 30mins a day, 3 times a week at a good pace to start feeling the benefits, that could be worked in by riding kids to school or riding to a friends house instead of driving. Swapping out a car journey for a bike is a good way to create time without it seeming like you are losing a good chunk of your day.
Cycling can also be a good way to tackle loneliness. Joining your local cycling club full of like-minded people is a great way to meet people, chat, get it off your chest and combat isolation - which is one of the key aims of Bike Week. Cycling Clubs don’t have to be a daunting prospect either, it's about finding the right one, there are women-only clubs, men only, families, ones for beginners to ones for the Speedy Gonzales.
We asked our cycling enthusiasts here at Asgard Storage why they took up cycling:
Other benefits of cycling
The benefits don’t stop there, regular riding helps synchronise your circadian rhythm, helping reduce stress hormones that contribute towards regenerative sleep. It also helps improve your memory, creative thinking and actually grows your brain! Yes, you read it right, cycling helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to your brain, making it work better and slow down your brain ageing.
It feels like a win-win doesn’t it? And that's without the high of feeling smug that you’ve gone out on your bike in the first place.
What are the physical health benefits of cycling?
Cycling is a good low-impact exercise, causing less strain and injuries than other exercises. It’s a good place to start if you are wanting to pick up a hobby as it doesn’t matter where you do it, how fast you go, if you are by yourself or with a group, and you can rent a bike if you want to see if you like it first.
Cycling gives you a good muscle and joint workout and you only need between two and four hours a week to boost your health. Again, think: where can I add a little bike ride into, can I swap a car ride out for a bike ride?
Here’s the big ones. Cycling can also boost your strength and stamina, and increase your cardiovascular fitness, reducing the chances of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, arthritis and diabetes. They’ve even linked cycling to reducing your risk of some cancers.
So, are you ready to try cycling? Whether you have an old bike in the shed or you’re a complete novice, take part in Bike Week to get inspired. Remember Cycling UK is a great resource for hints and tips to get you started, and you’ll also get a discount on your Asgard shed!
Find out more here.