Winter is coming! However, that doesn’t mean you should be putting your bike into hibernation. It might be getting colder and wetter, but cycling to work remains a viable option. Especially as traffic in major cities continues to rise, delays still plague travel time and the cost of petrol rises. So, if lengthy traffic jams, costly train journeys or the pre-Xmas slump is getting you down, you are a prime candidate to cycle to work.
The benefits of cycling to work are endless, saving you both money and time. Most importantly, the health benefits are two to none. As a London cyclist myself, it’s great to still see plenty of fellow bikers hitting the road. Here are my favourite reasons why you should be one of the many people ditching their car and jumping on the bike (and NO, winter isn’t an excuse).
Cycling to work is a low-cost alternative to driving and travelling by train. After the price of a bike, which doesn’t have to break the bank, and some kit, the ongoing maintenance of your bike will be far less than the other options.
A recent study in America showed that the average yearly cost of owning a sedan was £6830, while a decent commuter bike retails at anywhere from £200-1500. Cycling doesn’t have to be an expensive investment!
When I talk to most people about why you should cycle to work, the most common misconception is it’s inconvenient. However, due to the rise in traffic, train delays and roadworks, you are more likely to save time cycling.
If you are concerned about lugging around your work clothes and laptop, waterproof commuter bags and panniers are readily available, making it easy to carry your valuables. You will arrive at work refreshed and alert, while the evening ride home should leave you stress-free and relaxed.
Nowadays, most employers provide facilities to make it more convenient for people who commute by bike, providing secure bike parking and showers to its employees. If there is no shower, dry shampoo does the job nicely! A micro-fibre towel, deodorant and baby wipes completes the ‘cycle to work’ essentials.
If you’re time hungry and juggling work, family and fitness, cycling to work is a way to kill two birds with one stone. This is one of my favourite reasons to cycle to work – my exercise quota is automatically taken care of.
While the calories burned during cycling varies between each person, cycling averages around the same amount of calories burnt as running. It’s also a lower impact option to running – easy on the joints!
I find cycling to work a convenient way to improve my cardiovascular and aerobic fitness, without the added impact of running. There are loads of studies which have shown early morning exercise can help concentration levels throughout the day, so sneaking in the health benefits of cycling to work is a positive for most, if not all people.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that exercise or physical activity is good for you. What surprises me is many people I speakl to don’t know just how good it can be.
A recent study in the UK found that people cycling to work had a 46% lower risk of developing heart disease, and a 45% lower risk of developing cancer. Other studies have shown cycling can boost your brainpower, relationships, and happiness. Win win.
Some people don’t like to cycle in cities because of the pollution in the air. Well, you’ll be pleased to know, according to a study be the Imperial College London, passengers in cars, taxis and buses substantially inhale more pollution than your typical cyclist or walker. On average the average taxi passenger is exposed to over 100,000 ultrafine particles, which can damage cells and the lungs. Bus passengers inhale just under 100,000 and passengers in cars around 40,000. Cyclists, on the other hand, are exposed to just under 8000 ultrafine particles. The results show your typical cyclist breathes fewer fumes since they are riding at the edge of the road, rather than in the direct line of exhaust smoke. Essentially, commuting by bike makes it less likely you’ll look like this:
Productivity at work
Cycling raises productivity. I’ve always found that exercising before work significantly raises my alertness and energy levels. This is because when you cycle, you are increasing blood flow to the brain. And increased blow flow helps sharpen the senses.
Being at the top of your game will ensure your work is performed to the highest of standard and best of your ability.
Embrace the winter and cycle to work
So, why should you brave the weather and cycle to work? It’s a low-cost investment that provides numerous health benefits. Additionally, it saves you money, frees up more time during your day and helps you stay healthy.
Thanks for reading our blog. As a ‘thank you’, here’s a 50% discount on your first nutrition subscription box. Choose either the cycling or running fuel box, or our quarterly fitness box, and simply enter the code vivisubbox50 at checkout to apply the discount.