The following is from the latest Bicycle Network issue on 9 JUNE 2020. It is reprinted with permission.
Five reasons to ride through winter
Winter has well and truly set in, but here are five reasons to keep riding through winter and why you’ll feel better than ever if you do.
1. Ward off winter colds
Ask any regular bike rider and they will tell you that when you ride your bike, you don’t really get sick.
Maybe it’s because, as research suggests, regular exercise helps strengthen your immune system to fight off the dreaded cold and flu and you sleep better.
Or perhaps it’s also because you’re out in the fresh air rather than in the stuffy, cold and flu breading grounds of public transport or the incubator of your car.
2. Warm up naturally
Save on the cost of electricity and fight off an expanding winter waistline by heating up your body naturally with a simple ride to work. By building bike riding into your daily routine, you’ll easily reach the 30 minutes of physical activity you need each day to maintain your health.
Studies have shown that riding to work each day also reduces the chance of developing cancer by 45 per cent and nearly halves the risk of heart disease. You’re also more likely to catch some winter sun and boost your vitamin D levels which helps you absorb calcium and promotes bone growth.
3. Beat the winter blues
Not only will riding a bike through winter keep you physically fit and healthy, it will help make you happier too.
In your brain, exercise stimulates chemicals that improve your mood, giving you a break when the doom and gloom of winter gets you down.
Regular physical activity can also help relieve stress, boost memory and helps you sleep better. Experts suggest riding a bike provides a magical combination of exercise and exposure to the outdoors that helps boost our emotional and mental health. Plus, riding a bike gets you off the couch and out of the house, giving you plenty of opportunities to socialise with mates.
4. Save money and cut down on bills
The cost of heating, transport, health, food and entertainment all skyrocket in the cooler months. Luckily, riding a bike is one of the cheapest, easiest, quickest and healthiest ways to get around. One report even suggests that by riding a bike regularly you could save up to a million dollars in your lifetime or pay off your mortgage 13 years early.
5. Have some fun
It’s worth reminding everyone that one of the most important and simple reasons to ride a bike all year round is that it’s fun.
It’ll make you feel like a kid again as you breathe in the fresh air and explore the winter world around you.
The freedom, buzz and adventure from being on a bike in the outdoors will open a world of possibilities and keep you going back for more.