18 Reasons Why you should Cycle more

1. It Uses A Lot of Muscles

Although the pumping of your legs is fairly evident, what most people don’t realize is just how many muscles cycling uses throughout the body. Legs, abdomen, back, arms and shoulders all get a workout and tighten up which means your musculature system will work more efficiently. Lovely.

2. Save The Planet

Everyone knows that biking is less polluting than taking the car, but it also takes up less road space, uses less fuel, saves a seat on public transport and is three times faster than walking. It is a great way of exercising and being an eco-conscious individual. Basically, you’ll be fitter and morally superior to everyone else. Great!

Eco bike

3. Good For The Back

This may sound like it is going against conventional wisdom but it is true that cycling can actually be good for your back. The movement of leg muscles stimulates the lower back as well which can help prevent slipped discs as well as strengthening the spine. The smaller muscles in the vertebrate are worked out which reduces pain in the long run. Make sure your seat and leg position are adjusted properly to the right heights and if you’re not sure, head down to your local bike shop for some advice.

4. Increased Joint Protection

The circular motion of cycling is a great way of doing exercise without damaging them as the cartilage gets worked but the energy is transported around the joints rather than impacting them directly like how running might. This reduces the chances of getting arthritis and offers a bit more protection.

5. Better Balance

We’re not talking your literal balance that helps you stay upright (although, that certainly is very much a part of cycling) but the mental and physical well-being it brings. Cycling meets the need to both exert and relax by providing exercise and a release offering us a workout of the body but peace of mind. Seriously, give a relaxing bike ride on your own a go and you’ll be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

6. Mental Health Benefits

Cycling can help relieve stress and anxiety because it stabilizes emotional control and hormonal imbalances. Getting out into the open as well as exercising more really does benefit your mental health positively.

Mental Health Bike

7. Good For The Heart

Cycling can train the heart to be stronger without putting too much stress on it. By cycling for 20 miles a week you can effectively halve the likelihood of a heart attack and strengthen it from cardiovascular disease as it works out whilst you do.

8. Increase Circulation

By increasing your exercise you increase the amount of oxygen you take in when breathing which in turn boosts circulation. This can give more energy and make you feel healthier as more of the good stuff is pumping around your body.

9. Improve Blood Pressure

In the same manner that circulation is increased, blood pressure also improves as the body acclimatizes to regular cycling it will lower a person’s resting heart rate and so lower blood pressure.

10. Lose Fat and Lower Cholesterol

Like any exercise, cycling is great for losing flab as it uses up your fat reserves. By doing so, you lower your cholesterol as your body realizes you are losing fat and starts to favor good cholesterol over bad.

cycle weight loss

11. Increase Stamina

Having increased stamina means you can last longer at a good many things and many good things. You will suffer less from fatigue and tiredness and just have a greater sense of well being.

12. You May Actually Get There Faster

Commuting in major cities can be a horrendous pain and in many parts of the world, it is actually faster to go by bike than it is car or bus. Take, for example, the Welsh capital of Cardiff where commuting for an hour in rush hour will see you spend over 30 minutes trundling along at an average of just 7mph, compared to averaging around 12-15mph while cycling.

13. Get Better Sleep

By exercising outside and exposing yourself to more sunlight, your circadian rhythm is more likely to be in sync as well as ridding your body of cortisol which is the stress hormone that can prevent deep and regenerative sleep. Just cycling for 20 to 30 minutes a day can halve the time it takes for insomniacs to fall asleep and research from both Stanford University School of Medicine and Loughborough University back this up.

Sleep Bike

14. Great for The Skin

Increased exercise increases blood flow which therefore increases circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to skin cells more effectively whilst flushing harmful toxins out. As such, cycling can make you look healthier and younger.

15. Better Digestion

By accelerating your breathing and heart rate, you stimulate the contraction of the intestinal muscles meaning your food is better digested and as such you gain more nutrients as well as becoming less likely to feel bloated and also protect against bowel cancer.

16. Boost Your Brain Power

Yes, that’s right. Cycling can make you smarter (sort of). Researchers from Illinois University found that a five percent improvement in cardio-respiratory fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. By increasing blood flow to the brain, you get more oxygen to the thinking organ which helps build brain cells and protect receptors, which naturally deteriorate from 30 on wards anyway, so get on your bike before that big exam.

brain-on-bike

17. Fight Off Illness

Moderate exercise boosts immunity and can help fight off infection as the immune cells are more active. In fact, the University of North Carolina found that people who cycle for around 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, take half as less sick days than those who do no exercise.

18. Become Immortal!

Okay, so that may be stretching it a bit but you are far more likely to live longer. The King’s College London did tests on over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did the equivalent of just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years ‘biologically younger’ even after discounting other influences, such as body mass index (BMI) and smoking. As such, getting on your bike and giving yourself a good workout could mean you live long enough to see robots take over the world!

cyclist immortal

We found this article at http://www.lifehacklane.com

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NSW Cycling Rules: What’s new and what has changed.

It’s been just over 5 months since Transport for NSW introduced some new road laws in regards to cyclists on the road and increased penalties for other pre-existing rules as part of their ‘Go Together’ campaign.

While a lot of us have heard the rules that you must wear a helmet and your bicycle must have a bell fitted, a lot of the other rules and changes are not known.  So here is a quick summary of those changes introduced on 1 March 2016.

First, there was the introduction of the two following new rules:

  • Drivers must give bicycle riders at least a metre of space: 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less and 1.5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h.   There are some exceptions to the road rules to help drivers provide the minimum distance and you can read about them here.

There is a penalty of a $319 fine and the loss of 2 demerit points to drivers caught not allowing the minimum distance when passing a cyclist.

  • Bicycle riders over 18 must carry photo ID: All bicycle riders over the age of 18 must carry recognised photo identification.  The recognised photo ID is either a valid Driver’s License or a NSW Photo Card.  They have allowed a 12 month adjustment period so this law doesn’t come into full effect until 1 March 2017.

From 1 March 2017, any cyclist stopped by police for breaking the road rules and found without the required photo ID could face a $106 fine.

In addition to these new rules, there were also major increases to fines for five offenses in relation to high risk behaviour for cyclists.

  • Running a red light: $425
  • Not wearing a helmet: $319
  • Not stopping at a children’s or pedestrian crossing: $425
  • Holding onto a moving vehicle: $319
  • Riding dangerously: $425

Penalties for all other cyclist offenses also increased to $106.  This includes the requirement that all bicycles must be fitted with a bell.

Find information on the road rules as they apply to cyclists here.

And the full comprehensive NSW Road Rules here.

As a final part of the Go Together campaign, Cyclists were also encouraged to provide pedestrians with a metre of space on shared paths, where possible.  While there is no direct penalty for this, it is encouraged as good riding etiquette.

A lot of Drivers and some Cyclists develop the Us and Them attitude when it comes to using the road.  Please remember that it is OUR road.  It does not belong to US or THEM.