Cycling and Health – What’s the Evidence?

Cycling and Health – What’s the Evidence?

Riding a bicycle is one of the greatest metaphors for living life.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” –Albert Einstein

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking
— Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 

 

“Cycling England” has recently published a new report called Cycling & Health which aims to provide a briefing on the links between cycling and health.

It sets out to provide a key resource for those interested in understanding and promoting the health benefits of cycling.

The report begins by describing the strong evidence that underlines the importance of physical activity and exercise to public health, before exploring the evidence for the specific health effects of cycling. The risks of cycling, both direct and indirect are set out, followed by the wider benefits of cycling.

To read the report click here:

Cycling and Health – What’s the Evidence?
http://www.ecf.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Cycling-and-health-Whats-the-evidence.pdf

 

The Health Benefits of Cycling

1. Cycling is good for your heart: Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. Cycling is good for your muscles: Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body – your calves, your thighs, and your rear end. It’s also a great low-impact mode of exercise for those with joint conditions or injuries to the legs or hips, which might keep them from being active.

3. Cycling is good for your waistline: You can burn a lot of calories while biking, especially when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace, and cycling has been associated with helping to keep weight gain down. And cycling has the added benefit of ramping up your metabolism, even after the ride is over.

4. Cycling is good for your lifespan: Bicycling is a great way to increase your longevity, as cycling regularly has been associated with increased ‘life-years’, even when adjusted for risks of injury through cycling.

 

5. Cycling is good for your coordination: Moving both feet around in circles while steering with both your hands and your body’s own weight is good practice for your coordination skills.

6. Cycling is good for your mental health: Riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health.

7. Cycling is good for your immune system: Cycling can strengthen your immune system, and could protect against certain kinds of cancers.

Even with all of these health benefits to cycling, some of us may ride them just for fun. I know I do.

One of my favourite locations for cycling is the forest in Jussy which offers kilometres of outstandingly beautiful flat tracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a  photo from my recent bike ride in the forest of Jussy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best wishes,

David

 

Some useful local resources for cycling in Geneva and Switzerland

Cycling for Beginners – NHS Choices
http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/getting-started-guides/pages/getting-started-cycling.aspx

Carte vélo Genève ville et environs
Cette carte répertorie les itinéraires recommandés et les informations pratiques pour les cyclistes.
http://bit.ly/POrw0v

Information on cycling and courses for people who want to learn to cycle, or get used again to the traffic.
www.provelogeneve.ch

Taking New Cycling Paths to Enjoy Switzerland
http://www.veloland.ch/en/welcome.cfm

Forest pathways at the Forest of Jussy near Geneva
http://www.a-trip.com/tracks/view/46442

Mountain Bike routes in Switzerland
http://www.bikegeneve.ch/carte-des-circuits-vtt.html

 

 

 


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