Cycling is one of the healthiest and cheapest forms of exercise, and yet we tend to relegate it to summer weekends with the kids or a turn on the exercise bike while we're at the gym. Why not get the bike out of the garage and dust it off? You could save time and money on your commute, and get into shape at the same time.
Avoid the frustration of morning traffic jams, take some exercise in the open, improve strength and fitness... these are just some of the benefits that cycling to work has to offer, and more and more Europeans are pedalling their way to work and to health.
There are other benefits too, of course: with less inconvenience from the traffic, you'll be better able to time the journey, you'll be incorporating a workout into your daily routine and your cardiovascular and respiratory system will note the difference after just a few weeks.
Cycling can strengthen joints, develop muscles, reduce stress levels and relieve back problems. So, while the summer weather makes it easier to get on track to good habits, what are you waiting for?
A couple of words of warning for those keen to get 'in the saddle':
- Don't forget to limber up with a few warm-up stretches first, just as you would for any other workout.
- Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you and wear a safety helmet.
- Ankle straps are a good idea to stop trousers getting caught in the chain or pedals
- If you're cycling after dark, don't forget to make sure your tail lights are working and wear a reflective vest.