Cycling as a Part of Daily Life: A Review of Health Perspectives

Cycling as a means for day-to-day travel has gained attention from the transport and environmental sectors for a number of advantages over motorized travel.

Health effects of cycling can be both positive (benefits) and negative (risks). The main pathway for health benefits from cycling is physical activity. Other beneficial pathways include improvements of quality of life through mobility and access gained through cycling. Some beneficial outcomes, such as improved cognitive function or reduced risk of depression, may reflect a mix of all these pathways. Finally, there are indirect health benefits of reduced motor vehicle use when cycling trips replace car trips (e.g. reduced air and noise pollution, and increased social engagement in more livable communities).

The main negative pathways are crash risks and the risk of increased exposure to air pollution while riding in motorized traffic.

Health benefits and risks of cycling are complex, context dependent, and often under-researched. Consequently, it is not always possible to come to definitive conclusions.

AIM:There is consensus that regular cycling, such as on a daily or weekly basis, is more important for health than occasional vigorous exercise; however, the exact trade off between intensity and frequency remains poorly understood. Even activity frequencies of once per month have been associated with benefits.

Is 30 minutes of cycling a day enough?

Cycling for 30 minutes should be sufficient as long as you are doing intervals. The workout won’t necessarily build endurance, but it will burn fat and build muscle. Just remember that intense cycling will burn in the neighborhood of 500 calories/hour.

Health Pathways Related to Cycling

The main health pathways are described in the order of magnitude of impacts, based on findings from health impact studies (Mueller et al., 2015). These indicate that on a population level, benefits from physical activity from cycling outweigh risks from crashes and air pollution as well as indirect effects from reductions in motor vehicle use (DE Suharto, Bodyguard, Inland, & Hoke, 2010; Rabl & DE Nazelle, 2012; Rojas-Rued, DE Nazelle, Taxidermy, & Leeuwenhoek, 2013).

Crash Risk from Cycling

  • The topic of crash risks from cycling includes falls and collisions, risks of injuries (by severity), and risk of fatality (hereafter referred to as crash risk). The crash risk associated with cycling is one of the few disadvantages of this travel mode.
  • Both decision-making on safety measures and cycling promotion, in general, require an understanding of crash risks that allows for sound comparisons.
  • The main concepts addressed in this review are illustrated in the framework in that is, crash risk conceptualized as an exposure-adjusted rate (i.e. ratio between adverse events and an exposure measure), and impacts referring to the number of adverse events occurring in a specific population over a defined period of time.
  • Diagonal arrows indicate ‘feedback’ mechanisms, that is, ‘perceived safety’, and ‘safety in numbers’ (see below), which affect determinants of crash risk.

4 ways to make cycling a part of your daily life

Commute

Whether you bike from home to work, or park the car and use Coast as a last mile connector to the office, you’re already making the journey so why not use the time to get moving? A nationwide analysis of towns and cities where people bike to work showed that cycling commuters are richer, fitter and happier. It’s proven to reduce anxiety and stress, too.

Run errands

Coasting to pick up groceries or run errands around the neighborhood is not only a great way to integrate exercise into your day, it provides a powerful boost for the local economy. People who bike spend more locally than people who drive. And trying to hunt down a parking space at every stop? Forget about it.

Socialize

With so much happening downtown, it’s rare that an outing is confined to one place. Coffee, beer, food, movies, meetings, markets – whatever you’re doing, bike stations are conveniently located all over town. Eat, drink, socialize, and get your exercise in at the same time. It’s so easy it almost feels like cheating.

Just ride

Bike share is available 24/7. Found yourself with a spare hour? Grab a bike and explore. We’ll take adventuring in the sunshine and discovering new places over a stationary bike at the gym – every time.

10 Ways to incorporate cycling in your daily life

Cycling comes with its own set of advantages. One among the many is the fact that you can incorporate cycling into your daily routine almost effortlessly. Here’s how:

  1. Ride to work: With all those hours spent around a daily commute, all those auto rickshaw rejections and traffic snarls, riding to work is probably your safest bet. Without contributing to the growing pollution levels, if your work place is just a stones throw away, ditch your car, public transport or your bike for a cycle
  2. Run errands: If you’re not someone who would prefer riding to work, you could opt for it over the weekend while you run the errands. Hop on to the cycle and ride to your nearest market
  3. Family time: A family that rides together stays together. You can always encourage cycling among st your family members and help them realize the benefits of a healthy and active living
  4. Networking: Cycling clubs are on the rise across the country. Joining a cycling club for leisure or as a serious consideration would mean meeting like minded people and expanding your social circle
  5. Workout: If you like us are finding ways to ditch the gym but still wish to shed those extra killos or build muscle, add cycling to your schedule. Even a couple of kilometres of riding a day will ensure you sweat it out and burn the piling fat
  6. Discover a new place: Who said you need to spend thousands to find solace and adventure. Ride a trail and you’ll experience complete tranquility, feeling almost one with nature. Cycling is the best way to explore newer locations in the city. It ensures you have a first hand experience without having to worry about parking
  7. Support a cause: Remember that annual charity that you planned on supporting, maybe you could cycle for it rather than just donate your money. A number of charities across the country host cyclotrons or simple fellowship cycle rides to raise awareness about the cause they stand for. Participating in one will not just help you do some good for society but will also ensure you meet individuals contributing on a larger scale. You never know what synergies match where.
  8. Volunteer at a bike shop: If you are passionate about cycling and especially love the engineering side of it, then you could consider volunteering at the nearest bike shop. Every bike shop is looking for riders who speak about cycling more passionately to help spread the word about the benefits associated with it. You could just be a great addition.
  9. Drive the insomnia away: If you suffer from sleep deprivation, 30 minutes on the bike will enable you to get that good night’s sleep much faster! It’s scientifically proven as well.
  10. Support cycling related startups : Over and above all the above, you could put your skill to a much greater use. A number of cycle companies like us need support of varied kind – from social media, to content writing and even sales. It’s always great to have more hands onboard to help educate and inform the masses about the products that the cycle company has on offer and the benefits of effective use of the same.

Suggested to Read:Best Motarcycle chains for cyclist

Conclusion

Health impacts of cycling should play a central role in considerations about bicycle promotion. Benefits from physical activity are of such magnitude that they are worth pursuing by individuals equally as by society, even though locally, safety issues may need to be addressed simultaneously. In many aspects, health benefits of cycling are more tangible than other reasons to promote cycling and provide a quantifiable case for investments in this mode of transport.No wonder that increasingly, fitness has gotten a whole lot creative. While traditional forms would keep a workout limited to the gym, our schedules have forced inventions including – Power Garbo workout.

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