Noticed the huge numbers of lyrca clad folk zooming past you on your way to work in the morning, looking fresh faced and a little smug while you sit in traffic?
More and more people are switching to cycling as a way to get into work – and there are good reasons why. Cycling to work is a fantastically simple way of helping you burn fat and save money – all before you get into the office.
Here are seven ways you can life hack your commute and keep your weight down and your bank balance up in the process!
1. You’ll save money on gym membership and classes
If you’re getting the miles in at the beginning and end of your day, you can forgive yourself for not hitting the treadmill at lunch or getting up early to run before your commute.
Cycling into work – even if you cycle to your nearest transport stop rather than the whole way in – can slot a good chunk of exercise into your daily routine, without you needing to make extra time for it.
There is also evidence to suggest that energy expenditure cycling outside is greater than inside, so whilst whipping through the streets with the wind on your face, you’re actually doing a better workout than sat on a stationary bike at the gym!
2. You’ll save money on your weekly commute
On average, people who cycle to work every day save £285 every single month. Buying a bike and the necessary equipment might seem like a big investment in the first place, but those monthly savings will make it all worthwhile.
If your employer offers a cycle to work scheme, you can also save a significant amount of money on a new bike whilst spreading the cost across the year. Interested in just how much you could save? Check out this handy calculator to see just what it could come to. It could be as little as £30 a month!
3. You’ll kick start your metabolism and burn calories for rest of day
Exercising helps you to speed up your metabolic rate and has a lasting effect which means the metabolism remains elevated for some time afterwards. Although this effect will slowly fade, by sandwiching the working day with two bouts of cycling, you can help maintain a faster metabolism throughout the day.
4. Early exercise suppresses appetite
Research suggests that aerobic exercise (like cycling) leads to a temporary suppression in appetite. The biology behind it works two-fold; exercise leads to a suppression of the hormone ghrelin, a hormone which increases the appetite, and an increase in the production of peptide YY, an appetite suppressing hormone.
Science aside, it is very important to refuel and enjoy a healthy breakfast after cycling to work. But by avoiding ravenous hunger, your food choices are more likely to be considered and nutritious, rather than just a quick fix to keep you going.
5. You’ll avoid energy dips
Solid blocks of exercise help elevate energy levels and all without the influence of sugar! By helping keep energy levels at a stable level, you’re less likely to feel lethargic and seek a sugary snack to lift your spirits.
Those little spends on snacks can take their toll on your wallet as well as on your waistline – regular exercise can help avoid the craving.
6. You will build large muscle groups (quads) to burn fat
By regularly hopping on your bike you are giving serious love to one of the largest groups of muscles in your body – the quads and hamstrings.
Even better, by building up muscle mass you increase the body’s resting metabolic rate, so a stronger version of you burns more energy even at a complete standstill.
In simple terms, this means that by making one of your biggest sets of muscles even bigger, you turn your body into an efficient, calorie-burning machine!
7. It puts a healthy lifestyle front and centre
If you start your day with a breath of fresh air and a bowl of something delicious, you’ll be in a different place to those late start mornings when you sit on the train with a groggy head and a bacon sandwich.
Kick start your day with a positive decision for your mind and body, and you’ll reward yourself with a series of better choices throughout the day which will help you be healthier and wealthier.
So how about it? Cycle to Work Day is 13th September and is a chance for you to ditch the car or public transport commute, and swap to cycling instead. Join cycle commuters across the country as they hop on their bikes!
From first timers to cycling enthusiasts, thousands of people across the UK are expected to get involved. Last year’s event saw 45,000 cyclists pledging to pedal over half a million miles.
This year it’s the fifth anniversary of the annual event, and the celebration of cycling is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. Cycling to work is the simple way to be healthier, happier and wealthier – try it for yourself on the 13th September and reap the benefits.
Get involved and pledge your miles for this Cycle to Work Day: https://cycletoworkday.org/