7 Magnificent Ways To Walk With Your Bicycle
7 ways cycling will make you a champion
You’ve probably noticed that cyclists are everywhere - commutes, lunch breaks, holidays and leisure time are all being spoken for by cycling.
This current boom is nothing we haven’t seen before (these things, er, tend to go in cycles) but it's notable that those in the saddle have earned themseles a new moniker — MAMILs: Middle-Aged Men In Lycra. Yes, it's predominantly 34-52 year-olds who are pedalling this penchant for pedals. While the fitness benefits are obvious, these men have been found to hit the saddle for a boos in mental health, too; with the new research showing cyclists have a greater sense of wellbeing, belonging and mindfulness owing to their sportive.
It doesn't end there, either. Here are a few more lifestyle and health benefits from a lifetime in the saddle...
...biologically younger than drivers
Ditched the cardio commute for a cushy parking space near work? A study from King's College London looked at over 2,400 pairs of identical twins and found those who did just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years younger biologically. Want to stick around to see our ever-increasing retirement age? On your bike.
...better lifters on leg day
Unlike most gym-bros, two-wheelers scoff at squats. The journalMedicine &ScienceinSportsandExercisefoundcyclistswerebetteratleg-daycompoundliftslikehacksquatsthanmaleswhodidn'thitthebikes.Ifyou're looking for a lower-body boost without scheduling in extra squatting time, cycling is an easy fix.
(Related: how to supercharge cycling endurance with weights)
...more efficient at work
Riding in to work may seal you that promotion without the need to stick your boss on the back. A study of 200 people carried out by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime improved their performance, boosted their motivation and maxed their ability to deal with stress. Stuck in a rut at your desk? Break the cycle – not literally, of course.
...saving money daily
Getting to work via pedal power isn't just adding years on your life – it's adding money in the bank. Research from Thinkmoney found rail commuters spent an average of £2,440 a year, while your average Ford Focus driver drops an annual £4,800 on petrol. Other than the initial purchase of your bike, and perhaps, a few bits of lycra, cycling is free. Stick the savings in your retirement fund and you'll have all those extra years to spend it.
...having more sex
In you trudge, smelling from the train, pizza in the oven, Pointless on the telly. No wonder you're hardly in the mood for romance. Research carried out at Harvard University found that men who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30% lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise. Ride home full of endorphins and jump off the bike straight into her arms.
Insomnia is a modern epidemic. If you find yourself counting the seconds, consider an evening ride before dropping off. Stanford University School of Medicine researchers found 20-30 minutes of hard cycling halved the time it took for insomniacs to get to sleep, and time in bed increased by almost an hour. An easy hack for better sleep – just make sure you're off the bike first.
(Related: 4 ways to get back to sleep instantly)
Type-2 diabetes risk is higher than ever, butPLOS Medicinefound bikes are an easy way to beat the disease. The study measured Danish commuters, with regular cyclists 20% less likely to develop Type 2. So far, so obvious, but even those who started cycling during the month-long study were less likely to contract the disease. You can start now and be a healthier man tomorrow.
Video: 3 Ways To Become A Stronger Cyclist
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