Healthy Tip: Saddle up and pedal for your heart

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Pedal for your heart

Heart Research UK wants children, staff and parents across the UK to get involved in the UK’s largest inter-school cycling and scooting challenge; ‘The Big Pedal’, which is running from 20 to 31 March.  

Adults in the UK are advised to take 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week in order to maintain good health and to reduce risk of a number of diseases including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and cycling is a fantastic aerobic activity.
Whilst the challenge is aimed at inspiring as many people as possible to choose two wheels for their journey to school, we’d like to encourage all commuters to take on a similar two week cycle challenge to commute by bike and clocking as many miles as they can. 


Value your commute
If you’re one of the many people that thinks you don’t have time for exercise, cycling to work is a simple way to add value to your commute. It makes your day more active without eating into your precious family time.  By cycling to and from work, or to the train station, you can miss traffic jams and arrive fresh and alert for the day.


Expend energy
Pedal power is a great calorie burner which will help you get your body’s energy intake and expenditure in balance. So as well as eating well and including regular amounts of physical activity, a cycle commute could help you to maintain a healthy weight and waist measurement.


Join team ‘two-wheels’
Encourage friends and colleagues to jump in the saddle and join you. Your workplace may already have a tax efficient cycle to work scheme, saving both you and your employer money so ask your HR or Finance Department to consider setting up a tax efficient cycle to work scheme,  if you don’t already have one. 


Not just a bike ride
Cycling is a low impact exercise which can burn up to 650 calories in a hour and, by making your heart muscle work that extra bit harder, will make it stronger and more efficient at pumping the blood around your body and boost energy levels.  The British Medical Association suggests that cycling just 20 miles a week is enough to reduce your risk of heart disease by 50% compared with those who don’t cycle at all.


Save money
Cycling to work could save you money by cutting down the costs of getting to work by public transport and fuel, as well as saving on an expensive gym membership. Think about how much you could save each month on top of the added health benefits?

Why not join ‘The Big Pedal’ fortnight and join thousands of people across the country by giving cycling a go. Who knows, you could become one of the two million people in the UK cycling at least three times a week and enjoying healthier, happier, longer lives.