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Bike Week 11th-19th June 2016

Published on 24th May 2016

Bike Week is held annually and is used to promote cycling and show how easy it is to make it a part of your daily life.  The focus this year is on encouraging people to cycle to work.  Bike Week 2016 is being held 11th – 19th June with cycling events happening countrywide.  These events encompass everything from Naked Bike Rides in Manchester to Beer & Dear Rides at Dunham Massey Brewery!  Check out the website at www.bikeweek.org.uk for details of all the events on offer.

We love cycling here at the Centre, and we’ve been checking out the many benefits of regular cycling.  Here are our top 10 favourites:

  1. Better Sleep!   Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University Sleep Research Centre explains that “exercising outside exposes us to daylight.  This helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync and also rids your body of cortisol, the stress hormone that can prevent deep, regenerative sleep”.   Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine asked sedentary insomnia sufferers to cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day and participants reported that the length of time it took them to fall asleep halved and time spent asleep increased by almost an hour.  So if you have trouble nodding off at night – get on your bike!
  2. Look Younger!  Exercise creates an ideal environment within the body to optimise the production of collagen, helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles and speed up the healing process. Don’t forget to slap on the sunscreen before venturing outside though!!
  3. Increased Brain Power!  Cycling helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus – the region of the brain responsible for memory.  This area deteriorates after the age of 30.  Exercise has been shown to boost blood flow and oxygen to the brain and could help ward of Alzheimer’s.  Don’t forget to wear your cycling helmet to protect that brain!
  4. Reduce Illness!  Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active so they are ready to fight off infection.  According to research people who cycle for 30 minutes, 5 days a week take around half the number of sick days as couch potatoes. “Cycling each day keeps the doctor at bay” – who needs apples?! 
  5. Be Happy!  The Mental Health Foundation advises exercising to help manage depression and just three 30 minute sessions a week can be enough to give you the lift you need.  Any mild to moderate exercise will release natural endorphins that help counter stress and make us happy.  Get on your bike and put a smile on your face!
  6. Get Energised!  It might seem counter intuitive but it’s true; just a few minutes of exercise gives the body and mind a surprisingly effective wake-up call.  Studies have shown that exercise directly lowers fatigue levels.  If you’re feeling tired – get on your bike and go for a ride! 
  7. Get Fit Without Trying Too Hard!  Regular cycling has massive benefits and, according to the National Forum for Coronary Heart Disease Foundation in the US, regular cyclists enjoy fitness levels equal to those of someone 10 years younger!  No more expensive gym memberships!
  8. Enjoy Family Time!  Cycling can be enjoyed by the whole family – even little ones can climb onto a bike seat or pull along buggy, and because it’s kind on the joints the grandparents can join in too.  Studies have found that kids are influenced by their parent’s exercise choices so if they see you cycling regularly, they accept it as the norm and will follow your example.  Just don’t embarrass your teenagers by wearing fluorescent lycra!
  9. Heal Your Heart!  According to the British Heart Foundation around 10,000 fatal heart attacks could be avoided each year if people were fitter.  Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of sedentary people.  Show yourself a little love and get cycling!
  10. Your Boss Will Love You!  A study of 200 people by the University of Bristol found that employees who exercised before work or at lunchtime not only improved their time and workload management but motivation was boosted along with their ability to deal with stress.  We are definitely going to point this one out to our boss!

Long hours in the saddle can leave your muscles feelings knotted and tight.  If left untreated these sore spots can spread which is why so many cyclists swear by massages. 

Massage can help loosen tight spots, flush out toxins and keep muscle fibres smooth and limber so that you can ride pain free.  If you cycle several times a week then a monthly massage will help keep your muscles flexible and free of tightness.

Regardless of experience or skill, cyclists from all walks of life are enjoying the benefits of receiving regular massage; using it as an aid to recovery, to prevent injury and enhance performance.

Finally, please don’t forget to wear a cycling helmet and make sure you are visible when out on your bike……and if you pass another cyclist give them a wave – you’re part of a club now!

 

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