Health Benefits of Cycling in Wales
Swansea bike path. Credit: Julian Cram/Sustrans
Research has shown that daily and weekly cycling exercise can cut heart disease, help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness.
NHS Guidelines for those of us aged 19-64, state that we should be doing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 30 minutes per day.
What are the benefits of being active daily?
- Reduces risk of a range of diseases, e.g. coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes
- Helps maintain a healthy weight
- Helps maintain ability to perform everyday tasks with ease
- Improves self-esteem
- Reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
Being active and meeting the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity guidelines helps prevent and manage over 20 long-term conditions. A report into the psychical activities of the home nations’ was published in 2011 by the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) called Start Active, Stay Active, in combination with The Department of Health. The report included guidelines for participation in physical activity across the life course.
Within the report the BHFNC outline:
- 30% reduced risk of Stroke
- 33% reduced risk of Cardiovascular Disease
- 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week decreases the risk of CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) by 14%
- 300 minutes of moderate physical activity a week decreases the risk of CHD by 20%
- Severely obese individuals who do no leisure time physical activity maylose 7.2 years of life compared to normal weight individuals who meet the physical activity guidelines
- 13% of type 2 diabetes cases could potentially be prevented
Similarly, mental health benefits can also be seen in the partaking of cycling exercise:
- Active adults have a 30% lower chance of feeling distressed or a 30% higher chance of enhanced wellbeing than inactive adults
- Physically active adults have a 20-30% lower risk of anxiety, depression, distress and dementia
- Enhance self-esteem