You might be aware of the cycle to work scheme that your employer offers, and if not, perhaps it’s time you speak to the HR department to get more information. You might have even considered joining the scheme at one time or another but backed out as a matter of convenience.
But the truth is, cycle to work schemes are popular around the globe as shown in this guide from My Baggage – and there is a good reason for that. There are so many benefits to choosing a bike as your daily commute, and we’re going to look at these below.
So if you’re considering joining a cycle to work scheme, here’s why you absolutely should.
1. To improve your physical health
One of the most obvious benefits of cycling to and from work each day is that you will get physically fitter and healthier. Your fitness levels will grow the more you cycle, and it’s likely that you’ll see yourself begin to lose weight and trim up (if you need to lose weight, that is).
If you don’t currently exercise regularly, you’re likely to see greater improvements in your health. And due to the low-impact and moderate intensity of this activity, it’s the perfect way for people of varying fitness levels to get and stay in shape.
What’s more, regular exercise is not just useful for looking and feeling great; it’s good for your heart, it reduces the risk of a stroke and believe it or not, it can also help to prevent other common medical issues such as cancer.
2. To improve your mental wellbeing
As well as your physical health, there is a lot of strong evidence that proves riding a bike is good for your mental health as well. In fact, a Cycling UK survey of over 11,000 people found that a staggering 91% of participants rated off-road cycling as important for managing their mental wellbeing.
And there are several reasons for this. Firstly because exercise is good for boosting your self-esteem, reducing anxiety and releasing endorphins. It also helps you to de-stress and clear your mind. All of which contributes towards managing your mental health and reducing the chance of mental health issues in the future.
As such, cycling can be the ideal way to set yourself up for a good day at work or unwind after a stressful day at the office.
3. To help you get more quality sleep
Another way that cycling supports your wellbeing is that it helps you to get better quality sleep.
It does this by taking you away from your screens for a while and allowing you to spend more time outdoors as you ride to and from work.
Not only this, but physical exercise improves your fitness, and regular moderate cardiovascular activities help you to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep for longer, which in turn helps you to develop better sleeping habits.
And we all know that getting a good nights sleep is the key to having a good day.
4. Because it’s better for the environment
As we become increasingly aware of our impact on the planet, lots of people are making small but important changes to their lifestyle in order to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
And a cycle to work scheme is a great way to do this.
By riding your bike instead of driving your car every day, you can cut your emissions and reduce your carbon footprint hugely. So not only do you get fit, but you can also feel great about what you’re doing.
5. Because you can bag yourself a discount
In a bid to encourage more people to swap their car for their bikes, most cycle to work schemes offer discounts on bikes and accessories. Because let’s face it, in most cases, bikes aren’t free and this can put people off purchasing them as it’s another expense.
However, the right scheme can offer as much as 25-39% on bikes and accessories. This is done through a tax scheme in which you pay nothing upfront, and then payments are taken tax efficiently from your salary each month by your employer.
You can also request a cycle to work package of more than £1,000, so you can get a great bike or perhaps even an electric bike for longer and tougher commutes.
6. Because it’s an easier way to fit exercise into your day
Between work, family, friends and our many other commitments, fitting a workout into your day can be a real challenge. But if you cycle to work, you can kill two birds with one stone. Riding your bike is an easy way to fit not just one workout, but two into your day and it doesn’t matter how long or short your ride is.
If you ride for just 20 to 30 minutes a day, you’ll meet the government’s recommended 150 minutes of exercise for the week.
7. You could save yourself time
For some people, cycling to work can actually be quicker than their drive to work. This is because rush hour traffic can slow you down, plus you can take shortcuts that you can’t access by car, cutting down your journey time.
So, by riding your bike rather than driving, you could win yourself some of your precious time back every day. Essentially, it means you can get home quicker at the end f the day and it also means you don’t have to leave your house as early in the morning – it’s a win-win!
8. You can also save yourself money
And finally, another one of the biggest benefits of joining a cycle to work scheme is that you can save yourself an impressive amount of money. This is because the cost of maintaining a bike is far less than the cost of running and maintaining a car.
So, by cycling, you’ll save yourself money every time you commute. And if you’re not sure whether it’s worth the extra effort or not, perhaps this will change your mind.
A study by Cyclescheme estimated that cycling to work could save you as much as £3000 a year! And who doesn’t want that?