For years I’ve always said exercise is dangerous. Exercise causes injuries which can hurt and can stop you going to work and earning a wage. Pretty dangerous when you’ve a family to support. But in reality, exercise is brilliant if you do it properly.
When I was younger and at school, I did plenty of exercise. Whether it was walking to school, running around in PE at school or going out with friends outside of school, I was always doing something. Then when I left school it started to subside. I passed my driving test and started driving everywhere instead of walking or getting on the bike. As much as I have relied on driving for work etc, it really killed me health wise.
I gained weight rapidly after passing my driving test. That mixed with working meant I had money. Where did I spend money? Food outlets such as McDonalds, Frankie and Bennys, the local Chip Shop, the pub. I spent money on food like it was going out of fashion because in my late teens it was a way of getting out of the house.
Fast forward a few years to my early-mid twenties and I found myself with a gym membership. I hated the gym, but I liked swimming and I loved the spinning classes. I would often spin a couple of times a week. I even went as far as to pay for a personal trainer. Those weeks I had personal training sessions I started to lose weight again, but when I had to re-prioritise money and couldn’t afford the sessions I quickly gained it again.
This proved that with a decent diet, exercise certainly helps with weight loss. We all know it, but we don’t all do it. Often we want a quick and easy diet that will make us lose weight over-night. Well, it will never happen, so we have to work at it.
I picked up cycling again last year. I loved cycling as a kid, being out on the bike gave a sense of freedom. I loved spinning when I had a gym membership. So the natural choice for a healthy hobby would be cycling. I ordered a bike last year and I’ve not been off it this year.
I already feel better for the exercise I am now getting. Having the indoor turbo trainer is a big plus at the moment, especially with the snow looking like it’s on our doorstep. The benefits I’ve noticed so far;
- I feel more energetic
- I’m sleeping better (when I’m not disturbed)
- I feel I can achieve more
- I am happier as a person
- I’m losing weight
These are just a few good things that exercise can inflict on you. There are of course health benefits too, which you may not see day in day out. Getting a good amount of exercise can help reduce the risk of a stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer by up to 50%. That’s MASSIVE! All just by getting your heart rate elevated for a few minutes per day.
You don’t need any elaborate equipment to exercise, you don’t even need to pay out for a gym membership. Exercise is free and is something you should be able to fit in around your schedule no matter how busy you are. It comes in many forms, whether it’s a planned workout, doing the housework or even walking to the shop for that pint of milk instead of driving.
Now, cycling, in particular, is easy to get into if you already have a bike or can afford one if you don’t currently own one. If you need to buy one, don’t go buying a Specialized Madone or anything, places like Halfords or Tredz often stock cheap bikes which are ideal for people just getting into it. Buying a bike can be complicated, but shops tend to have staff who know what they’re on about if you tell them what you want.
Cycling is one of the best things you can do for a routine exercise. You can use it to get places, so your saving on fuel and the environment at the same time. It’s a low-impact exercise which means it’s easier on your joints than, say, running.
I started out last year just doing a few miles here and there where I could, now I’m just coming to the end of #REDJanuary where I’m Riding Every Day through January.
So stop reading this post and get your bum off that seat and get moving. You won’t regret it.
If you want more information on getting active and the benefits of it, see this page provided by the NHS.