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Ride to work and help your body, mind and hip pocket

Thursday 23 October, 2014 by Kat Clay

Riding to work is a great way to stay fit and save money at the same time.

As a regular commuter on my bike, I started riding to work when I moved to Melbourne as a way to save money on public transport fares.

It didn’t seem right to pay $7 for a train ride that was only four stops, when I could get to work quicker (and for free) on a bicycle.

Embracing cycling has brought back memories of cycling as a kid; I always loved riding my bike to school and careening down hills. Part of me feels the joy of being a kid every time I get on my bicycle.

At first it was tough; riding up hills, thighs burning, sweating a bucket and puffed out. I realised how unfit I had gotten over the years. I slogged it out, chanting myself up the hills like the little red engine that could.

But after the first few weeks I found myself less puffed out. My stomach had lost a bit of flab. My thighs were getting stronger.

After a few months, I found myself cycling into the city on weekends and seeing the bicycle as my preferred option for getting around.

After a year of riding to work, I now enjoy longer rides on the weekends and I keep going further and further on the bicycle.

Even though I’m a slow cyclist, I’ve worked up to riding 30kms in a day, and aim to go further in the future.

Ride2Work Day – perfect chance to give it a go

Wednesday October 15 was national Ride2Work Day. Spring is perfect weather for cycling to work – not too hot or cold – and there are some great resources on hand to get you started.

Ride2Work Day is organised by the Bicycle Network. Their website has some excellent information for new and regular commuters.

Ride to work and reduce cancer risk

Riding to work is not only a great way to stay fit, but an excellent way to cut your cancer risk. Up to one hour of moderate activity daily or 30 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended to reduce the risk of many cancers, such as bowel and breast cancer.

Active commuting ‘improves wellbeing’

A recent study has also shown that people who had an active commute such as walking or cycling were found to have a higher level of wellbeing than those who went by car or public transport.  

On a personal level, cycling to and from work is a great way to release the stress of the day.

I can really tell the difference in my moods between the days that I cycle and the days that I don’t.

As someone who never enjoyed going to the gym, I’ve embraced cycling because there’s nothing better than riding along the many bike trails of Melbourne on a beautiful day and leaving the traffic jams behind. 

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