When I first began commuting to Bradford from my parents house in Huddersfield it wasn’t simply because I was going mental with fitness at the time (maybe a little), it was mainly because getting the train was such a costly hassle. Two packed trains, delays, setting off to work 2 hours before work and all costing £60 a week – it seemed like a such a waste of money!
At the time I was setting my self goals that seemed quite unattainable.
The thing to keep in mind is anything is difficult at first!
Huddersfield to Bradford is about as hilly as it gets and at the time all I had was an impractical fixed gear bike with toe clips and one break. Not ideal although after a week or two I soon became familiar with the route and so did my body.
I understand how to some it might be quite impractical, poor changing facilities at work, you have to take loads of stuff etc and so on.
1. Naturally feel better.
*Look how happy I am!!!
When you perform exercise you release endorphins! If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart rate increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and eventually happy!
Almost makes it sound like exercise will answer all your woes right!?
2. Sitting in traffic sucks.
As a driver myself I know nothing annoys me more then sitting in traffic. Commuting to work by car means driving at peak rush hour, there’s absolutely no way of getting round this. The short cut you thought would be faster is known by many others and you will still get caught out!
As a cyclist it might not mean theoretically I’m as fast as a car, but it means those who overtake me a mile down the road often get stuck in traffic further up thus meaning eventually I end up in front!
It’s also worth mentioning that it takes me an hour to get to work via car, often more, but only 50 minutes by bike! It’s a no brainer right?
3. Your getting exercise without thinking about it.
We’re creatures of routine so after a while it simply becomes the ‘norm’ and for me I can safely say that’s the case. It has it’s ups and downs and on a summers day there’s nothing better then commuting to work, winter isn’t so easy but still, I know it’s my main mode of transport so I don’t rely on anything else other then my bike to get to work. If the weather is horrendous or I’m not feeling too great I still have the option of catching the train.
4. It’s dirt CHEAP
If I were to get the train 5 days a week it would cost £30 resulting in £120 worth of travel by the end of the month! Get to work for free or burn £30 on expensive unreliable transport? You can pick up a decent bicycle for £300 on top of the incentives that are already in place (cycle to work scheme), within a few months the benefits from cycling to work would pay for them itself!
5. Eat LOADS!
Maybe this is a bit of a misleading title. I cycle 30 miles a day to get to work burning off 1400 calories (roughly) a day on my commute which is over half my guided daily intake of calories should be. Effectively this means my appetite tends to be bigger as I need to feed my body in order to keep up with the energy to get too and from work! This means I’m not overly cautious on what I eat given how much I need to consume to cycle to work!
Stop making excuses! Grab your bike and cycle to work! Even if you start one day a week it’ll be worth while in the long run!