As we keep being reminded, these are ‘challenging times’. Routines have been up-rooted, as have our offices and schools. Between all the news, gossip and speculation, it can become a little too easy to get stuck inside your own head. Rather than getting caught up in a negative cycle, why not take up a positive one?
You might be working from your dining room table or spare room at the moment, but that doesn’t need to stop you from enjoying the benefits of Cyclescheme. Now more than ever, it’s important to keep on-top of your mental and physical health. As we spend more time at home there are plenty of perks to be had. Extra time with the family, freedom to explore hobbies and a chance to finally get stuck into that book. But highs come with lows, and it can be all too easy to fall into bad habits; forget to log off mentally and get bogged down with anxiety about the future. Taking the time to exercise and get outdoors can be a great antidote to any feelings of sluggishness you might encounter, whether mental or physical.
Mind and body
At a time where stresses are high, it’s important to keep active. Exercise releases endorphins which naturally regulate hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are vital under the right circumstances, but when your body releases them too frequently or at the wrong time, they can cause unnecessary worry and stress. Outdoor exercise is recommended as a means of helping various mental health issues including anxiety and research has shown that cyclists are less likely to be stressed. A survey exploring the benefits of taking cycling found that 75% of new cyclists noticed an improvement in their mental health after take-up. Soothing your soul could be as straightforward as a cycle.
As well as the mental health benefits, riding a bike is a great way to keep fit. Getting out of the house less often will naturally mean less exercise for most of us, so it’s key that we maximise our outdoor time to benefit our health. As an aerobic activity, cycling is a great workout for your heart, lungs and blood vessels. As well as improving cardiovascular health, riding a bike can build muscle, burn fat and help you tone-up. The great thing about cycling is that it’s accessible to all. No matter what your current level of fitness is, or what your goals are, there’ll be a bike and a routine right for you. Even if you have mobility issues, you’ll find a range of disability cycles and adapted bikes.
How can Cyclescheme help?
With Cyclescheme, you can avoid a large upfront cost on the purchase of a new bike, as well as save money long-term on tax, PRSI and USC. You can use a handy calculator to work out how much you’ll save, which can be up to 52%. Even if your commute has been put on hold, you’ll be able to get outdoors in the meantime through Cyclescheme. The government currently recommends getting outside for at least 30 - 60 minutes of outdoor exercise. A bike ride is an excellent way to make the most of your daily exercise time, as you’ll be able to venture further and see more than on foot. Cycling can also be gentler on the body than running, which means you may be able to keep it up for faster and longer. It’s also a way to mix things up - you can still enjoy runs and walks but keep things fresh with a cycle.
It’s not all or nothing
When you do return to the office, don’t worry about needing to commit to a cycle commute full-time. It’s not all or nothing, but now you’ll have an alternative to the car, bus or train. The freedom to make your own way, when you want. Many cycle commuters will split their week, cycling some days and driving or catching public transport on others. Some even cycle part-way, dropping off the car a convenient distance from the office or hopping on a train for the remainder of the journey. No matter how you choose to cycle to work, you’ll have a community behind you. When you take out a Cyclescheme package, you’ll automatically get access to Love to Ride, an exclusive community with access information, rewards and incentives to keep you on-track.
Here’s how regular cycling can play a key role in your mental wellbeing.
You don’t have to be able to repair your bike to enjoy worry-free commuting. Most roadside problems can either be pre-empted or soon solved.
If you aren't already enjoying the benefits of cycling to work, or need a little convincing, you've come to the right place...