The benefits and the risks of Cycling
Carrie Tennick considers the benefits and risks of Cycling.
Cycling is an increasingly popular way of getting around, with more bikes on the roads than ever before. But, as with most forms of exercise, there are both benefits and risks associated with it. As well as offering you the opportunity to get a workout into your daily commute, cycling also cuts down on the use of fossil fuels, making it one of the greenest forms of transport. However, it can be a potentially dangerous activity to take part in, with other vehicles posing a threat and pollution an ongoing concern.
The health benefits of cycling are nearly unlimited. It is one of the best forms of cardio you can engage in, thanks to its low impact on joints, causing fewer injuries than other activities. It uses most of the major muscle groups and you can choose how intense you want your ride to be.
Regular cycling means improved cardiovascular fitness, stronger bones and muscles and reduced levels of stress, according to various studies. This is a great deal more beneficial to your health than sitting at the wheel of your car.
To keep your bike at its optimum state, consider having it set up by a professional. This will ensure your posture is correct when cycling. Neither your seat nor handlebars should be too high and you should be able to maintain a comfortable position. A professional will be able to adjust each individual part of your bike to fit your body, making it a more comfortable – and therefore beneficial – ride for you.
The risks to health
Unfortunately, when you venture out onto the roads, there are also risks. Having a cycling accident becomes a possibility when you are stuck next to a 40-tonne lorry and the driver is not paying enough attention.
In 2018, the UK saw 99 cyclists lose their lives on the road. This makes cyclists one of the most vulnerable road user groups, along with motorcyclists and pedestrians. As the majority of roads were not designed with cyclists in mind, they can fall foul of larger and more powerful vehicles at junctions and when turning.
Cyclists are also at risk of door opening accidents. This can occur when motorists open their doors without checking properly for any approaching bikes. To make matters worse, what may be a minor issue to a motorist – such as a pothole – could be hugely dangerous to a cyclist.
Other vehicles are not the only threat to cyclists on the roads. Pollution is a particular worry for many bike enthusiasts. Road cyclists are increasingly deciding to wear masks to protect from the particles in the air.
So although cycling remains one of the best forms of activity for most people, caution should be exercised when doing so on the roads.
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About the Author
Carrie Tennick is a content specialist at First4Lawyers, who help people hurt in accidents get justice. The company works to claim compensation for injuries suffered through accidents that were not their fault.
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