How do you get about at university? Public transport? Car? Walking? What about a bicycle? Whether you take your own bicycle to university or get one while you’re there, cycling at university can have major benefits.
This one is obvious. Cycling saves you money and as a student, money is one resource that is always in short supply. Bicycles don’t run on petrol so that saves you cash on fuel. But more importantly, you don’t need to spend thousands on public transport.
Okay, I am exaggerating here, but when commuting in and out of central London from the outskirts can cost upwards of £10 a day, cycling becomes an attractive alternative. True, you will need to spend money to fix punctures or get your bike serviced, but this is still cheaper than maintaining a car.
It’s no surprise that cycling is good for your health. But how good is it for your health? Well, the University of Glasgow reported that swapping the car or bus for your bike can cut the risk of developing heart disease and cancer by 41%
But it goes further than this, cycling in general is a great full-body workout. While your leg muscles, like your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, receive the biggest benefits, it is also great for building your cardiovascular fitness and to a lesser extent, your upper body. Your abdominal and pectoral muscles help to support and stabilise your body, thus helping you keep your balance.
And it’s also cheaper in the long term than shelling out for spin classes.
And of course, cycling is good for the environment. Bicycles don’t produce any CO2 emissions, which could save 100 people a year from dying of smog-related illnesses.
Cycling is a great way to meet new people. Whether you’re exploring your local area, travelling to university or part of an official team, cycling is definitely a social activity that you can use to make new friends.
We’ve already discussed the physical health benefits, but less obvious ones include your diet and your mental health. For the majority of us, exercise encourages us to lead a more healthy lifestyle in general. We prioritise sleep, feel calmer and make better choices. So, although you’ll be burning more calories, it’s likely that your newfound cleansed mind will opt for nutritional foods, ones that will really help power your cycles – rather than just junk, which you may have been living off before.
And in terms of your mental health, cycling is just less stressful than public transport or driving. You don’t have to suffer through road rage, traffic jams or that one drunken man who insists on talking to everyone on the bus.
Cycling just twenty minutes to your campus can get those serotonin levels pumping. Combined with a healthy diet and a good amount of sleep, cycling at university can do wonders for your state of mind.
But remember, if you’re cycling at university, then obey the rules of the road. Make sure to keep yourself safe and invest in a decent helmet.