Fitness Column - Get on your bike

Health tips from Xercise4Less fitness guru, The Colonel
Health tips from Xercise4Less fitness guru, The Colonel

TRACEY, 40, asks: I’ve seen a lot of people cycling recently since the Tour de France came through the country, and the amazing enthusiasm and good spirits it has brought has really inspired me to take up cycling. I’m used to going jogging, but I want to know what benefits cycling has as an alternative cardio exercise to running?

The Colonel says: Tracey, you’re right, Le Tour coming through Britain last week was an amazing example of how sport can bring communities together and celebrate! I too have seen an increasing number of people hopping on their bikes and also a lot more people using the indoor bikes at Xercise4Less.

It’s easy to see why cycling has become so popular in the summer months, it’s a great incentive to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Of course, cycling has much less of an impact to your knee joints than running as there is less direct impact on your legs and more focus on your entire body. If you’re used to running, don’t ditch it completely if you enjoy it, but take up cycling as an alternative to mix things up a bit- if you usually take a short drive to work, why not cycle it? Cycling has a much lower risk of injury and is less damaging to your muscles than running.

Many people may think that cycling doesn’t burn many calories compared to running, but a 30 minute leisurely cycle can burn up to 400 calories!

So if you’re looking to lose weight and dread the thought of going for a jog, perhaps cycling is the one for you!

Don’t leave your bike alone and gathering dust in the garage, get out and enjoy outdoors. Cycling is a great alternative cardio exercise!