Taking place from September 27th to October 1st, Bike to School Week is a week-long event designed to encourage families to cycle to school instead of driving or relying on public transport.
Although the health benefits of cycling are well known, there are other benefits too, so grab your helmets and put on your reflective gear as we take a closer look at why more people should take part in Bike to School Week.
It's impossible to overstate how good cycling is for improving your general health. Regular physical activity of any kind has been shown to help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis, but cycling is among the easiest ways to exercise as it can be included into most people's daily routines - such as by cycling to school.
Cycling also uses all the major muscle groups, giving you and your kids an excellent all-over workout and increasing stamina and strength. Because it is an aerobic activity, cycling also provides your heart, lungs and blood vessels with an important workout while simultaneously improving mobility, posture and coordination, burning fat, strengthening bones and decreasing stress and anxiety levels.
Because cycling is a low-impact exercise - meaning it doesn't put any strain or weight on your muscles or joints - it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and only requires as little as two hours per week to improve your health. It can also be done at any level of intensity, making it as suitable for children just learning to ride as it is for teenagers who want to go as fast as possible.
So long as you have access to a bicycle, another benefit of cycling to school is it's absolutely free!
For many families, the cost of driving their children to school, or paying for public transport, is extremely expensive and, at a time when many households face financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, reducing costs wherever possible is vital. Swap driving to school for cycling and you'll be quids-in in no time.
A recent study led by the University of Oxford's Transport Studies Unit found that switching from driving to cycling once a day enabled people to reduce their carbon footprints by approximately 0.5 tonnes per year - a significant amount.
Although global efforts to tackle climate change are at an all-time high, it's more important than ever to do what you can to help the cause. The good news is you can make a difference by simply getting on your bike.
Another great reason to cycle to school is because it's fun! Getting outdoors, coasting down hills and taking the time to appreciate the natural world are things we could all do more of and cycling allows you to do all three at once.
If you're planning on accompanying your children on their journey to school, you could make it even more fun by having a race and noting your times to see if you can beat them the following day.
At Leeds Credit Union, we offer loans from £250 to £2,000 which could go towards the cost of buying a bike or getting your kids more active. Click here for more information.
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