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10 benefits of cycling

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Cycling has increased in popularity over the past decade thanks to events such as the Tour de France 2014 and the London 2012 Olympic Games which helped to dramatically raise the profile of the sport across the UK.

This summer on July 16th/17th, Joanna Newitt is taking part in the RSF Yorkshire Wolds Challenge, a charity cycling event to raise money for Rydale Special Families. Newitts will be blogging regularly about her journey and the personal challenges she faces. Below, we take a look at ten benefits of cycling.

Although the EU currently only has a small role in sports policy in member states, it does provide limited funding to grassroots sport. In addition, the rules in areas such as free movement and broadcasting mean Brexit could have a huge effect on the sport we watch.

Below, Newitts takes a look at the effect Brexit could have on UK sport. For each point, we've outlined the arguments for and against Britain leaving the EU.

1. It costs nothing

One of the best things about cycling is that it's a free sport. Once you've paid out for your bicycle and a helmet, plus some cycle gear (if you're really serious about cycling!), you can ride to your heart's content and it won't cost you a penny.

2. Anyone can do it

Unlike some sports, cycling is an easy, fun and low-impact sport than can be enjoyed by people of any age. You don't have to be super fit to ride a bike either, although it does help with fitness levels if you ride regularly and you'll find the sport much easier.

3. Children can come too

Even young children can climb onto a bike and ride, and for those too young, you can attach seats to your own bike to carry them, or attach your bike to theirs - the options are endless. There are even chariots available to attach to the back of a bike and pull really small children along.

4. It's easy to fit in

Cycling is easy and convenient. There is no preparation required for cycling, providing your tyres are pumped up, you can simply hop on your bike and go. Many people find it very easy to fit into their daily routine and will cycle to work, the park, the shops or school.

5. It's kind to the environment

Cycling is kinder to the environment than driving a car or taking the bus or train, and you can keep fit at the same time. That's why there's now an estimated one billion people across the world riding bicycles everyday for transport, recreation and sport.

6. It's convenient

Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. Furthermore, as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sitting time spent driving cars or sat on trains or buses, with healthy exercise.

7. It's a low impact sport

Cycling is a low impact sport meaning it causes less strain and injuries than other forms of exercise. It is a great choice of exercise is you are recovering from injury or illness as it can be done at a very low intensity to begin with, then built up into a demanding workout as and when required.

8. It's a great work-out

Cycling offers a great muscle workout - as you pedal you use all of the major muscle groups. It's also good for strength, building up stamina and aerobic fitness.

9. It's healthy

Cycling is healthy and can help protect you from serious diseases such as a stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis. Riding a bike regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems so you can continue to lead an active, healthy and longer life.

10. It's fun

Above all else, cycling is fun! It releases the adventurous side in people and often cyclists talk about the "buzz" they get from being outdoors. It is this feeling that compels people to cycle more regularly, in comparison to other physical activities which are often restricted to a certain time and place.

Look out for our next blog on Joanna Newitt's RSF Yorkshire Wolds Challenge! We'll be interviewing Joanna to find out how her training is going and finding out what tips she can give to new cyclists embarking on their own journeys!

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