Imagine if you could eliminate the stress caused by this commute and actually optimise your journey to work so that you experience both the mental and physical health benefits.
With offices starting to reopen again the memory of commuting is flooding back. Think rushing to the car, the underground, or a bus stop in a fluster, with your bag on one shoulder and your coffee balancing precariously in one hand. Followed by a long, crowded, and often interrupted or delayed journey to work, meaning you’re already stressed out and tired by the time you step into the office.
However, imagine if you could eliminate the stress caused by this commute and actually optimise your journey to work so that you experience both the mental and physical health benefits.
Well, you can - cycling!
The 5th of August is Cycle to Work Day, and to celebrate, we thought we'd tell you about the mental health benefits associated with cycling to work. How you can encourage and support your team members to cycle to work, and how you can enjoy the benefits associated with cycling if you can't cycle to work or if you work remotely.
So, let's dive in and take a look at how cycling can give you a mental boost!
5 Benefits of Cycling To Work
It Boosts Your Mood
Since you move your body and raise your heart rate when cycling, endorphins and essential neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin are released. The release of these natural chemicals promotes feelings of happiness, relaxation, and joy.
It Reduces Stress Levels
When cycling (or doing any exercise!), cortisol levels in the body are lowered, and therefore, you become less stressed, both physically and mentally. In addition, since you spend time in nature whilst you're cycling, you experience feelings associated with mindfulness activities, such as relaxation and peace.
It Improves Cognitive Function
Cycling boosts the brain's physical structure and improves cognitive function and increases vitality and reduces the likelihood of cognitive impairment. Therefore, you'll not only feel sharper on the day of cycling, but regular cycling can boost your cognitive function in the long run.
It Promotes Creativity
Although most types of exercise help improve cognitive function, cycling can boost creative thinking and help you to move past any mental block you're experiencing. This is mostly because you're outside breathing in the fresh air, as well as taking in different and new types of scenery whilst you cycle.
It Keeps You Physically Fit
One of the biggest benefits of cycling to work is that it keeps you physically fit. In addition to all of the physical health benefits associated with being physically fit, you're also much more likely to have better mental health. Research has shown that physical exercise improves self-esteem, lowers stress levels, reduces anxiety levels, and boosts mood.
Employers: How You Can Support Your Staff To Cycle To Work
Whether you're an employer or want to tell your employer how they can support you and other employees to cycle to work, here are our top tips on how companies can support cycling!
Share Routes With Your Team Members
One of the main reasons people don't choose to cycle to work is that they're concerned about safety on the road. So, one of the best ways to promote cycling to work is by sharing safe routes (traffic-free where possible!) with your employees.
Make Sure You Have The Correct Facilities
For cycling to work to be possible, the workplace needs to have proper facilities, including cycle storage facilities, a shower, a changing room, and lockers. All of these facilities ensure that anyone cycling to work can do so safely and comfortably!
Use Juno To Complement Cycling Needs
Team members can use their Juno points to request cycling accessories from Wiggle, bicycle maintenance or repair or even a order new bike through our Concierge service. There are also plenty of indoor cycling sessions available to order through Juno, like the ones listed next.
Sign Up For A Cycle To Work Scheme
If you're looking to support your employees to cycle to work, you can sign up for Cyclescheme UK. This allows employees to save between 25-39% on new bikes and accessories and promotes cycling to the workplace.
What To Do If You Can't or Don't Need To Cycle To Work
We completely understand that some people cannot cycle to work and need to take another form of transport, or maybe don't need to cycle because they work remotely.
However, if you are interested in bettering your mental health through cycling, you can do so in different ways!
You could get yourself a bike and cycle in your free time outside of work; you could give Peloton classes a go, try a spinning class such as SoulCycle, or you could add a cycle in the park (or cycle-specific place!) into your morning schedule before you start work.
Time to Get Pedalling!