Walking or cycling your way to physical health!

27th March 2020

In this time that we are all faced with a major public health challenge it is more important than ever to keep up your physical activity. It’s recommended that adults take part in a minimum 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, however, almost 4 in 10 UK adults – that’s around 200.000 people in the Greater Belfast area – are failing to meet this target.
You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Because of its low-impact, it won’t damage your knees as much as running. Walking is good for your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, and great for strengthening your muscles, bones, and joints. Some of the other benefits include reduced risk of heart disease and stroke; improved balance; reduced body fat; and improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Cycling is among a selection of forms of exercise recommended by the NHS as being healthy ways to cut your risk of developing respiratory diseases. A daily bicycle ride of 30 minutes or more would help you to achieve the recommended physical activity. Moderate cycling burns up to 500 calories per hour, which is more than walking or swimming. A 20-minute bike ride can use the same amount of calories as a cappuccino, a bar of chocolate or a 175ml glass of wine. Regular cyclists can have similar fitness levels to an average person of up to 10 years younger. Cycling also raises your metabolic rate, helping you to avoid weight gain.