Cycle your way to fitness in the new year
Escaping with the family and brushing off the cobwebs to get your body moving is a must for January. Cycling is perfect post-Christmas activity and it doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit as it can be a magical time with the whole family in tow.
Children love cycling as it gives them the freedom to enjoy nature independently; they can set the pace and pick their own route along the paths. Even with little ones, cycling trailers and child bike seats mean you can head off into nature and banish the sofa and hypnotic screens for a few hours.
There are tons of benefits to cycling with the family, here are just a few:
- First of all, once you have your bike, it’s free! Searching on the internet for local routes means you don’t even need to get in the car.
- Doing something outdoors and getting moving releases endorphins and has been proven to be a great way to de-stress for both parents and children.
- Shared experiences will help you create deeper relationships with your children and golden memories to look back on!
- It is great for the health of the whole family.
We’ve teamed up with Michelle Jakeway of Raleigh Bikes and self-confessed fitness fanatic, who shares her tips for when cycling to help improve the whole family’s fitness:
- Aim to ride for at least an hour but don’t go too far – it’s better that everyone arrives home excited for the next trip rather than totally worn out!
- Set the pace by the slowest member of the group so that no-one gets left behind.
- Include some hills in your route if you can – nothing that will stretch the group you are cycling with too far but something that will get the blood pumping a little.
- Cycling firms up tums and bums, so this is a real benefit to people who get out and ride regular.
- Take drinks with you to keep fluid levels up and help keep you hydrated and refreshed.
- Try to make time to do this once a week or more – this will help you get fit and stay healthy. Cycling regularly with young children will also help them form healthy habits early on that will last them their whole life.
There are so many great places to ride with the family; your local park could be a starting point but if you’re feeling more adventurous take a look at the Sustrans website, which has tons of great resources.
If you need cycling equipment, head over to raleigh.co.uk, or take a look at our great competition for a chance to win four bikes and helmets to get you set from Raleigh Bikes.