Benefits of cycling: health and practical issues

Cycling is one of the least expensive and most healthy transport options available to young people. Cycling can enable you to get where you want without having to worry about traffic or public transport delays; it is also extremely good for your general health. Most towns have a number of cycle routes and facilities to park and secure your bike, which make it easier and safer to cycle in towns. Cycling from an early age can help to decrease the prevalence of social and health issues such as child obesity and inactivity. Cycling can also teach children knowledge of road safety and increase their independence.

Disadvantages of cycling

Many people worry about the safety of cycling, especially in busy towns where there is a high volume of traffic. Cycling is highly advantageous for short journeys but it may not be a viable option for longer journeys as it can be tiring and relatively slow compared to other modes of transport.

Ensuring safety

If you are cycling you should take precautions which will ensure your safety and help to prevent accidents. All cyclists are advised to wear protective headwear and reflective clothing; this will protect you in the event of an accident or fall and help other road users to spot you. You should always use lights at night and take care to make yourself as visible as possible. Try to ride in a straight line towards the side of the road and indicate which direction you intend to go if turning, in plenty of time.

Benefits for the environment

Government initiatives are stepping up their campaign to encourage people to ride to school, college or work. Aside from obvious health benefits, cycling also helps to improve environmental conditions by reducing the number of cars on the road and consequently decreasing the carbon footprint.