I only reignited my love of cycling a couple of years ago, and find riding my bike is a fantastic way to stay healthy, be outdoors and experience new places.
The Greater Manchester JustRide programme will encourage more people to reignite their love of cycling or enable more people to ride bikes for the first time.
As the Health and Wellbeing Manager for Public Health England North-West, I know that daily physical activity is hugely important for maintaining health and tackling inactivity, which directly contributes to one in six deaths in the UK, and costs £7.4 billion a year to business and wider society.
Over a quarter of adults in England report having less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week and there are wide differences across the country with more residents in Greater Manchester having a higher proportion of dangerously sedentary lifestyles than the England average.
Physical activity levels are also lower than recommended in children, with only 21% of boys and 16% of girl’s aged 5 to 15 meeting Chief Medical Officer Guidelines.
Regular physical activity can protect against serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, some cancers, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding a bike regularly can reduce the risk of many health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults and is also fun, cheap and good for the environment.
Building walking or cycling into daily routines is one the most effective ways to increase physical activity through health-promoting transport systems meaning less congestion, collisions, pollution, and a healthier workforce.
But for me it just makes me feel great!