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5 Reasons to Keep Cycling Through Winter

Words by Anthony Hood

on 18/12/2020 09:13:00

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Cycling in winter is essential for those who commute on two wheels. It’s also pretty important for those who want to keep their fitness levels up and avoid undoing all their good work from the rest of the year. But no matter how much you enjoy cycling during the summer, it’s always harder to find the motivation in the colder months.

That’s where we come in. Read on for five reasons why you should keep cycling through winter – we promise it’ll be worth it!

The benefits of winter cycling

You’ll burn more calories

While cycling in warm weather may be more appealing, getting out on your bike in winter has its benefits for fitness. In the colder months, your body has to work harder to keep you warm while you exercise. As a result, your metabolism increases and you burn more calories. You’re also more likely to keep moving and take fewer breaks to avoid feeling cold, which will in turn boost your endurance and stamina for longer rides.

Improve your mood

With shorter, darker days comes low mood and reduced energy. Staying indoors and isolating yourself can make these feelings worse. Instead, you should get out and about as much as possible. Regular exercise is particularly important as it releases endorphins or “feel good” hormones, which act as natural anti-depressants – not to mention some much-needed vitamin D. Set yourself fitness goals for added satisfaction or join a cycling club to keep you motivated.

The beauty of the ride

While wintry roads can be treacherous and require extra care, cycling in wintry conditions can also be really rewarding. There’s something uniquely beautiful about bright sunshine on a clear, frosty morning and the crisp air is guaranteed to blow any cobwebs away. Plus, if the cold weather has put others off, you’ll have quieter trails to enjoy at your leisure.

Save money on fuel

Another reason to keep cycling through winter, albeit less glamorous, is the money you’ll save on fuel. Commuting to work on your bike is always going to be cheaper than travelling by car, but it’s even more beneficial in winter. When heating and electricity bills are at their peak and you’ve got a tonne of Christmas presents to buy, you can save your pennies by pedalling!

Counteract seasonal weight gain

Studies show that due to more time spent indoors and a myriad of festive treats, many people gain 1-2 lbs over winter. That’s unsurprising when you consider that the average person eats over 5,000 calories on Christmas day alone! With that in mind, it’s important to keep moving in order to counteract those extra calories. Why not change things up and swap your annual Boxing Day walk for a family bike ride?

Winter cycling tips

Want to make the most of winter cycling? Here are a few tips from the team at Switchback to make things easier…

1.   Wear the right winter cycling gear, including thinner layers versus a thick jacket so you can warm up as you ride without overheating and gloves to protect your hands.

2.   Let some air out of your tyres and lower your seat for better traction and stability in wintry conditions and use lights when riding in the dark or when visibility is low.

3.   And finally, always keep your bike well maintained with specialist cleaning products to protect against corrosion caused by water, mud and salt splashing up off the road. That way your bike will remain in great working order for many more rides to come.

Anything else? Feel free to contact us for advice on our wide range of cycling products.