Exercise is good for you, but we do far too little of it. But with a few minor changes to our daily lives, we can actually exercise more than you might think. On 19 May, leave your car at home and join in with the Bike to Work Day.
Most people tend to do too little exercise. On average, we spend a majority of the time sitting down. This is a shame, because regular exercise can help you lose weight, maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and sleep better. Exercise even has a positive impact on our mental health. After engaging in vigorous exercise, we often feel much better.
So will this be the year that you really start making use of that gym membership you got? Don’t worry – you might not necessarily need to go to the gym to get enough exercise. Cycling to and from work every day can make a real difference. The aim of this Bike to Work Day is to encourage as many people as possible to cycle to work on that day.
Every little bit helps
So what does cycling to work every day really achieve? It actually has much more impact on our health than we realize. On average, people who cycle every day weigh 5 kg less than their colleagues who drive to work – that’s a difference of one whole clothing size. As recently shown in a British survey, every little bit of exercise helps.
Exercise makes you happy!
For some people, even cycling to work can be quite a challenge. For people who suffer from depression, it can take real effort to summon up the energy to engage in sport. But for this group in particular, regular exercise is extremely important. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain. Our bodies create these substances to suppress pain – they are known as the body’s own painkillers. Endorphins are also produced during physical exertion. The result? A sense of happiness and relaxation.
For minor cases of depression, running therapy is being increasingly recommended. This involves patients taking part in supervised jogging three to four times a week. According to the Dutch Depression Alliance (Depressie Vereniging), many patients are positive about this therapy. Radio presenter Ruud de Wild can attest to the positive effects of running: he was able to emerge from deep depression by regularly running and boxing.
Short of breath? Get some exercise!
For people who suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), exercise can also be quite challenging. They have lung damage and regularly have difficulty breathing. They can often become quickly out of breath when engaging in everyday activities, such as using stairs or shopping. But exercise can help relieve the symptoms for this group as well: in the long term, they develop better levels of fitness and suffer fewer symptoms.
Ehealth modules help you engage in more sport
In a nutshell: exercise is important. In several cities, you can take part in the Bike to Work Day and start a healthy new habit.
Need online support? Ehealth modules can help you maintain your healthy new lifestyle. Our healthy exercise modules include sections on starting out, setting goals and maintaining motivation. We believe that care has the biggest effect when it ties in with someone’s personal needs. The road to change is different for everyone. Read more about these personal routes.