The government agency that advises medical professionals as to the best treatments available, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has just updated its guidance for professionals in addressing Britain’s bulging waistlines. Cycling figures heavily in this guidance.
In a nutshell the old adage of burn off as much as you eat has not changed. If you’re cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats you can eat considerably more than if like me, you commute from your living room to your office via the stairs every day!
In light of the report Osbornes cycle injuries looks at cycling health benefits in more detail.
Everyone needs to eat, and occasionally likes the odd sweetie. By cutting out sugary drinks, including sweetened coffee or tea, reducing your fat intake, and eating a decent breakfast every day you’ll be well on your way to putting the right fuel in for an active day. Keep your red meat intake down too – the recommended daily intake of red meat is 70 grams – or one third of a double burger you may find at a burger joint.
Burn it off!
The NICE guidance states that practitioners should advise people to build activity into their daily routines. In their jargon they state: “Increasing regular walking, … or cycling as a form of active travel (to school, work or other local destinations)”
In addition the guidance suggests that people should have moderate to vigorous exercise as part of their leisure time. This again includes cycling for fun – perhaps a ride in the countryside over a weekend or summer’s evening.
Interestingly the guidance also suggests banning TV for at least one night a week, so you’re out and about instead…
NICE Guidance on walking and cycling
In 2012 NICE also published a piece of guidance on walking and cycling. This looked at the challenges public bodies face in getting people on their bikes. Suggesting that cyclists have better health outcomes, the guidance has demanded that all local authority public health teams have a senior member responsible for walking and cycling. It also demanded that a whole range of local authority departments from public health to environment, social services and even planning departments have cycle policies for the welfare of the citizens.
If you’re interested in cycling, you’re already likely to want to do it as part of improving your lifestyle. If you eat more pies than you burn off the pies will show on your belly. If you eat less pies than you burn off than you will look and feel better for it. As the picture on this blog says, “Tired of being fat and ugly? Get a bike and just be ugly!”