When we have an idea at Gateway we like to get on and make things happen as soon as we can. That’s why, when the Health Trainers realised how many of our clients would like to start riding a bike, we started a bike hire scheme.
Lots of our clients would like to get out and about more, get more exercise and do things as a family. A number of the parents we work with have told us how their children have bikes but they don’t – so we saw a way to help. Cycling is a great way of getting exercise without costing the earth and it’s a good alternative to jogging or walking.
So we went out and bought two bikes – an adult man’s and an adult woman’s – and now, those bikes are available for Gateway clients to hire. We hope that people will hire them for a weekend or a couple of days at a time, just to help them increase their level of exercise.
Vanessa (pictured above) was the first person to take advantage of the bike hire scheme. A mother of three with a full time job, Vanessa finds little time to do exercise during the week. So she hired a bike for a day and used it to cycle to work.
“I was really impressed that the bikes were free to hire and that they could be delivered to my home address,” she said. “Cycling was a lot easier than I thought it would be – so I hope to do it more often.”
So why is cycling so beneficial?
The NHS Choices website explains why cycling is such as good form of exercise:
Regular cycling can help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness.
Cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK. An estimated 3.1 million people ride a bicycle each month.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it’s also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.
It’s a low-impact type of exercise, so it’s easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities. But it still helps you get into shape.
Source: NHS Choices
If the bike hire scheme takes off, we are looking at partnering with local businesses to provide more bikes – and we hope to start our own Gateway cycling club. When the weather improves, we hope to encourage clients to get the whole family together to cycle around local parks.
The British Cycling website has information about other cycling groups, clubs, cycle routes and cycling events in your area.
If you would like to access the Bike Hire scheme, just ask your Health Trainer.