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Council hopes The Tour will encourage more people to cycle for health

June 11, 2013

The renewed interest in cycling, which is set to continue following this month’s announcement of the Tour of Britain stage 2 details, has been welcomed by Cumbria’s public health leaders. 

Cumbria County Council’s Public Health team hope the summer of cycling, Sky Ride events and dozens of community cycling activities which accompany the Tour of Britain’s visit to Cumbria will promote the health benefits of pedal power to more Cumbrians.

The county council’s most recent traffic counting survey has shown an increase between 2011 and 2012 in the number of cyclists (7.3% for Kendal and 10.6% for Carlisle) and it is hoped this trend will continue as the cream of international cycling gear up to pass through the county on 16 September.

Regular cycling can reduce the risk of long-term illnesses such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and stroke. It can also boost mental well being and keep weight under control.

Councillor Patricia Bell, Cumbria’s County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “Hosting a stage of the Tour of Britain is great news for Cumbria

“I hope more people will take up cycling as a result, and reap the health benefits of this exercise which can bring short and long term benefits to your health, the environment and your purse.”

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff, Cumbria’s Acting Director of Public Health, said: “For most people, cycling is a safe and effective form of exercise which has broad appeal.

"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.

"For example, someone who weighs 80kg (12st 9lb) will burn more than 650 calories with an hour’s riding, and tone their legs and bottom. If you ride up hills or off-road, you'll also work your upper body."

For tips and advice on the health benefits of cycling, visit the Bike for Life website at: www.nhs.uk/change4life/pages/bike-for-life.aspx

For information on the 2013 Tour of Britain, visit the official Tour website at: http://thetour.co.uk/home.php


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