This year, Warwick will be holding a Well-being Week between 4-8 February 2019 to communicate key messages on well-being, including healthy lifestyles, physical health and activity, mental health, financial well-being, and sleep and the support and facilities available at the university. Find out more from the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.
In our team at CLL, we spoke to two keen cyclists who cycle to work on a regular basis and the benefits cycling can have to your well-being. If you’re a member of staff or a student at the university, you can make use of the range of cycling facilities available on campus, from rentals and discount bikes, cycle paths across the campus and wider areas and also free D-locks for bikes!
Exercise makes you feel good, but finding the motivation to do it (especially in the winter) can make it hard to get out and active.
Physical activity causes the body to release so-called ‘happy hormones’ (like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin), which can help change our mood, making us feel less stressed and better able to manage anxiety and depression.
Cycling can also bring about a feeling of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge – making you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
It’s the perfect way to enjoy the fresh air and discover the great outdoors, whilst avoiding the traffic of your daily commute.
Why did you choose to cycle to work?
“My commute by car was taking me over 20-30 minutes and I was only covering 3 miles. The bus would take over an hour because of campus traffic and stopping at several locations on the route. A quick google search, however, showed me that I could get to Westwood in 12 minutes by bicycle!” – Natalie, Web and Communications Co-ordinator
“I started off cycling occasionally on warm summer days and it went from there. It helped to balance the sedentary aspects of work and study.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor
What gear do you own for cycling?
“Not much. I bought a helmet and a saddle that suits me. Gloves good for winter. I tried the lycra shorts but didn’t like the padding.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor
“I haven’t invested in much gear, its more stuff I’ve picked up as I’ve continued to use my bike to get about. I started off with a free D-lock from the University, which I got in return for registering my bike on the bikeregister.com (which keeps it in a database if it’s ever stolen). Then I got a helmet and lights fitted when the days got shorter.” – Natalie, Web and Communications Co-ordinator
How long have you been cycling to campus for?
“Since March last year, I do also alternate between the bus and the car depending on the weather and plans I have after work.” – Natalie, Web and Communications Co-ordinator
“For two years I’ve been cycling most days. A game changer was finding out about the showers on campus.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor
How long is your route/what is your route?
“Around 8 miles from North Leamington via Sandy Lane then Rocky Lane (an old hollow way) then the foot/cycle bridge over the A46. Then the back roads of Kenilworth to the Common and link up with the Green Way for the last mile or so to the campus ending up on Windmill Hill – see photo. Takes around 45 mins.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor
Are they any negatives?
“No. I find it enjoyable usually, and I use the car if it’s icy or I need to carry something large/heavy. It’s quite nice to know pretty much how long it will take you to get to work and you don’t get stuck in traffic.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor
Do you think it’s improved your well-being?
“I think it has improved my productivity in the morning. When I drive in I find it takes me longer to wake myself up and start my day. It also puts me in a good mood and is something I look forward too now. In the summer months especially when people were out and about, we would call out “Good morning” to each other and it put you in such good spirits for the start of the day. Driving would put me in a bad mood as you’re constantly fighting the commute, someone cutting you up etc.” – Natalie, Web and Communications Co-ordinator
“Probably, more living in the head v living in the whole body. Seems to reduce stress somehow. You get to know people on the route and think about their needs too i.e. dog walkers.” – Phil McCash, Associate Professor.
About the bloggers
Phil McCash teaches a range of modules across the MA in Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education, MA in Career Development and Coaching Studies, and MA Coaching; and supervises dissertation students.
Natalie is the Web and Communications Co-ordinator for the Centre.