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  • Health, Hot

    Why so many CEOs are taking up cycling

    Brendan McMahon, 55, is a senior partner at PwC who has cycled all of his life, racing competitively from the age of fourteen, well before starting his career in finance.



    But if he has had a head start, C-suite cyclists are willingly starting to catch up.

    He recently took part in the Haute Route Pyrénées, called ‘the endurance ride for hedge-funders’, a professional-standard cycling race where contestants cover over 800km in a week and climb more than 20,000m.


    Thirty years ago someone like McMahon was an infrequency in the Haute Route Pyrénées; today the story is rather different. At this year’s race he met ‘entrepreneurs, people from Silicon Valley, technology investors, bankers, accountants, litigation lawyers’. There has been, he says, ‘a very important shift in the people who are cycling’.

    HotChillee, a company that organises a large number of ‘professional events for amateurs’, confirms McMahon’s remark. The demographic of their proviso is an ‘HNW male A-type, between 35-55 years’ and their key sectors are ‘banking and finance, technology, media, legal and sport’; most are business owners or executive level.


    The huge increase in CEOs and MDs taking part in such proceedings cannot simply be put down to hundreds of concurrent midlife crises. No, the reasons are much broader, from a traditional instigator such as showing off to newer spurs such as schmoosing, raising money for charity and even honing your boardroom skills.

    While recreational cycling can be as cheap as you want, executives getting ready for competitions can indulge expensive tastes.
    According to HotChillee, these provisos ‘typically spend over £4,000 a year on cycling, will ride ten-plus events a year of which three are global events’ and will purchase a new bike every two to three years. The Pinarello Rokh will set you back £2,695, while a Dogma F8 — the model used by Team Sky, including Chris Froome — will cost £7,000-£11,000.


    It’s not yet the same outlay as a sportscar, but I’ve heard of a physician spending £2,500 on wheels alone and lawyers flying to America to have edges custom-built by companies like Parlee, which will fit your scrambler to you just as a tailor would your new suit. For this, prices go north of £10,000. Add to that the devices and kit and you have a whole other world of spending chance.



    Companies like Rapha yield high-end clothing in a mix of technical fabrics and high-quality merino wool to help you look the part both when competing and when cycling in the city.

    Training for these races need no longer consume your every spare hour either. Thanks to expansions in sport science, days of training can be replaced with high-intensity sessions focusing on power, allowing those who are time-poor to train around work.

    You don’t even need to be in top shape when you start as it’s a low-impact sport, nor do you need to book courts or find teammates, so you can cycle however, wherever and whenever you feel.

    The Wattbike — essentially a refined exercise bike — is a great example. It has been developed in association with British Cycling and allows at-home provisos to replicate the exact setup of their racing bikes and the feel of cycling on the road indoors.

    You would expect this sort of high-level technology (even a basic model will set you back £1,695) to be used mainly by specialists but, says Tom Crampton, marketing manager at Wattbike UK, the majority of sales come from the ‘in-home market’. In fact, their target demographic is the ‘London City boy’ between the ages of 35 and 55 with great levels of throwaway income but little time.

    Andrew Hawes, MD of wine shipper Mentzendorff & Co, took up cycling again in his forties as for him it provided ‘the perfect balance to the demands of a young family and rapidly developing career’. Getting out on the bike is also a great release — a way to clear your head and work through the problems of the day.

    Training first thing in the morning, as many do, has the added benefit of kickstarting your breakdown and freeing endorphins that boost your energy for the next four hours and, studies have shown, intensely improve your performance in the office.

    Cycling also allows you to take the key features that help you succeed in the workplace — punishment, ambition and determination — out of the office. Pushing yourself that bit further and never being satisfied that you have reached your highest are what top-level business is all about; cycling is a natural extension, only with great scenery and fresh air rather than drab office furniture and air-conditioning.



    But you can’t do a Grand Tour alone. “Cycling is quite unique in being a team sport played by individuals,” says Hawes.
    It fosters a supportive network — you may well be competing on performance-tracking app Strava to get better times than your colleagues, but you need a team around you for motivation, to support you when you’re tired by sheltering you within the peloton and for conversation over the traditional coffee stops. This collegiate atmosphere lends itself to networking.

    Brendan McMahon says he has broadened his business system as a result of cycling and he puts that down to the fact that the people he meets at races are ‘like-minded, both professionally and from a sports perspective’. Cycling is now the common factor in many client meetings and a mutual appreciation of the sport can be the starting point of business relationships.

    It is also a hobby that nurtures collaboration and trust. As McMahon says, ‘If I’m going down a mountain at 50-60mph and I’m six inches away from somebody’s back wheel, I need to trust that that individual knows what they are doing.’ This just doesn’t happen on a golf course and an addition to helping your business, cycling can help more broadly: 10 per cent of cyclists, according to Mintel, have taken part in a sponsored cycle ride.

    For many in the City, cycling for a cause can be a great charitable outlet. Lawrence Dallaglio, former England rugby captain and founder of the biennial Dallaglio Cycle Slam, cycles for this reason — and to keep himself active now he is no longer on the field.
    His Cycle Slam attracts headline sponsorship from Citibank, Bollinger and Virgin Media and this year they are on target to raise seven figures yet again.



    Everyone who signs up commits to raising a minimum of £3,000 for the chosen causes and while the Cycle Slam is open to everyone of all abilities and professions, Dallaglio does sign that ‘there is undoubtedly a group of C-suite, very driven people who take part’.

    Everyone I have spoken to, from McMahon (who rides to raise money for Room to Read) to Hawes and Dallaglio (who ride for the Dallaglio Foundation’s causes), comments on the sense of achievement cycling gives them.

    This feeling is the reason Dallaglio chose cycling for his fundraising event, and he prizes its teamwork aspect too: “It must be great to climb Everest and stand at the top and look out over the amazing view, but it is much better when you climb Everest with other people and you can hold hands on the top. You get that shared sense of achievement, and that is where the Cycle Slam was born.”

    Perhaps for some, cycling started as a midlife crisis — men turning to a low-impact sport as an escape from work, an excuse to go on a trip to France and show off in Lycra — but it isn’t that any more. It has become a popular part of business communication, networking and conversation, boosting efficiency and driving ambition and philanthropy along the way. Time to gear up.



    Health, Hot

    New research shows cycling to work has extraordinary health benefits

    It is vital for people to know that physical activity and workout is necessary for them. But what can be the most surprising aspect of it is the good and benefit you get while doing it.



    It is really astonishing that cycling offers numerous health benefit and indeed amazing that just riding a bike to your place of work gives you unexpected benefits. Research stated in the British Medical Journal last week shows that cycling to your place of work has amazing health advantages. This research will broadly focus on cycling as a tool to increase our health system.

    This investigation was done by a team of agents at the University of Glasgow who pursued 263,450 people for five years who travelled to their place of work and stayed in England, Scotland or Wales. The partakers in the study were classified centred on the type of transport they took when going to work or coming back from. The classifications and their descriptions are presented in the below table:

    Transportation classifications

    • Non-active By public transport or car
    • Walking only Just by walking
    • Cycling Cycling combined with walking
    • Mixed-mode walking Combination of walking with car and/or public transit
    • Mixed-mode cycling Combination of cycling or cycling plus some walking with car and/or public transit

    The occurrence of sickness or death from diverse causes was done in the respective classifications. The investigators state death from all sources, cancer occurrence and death, and circulatory syndrome occurrence and death. It was discovered that cancer and circulatory disease are the prominent sources of death in both the UK and the US.



    There are several influences that causes cancer and cardiovascular disease when compared to how people moves to work. The investigators went to great extents to regulates most of these influence. The investigation was done monitoring for sex, age, background, dispossession, other ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure and depression, body mass directory, smoking, nutrition, the period used up when walking for inclination or involved in vigorous sport, level of professional physical activity, and inactive behaviour. This was an extraordinarily well-ordered investigation.

    The effects of rambling and cycling were measured by comparing them with the Non-active mode of transportation. Cycling to work was associated with very large health aids. Commuters who pedal to work had a 41% lower risk of dying from all causes than people who drove or took public transport. They also had a 46% lower risk of emerging and a 52% lower risk of dying from circulatory disease, and a 45% lower risk of developing and a 40% lower risk of dying from cancer.

    Mixed-mode biking was associated with good benefits that were not as large. Mixed-mode cyclists had a 24% lower risk of dying from all causes. They had a 32% lower risk of emerging and a 36% lower risk of dying from cancer. There were no important associations between mixed-mode cycling and cardiovascular disease.

    Walking to work was associated with a 27% lower risk of developing and a 36% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. There were no significant associations among walking and any of the other measures. There were also no significant associations between mixed-mode walking and any of the measures.



    All of the observed benefits for both cyclists and walkers increased with the distance travelled. This is important because it means that even if you live too far from your job to cycle the entire distance, your health can help if you can ride a bike part of the way each day.

    One might be motivated to question the beneficial effects associated with pedalling to work that are reported in the study simply because they are so huge. Although the study was very well done, there are, as always, limitations. The canvassers point out that they were unable to control for fatness and the applicants in their study may have been healthier on average than the general population.

    In addition, the type of transportation and the distance travelled were reported by the applicants, not objectively measured by the investigators. Self-reported data is usually subject to higher degrees of bias, alteration or inaccuracy. Finally, while the study measured associations between health outcomes and modes of transit using a well-controlled prospective design, the evidence for a strong association between cycling and better health does not justify the conclusion that cycling was the cause of the experiential health benefits.

    The results of this study are of obvious attention to anyone who travels to work and wants to avoid cancer and circulatory disease. The study should also be of interest to employers and metropolises.

    Cancer and circulatory disease are debilitating illnesses that have long-term effects. The study indicates that bosses can reduce time lost due to illness by creating it easy for their employees to cycle to work. It also suggests that the costs tolerated by municipalities for long-term treatment of people with cancer and cardiovascular disease can be reduced by making city streets safe and friendly for cyclists.

    Moreover, the size of the effects seen in the study indicate that the benefits reaped by employers and municipalities are likely to be substantial. Encouraging people to ride their bikes to work while making it safe for them to do so is a win-win for everybody.



    Health, Hot

    Bicycling Sharpens Your Thinking and Improves Your Mood

    It not new anymore that exercise is great for your physique and well-being. Similar to most workout process, riding a bike gives a perceptual and emotional value that let people deal with high pressure and many other things.



    People who cycle for their well-being can frequently run through some of its noble benefit. Bicycling assists in controlling your weight, depressing your blood pressure and reducing inflammation. It decreases the possibility of having a heart attack or stroke or the acts of having diabetes or cancers.

    But what most people don’t know or usually forget is that riding a bike also assists in building a better brain both physically and functionally.
    There are studies which confirms that riding a bike helps in improving an individual thinking and also eradicate stress. Researchers reviewing the mental and emotional outcome of this physical action occasionally request people to ride a bicycle for a given time phrase outdoor or pedal a static bicycle indoors.

    Here’s what the latest studies demonstrate about the advantages of riding a bike for intellectual health and emotive well-being

    Your Brain on Cycling: Better Connectivity

    Have you heard more about the grey substance in the brain but we need to know more about the white substance too. White substance, generally found below the brain’s surface, has been compared to a channel system that connect various parts of the brain.

    A failure of this system can lead to irrational thinking and other mental discrepancies. Luckily, there’s a confirmation that shows that performing a motor skill such as constant punching in karate allow the system to run efficiently.



    The newest proof comes from a study of strong people and schizophrenia patients, part of whom were casually selected for a six-month workout program using motionless bikes. The study was piloted in Netherlands, where bike riding is abundant.

    However, the extra of this training made a great change. Brain images displayed that performing pedalling on a stationary bike almost every time has increased the reliability of the white substance fibre regions in both well and schizophrenic brains.

    Another Bicycling Byproduct: More BDNF

    From a molecular perspective, the protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) may possibly be the main broker in the affiliation between physical motion and brain condition.

    BDNF helps sustain the present neurons and produce new fresh ones. In annexation to supplementing a healthy brain peocedure, BDNF has assist to fend off certain neurological diseases, consisting the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It’s indeed known that workout can increase your BDNF levels.

    A new study shows people with both the typical type 2 diabetes or the metabolism symtoms which is a group of health status or a person state of being, such as increased blood sugar and higher blood pressure which eventually raises the possibility of having and gaining diabetes, heart afflictions and stroke. Subsequently, if they can have and maintain a regular exercise on a stationary bike for a period of three month, their BDNF levels will increase.

    Pedal-Powered Memory and Reasoning

    Aerobic physical activities or workout is essential for the brain in many various ways you can’t think of. For example, it assist in supporting sufficient blood flow to the brain, which compensate the metabolically voracious organs with a smooth flow of oxygen and nutriment.



    This is one of the main motive why steady exercise can assist your learning, thinking and your judgement towards people’s age.

    Its not really necessary for you to depend on the AARP card before you can gain from this benefits. Even undeveloped adults frequently acknowledge that a riding a bike actually aids your thinking into higher gear. This statement was backed up by different research.

    A study shows that healthy, strong, youthful men operate and pedal a fixed bike at a normal intensity for about 30 minutes. They also accomplished a sequence of cognitive sessions ahead of it and afterward. Following a cycling session, they gained higher with their memory, their level thinking and planning, and also they were able to complete the sessions faster than the previous ones.

    The Bike Path to Relaxation and Well-Being

    Many different studies have been conducted and most of them have shown that a steady exercise helps stop and ease stress, distress and depression. One of the studies concentrated more on the people with depression that were diagonized with antidepressants. When they pedal a stationary bike for a period of 15 minutes, their level of steroid hormone and stress hormone reduces.



    Riding a bike outside in a natural and cool environment simply intensifies these advantages. This is because if you spend most of your time in nature , nature in itself, can help lessen stress and reduce the manifestation of depression and distress. There have been observation proven facts that performing “green exercise” can increase motivation and enjoyment.

    Peradenture the most original and imaginative study of this outcome in cyclists was done completely indoors. A decision which was created to better improve and control the study surroundings. Volunteers always view a five-minute record of a green, leafy cycling track while pedaling a static bike . The three modes of the record were displayed: unedited, edited to look red and edited to seems gray.

    After watching the original green version, most of the volunteers described a lower negative composure overall. They also revealed that the cycling was experienced like smaller work, despite the fact that their heart speed and breathing remained the same throughout the exercise.

    Don’t just take all this word just like that. Perform your own experiment and feel the experience. Get a bike, put on a helmet and go for a ride within your local surrounding.



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