Echoing the health campaign that urges Brits to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, the organiser of Bike Week says people should cycle five miles a day, five times a week. Bike Week starts tomorrow. PLUS: For those who are already dead fit, a new study shows that six minutes of McEwen-type sprinting can be as effective as six hours of moderate cycling.

Do it five times a week

"Cycling five miles five times a week provides enough exercise to keep people feeling ten years younger," said Bike Week co-ordinator Nick Harvey.

"Most adults can easily cycle five miles in less than 30 minutes. Combining that exercise with a daily journey to work is a great way for commuters to make the most of time they would otherwise be wasting.

Bike Week (11-19 June) is this year promoting ‘everyday cycling for health and fitness’. Hundreds of local events and rides have been organised around the UK, many suitable for novices and ‘lapsed’ cyclists.

"Most car commuters drive less than five miles, so our Bike2Work promotion encourages motorists to try cycling to work for one week," said Harvey.

"They will discover that rush-hour cycling in urban areas is typically faster than driving and more convenient than using public transport. A bike is the cheapest of all vehicles to run, and parking is free."


According to a study in The Journal of Applied Physiology, and reported on, intense, short sprints improve muscle capacity, and improved endurance. But it’s not a recommended route to fitness for lard-arses, the technique should only be carried out by those already fit.

Professor Martin Gibala compared 23 cyclists given different three-times-a-week training regimes.

One group cycled for two hours a day at a moderate pace, and a second cycled for 10 minutes a day in 60-second bursts, at a slightly harder pace. said a third group took part in sprint training – cycling at top speed for two minutes in 30 second bursts with four minutes rest between each sprint.

Professor Gibala said: "Short bouts of very intense exercise improved muscle health and performance comparable to several weeks of traditional endurance training. Sprint training may offer an option for individuals who cite "lack of time" as a major impediment to fitness and conditioning.…/4613073.stm

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