HEALTH experts are hoping the Tour will inspire people to get on their bikes and go cycling.

“Regular physical activity is a key part of achieving energy balance - helping to prevent obesity and excess weight,” said Dr Cathy Read, a consultant in public health with the regional Public Health England Centre.

“As a form of exercise, cycling has broad appeal and is an activity the whole family can do together. The younger members can join in and age is not necessarily a barrier – cycling is easy on the joints so grandparents can come along too.”

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Cycling is a low-impact type of exercise, so is easier on joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities, but it still helps people get fit.

“Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases,” said Dr Read.

“For example, someone who weighs 80kg (12st 9lb) could burn more than 650 calories with an hour’s riding.

“Cycling really is good for your all-round health - mental health conditions such as depression, stress and anxiety can be reduced by regular bike riding.”