Sydneysiders are gearing up for a wheely good Christmas with bikes a popular gift for the young and young at heart. The City of Sydney and the Heart Foundation have teamed up to encourage giving bicycles as gifts this Christmas.

NSW Heart Foundation Chief Executive, Kerry Doyle said riding promotes an important healthy heart message for all Australians. “If we are serious about tackling chronic disease, we must be serious about getting Australians to move more and sit less. Physically active people live longer, have better managed weight, lower blood pressure and healthier cholesterol levels. Active people are also likely to feel more confident, happy, relaxed and sleep better,” Ms Doyle said.

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42-year-old Sarah Imm said getting a bike was the first step in changing her life for the better. “Less than five years ago I was overweight and throughout both my pregnancies I developed gestational diabetes,” said Sarah. “I knew I had to make some drastic changes, so when my son was born I bought a bike. By the time he was 2, I had lost 20 kilos. It’s thanks to riding that I’ve been able to keep it off.”

With 28 bike shops in the inner city and many more across greater Sydney, it’s never been easier to get riding and buy essential safety equipment including a bike helmet.

“By giving a bike, you’re giving a special someone the opportunity to live a healthier and happier life,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “We know physical exercise is essential for good health and well-being, that’s why we want to encourage everyone to jump on their bikes and enjoy this festive season.”

The City of Sydney offers free cycling courses for all ages and abilities.

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