Why Cycling is the Ideal Sport for the Current Time
Sally Perkins provides advice on the benefits of cycling during the COVID-19 virus.
The percentage of people who cycle at least once weekly in England stands at around 11% to 12%, with 50% more people cycling now than they did in the early 2000s - as reported by Gov UK. Cycling is seen as a liberating, fast and effective way of commuting, as well as an ideal leisure pursuit that can be pursued by groups of friends and family together. In current times, with many people confined to their homes, cycling is also a way out; it liberates the mind and allows you to get close to stress-busting nature.
Can You Still Go For A Ride Under Lockdown?
Rules are continually evolving during the current COVID-19 crisis. Still Cycling UK reports that currently, people are allowed to cycle for their health, fitness and well-being, but “you should only do this alone or with members of your household (unless any of them have reason to self-isolate).” In other words, you should avoid cycling with groups of friends (anyone you are not in isolation with). When you are out and about, you should also maintain a distance of at least two metres from others and avoid stopping to chat. When you get home, give your clothing and gloves a wash, and have a shower as usual.
Cycling And Mental Health
Being confined to their homes is difficult for many people, particularly those who may already be battling mental health issues. Cycling can play an essential role in reducing distress since many studies have shown that it has powerful stress-busting effects. A study by researchers at Concordia University found that cycling (and walking) can help reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. It can also improve your work performance, which is excellent news if you are working from home remotely.
Cycling For Beginners
If you have always been more into other types of workouts - think gym sessions and outdoor jogging - you may wonder where to start. Finding a bike that is the right fit and weight are critical if you are to avoid back pain and stay motivated. If you live in a mountainous area and enjoy downhill or cross-country riding, you will probably need a more robust and heavier bike. However, in flat areas, you can ride a lighter bike such as a cross-country bike with a lighter suspension. Bikes made from carbon fibre are also considerably lighter than standard alloy frames. Opt for a bike with a comfy saddle as well; this will reduce chafing and pain.
Cycle For Your Long-Term Health
Way beyond the current crisis, you may decide cycling is an ideal sport for you. A University of Maryland study has found that moderate exercise can help people cope with anxiety for an extended period. It can also boost your heart health and prevent cognitive decline in older adults. This is because cycling, walking and other cardiovascular exercises produce positive changes in the brain that can keep us healthier and happier even in our later years.
The current COVID-19 crisis has resulted in different measures regarding confinement from country to country. Currently, England continues to permit cycling as a way to foster mental well-being. Stick to the social distancing rules, choose the right bike, and remember to keep it up when all goes back to normal.
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About the Author
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years' experience across many different areas. She made a move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.
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