The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world. Travel is severely restricted, the economy has taken a huge hit, and many businesses have been forced to shut down.
Things that were once entirely normal for us now seem weird and distant.
We are forced to wear masks everywhere we go, and seemingly trivial things like using public transportation send chills down the spines of many people.
In these trying times, cycling has become even more popular, and many people have taken it up as a safe and effective way of moving around.
To that end, we’ve put together a list of six reasons why you might want to take up cycling in the times of Covid-19.
It’s A Free Alternative to Driving or Using Public Transportation
Let’s face it:
Between the maintenance cost, fuel, road taxes, insurance, and dozens of other small expenses, owning and using a car can be costly.
If you sit down and calculate your annual expenses, you’d be surprised just how much money you’re putting into your vehicle, no matter if it’s a brand new Honda or a 20-year-old rust bucket.
Public transportation, while cheaper, is also not without its drawbacks. It’s crowded, the risk of spreading germs is enormous, there is a monetary cost, and the commutes are often long and tedious.
Cycling, on the other hand, is a fresh, invigorating, and free alternative to moving around – be it for work, school, errands, or grocery shopping.
Even if you can’t cycle year-round due to the climate, it’s still a viable option that saves you money. Cycling also allows you to travel easily, and it helps slow down the depreciation of your car (if you own one).
Cycling Is Incredibly Beneficial For Our Health
Dozens upon dozens of research papers all point at one thing:
Aerobic exercise is incredibly beneficial for us, especially if we do it outside. Some of the most profound health benefits of cycling include:
- Improved cardiovascular health and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Increased stamina, lower-body strength, and lung capacity
- Normalized blood pressure
- Improved blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity
- Decreased risk of developing metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes
- Improved sleep quantity and quality
- More robust immune system and decreased risk of catching seasonal flu and the common cold
- Improved cognitive function and productivity
What’s more, cycling is relatively easy to learn, it works great for people of all ages, and it’s low impact. Meaning, even if you’re a bit overweight, cycling doesn’t impact your hips, knees, and ankles.
Cycling Is A Great Way to Integrate Exercise Into Our Daily Lives Without Having to Visit a Gym
Let me ask you this:
What would you say is the number one excuse people use for not exercising regularly? Is it a lack of fitness equipment? Or maybe they don’t have the money for a gym membership? Or, perhaps, it all comes down to self-limiting beliefs?
It’s none of these things. It all comes down to the lack of time. Ask ten sedentary people why they don’t exercise, and a majority of them will say something along the lines of, “I don’t have the time.”
Of course, we all know that this is a stupid excuse we use because we can always find some time for exercise – even if it’s only ten minutes. But most people don’t.
The great thing about commuting with a bike is that you can easily integrate it into your life and kill two birds with one stone – get around and do your work, and get a workout in.
So, if you’ve found yourself using the excuse of “I’m too busy to exercise.” then you’ve got another great reason to take up cycling.
Cycling Can Drastically Reduce The Risk of Covid-19 Transmission
Some recent research suggests that cycling, walking, and running are activities that increase the risk of covid-19 transmission. The theory is, as we pass by fellow pedestrians who happen to be exhaling, we can become infected with the coronavirus.
The idea behind this theory came from an experiment they performed, in which they squirted droplets from an aerosol. And here’s the kicker: the experiment took place in a wind tunnel.
First of all, the folks that experimented made the mistake of assuming that exposure leads to infection – this is not necessarily the case. The truth is, we need to be exposed to thousands of virus particles for it to be strong enough to cause an infection. Mere exposure is not enough.
Second, researchers didn’t account for environmental factors that can decrease the likelihood of virus transmission – namely, sunlight, humidity, winds, and rain.
If anything, cycling is a great way to reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission because we control one of the most significant factors – proximity to other people. Rather than cramming ourselves in a bus with a dozen other people, we are alone, on a bike, and keeping a social distance is effortless.
Cycling Is Great For The Environment
While most of us don’t realize it, leaving the car at home and taking the bike instead is a fantastic way to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to a better environment for ourselves and the generations after us.
Cycling is a fantastic way to:
- Cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and reduce air pollution
- Reduce noise pollution
- Not contribute to traffic jams and congestions
- Reduce your ecological footprint
Sure, it might not seem like much – after all, what is one less car on the road? But, if more people adopt this mindset, we can make a massive impact in the long run.
So, the next time you’re wondering, “Should I take the Toyota to work or ride my bike instead?” take the bike – your environment will be thankful.
Cycling Can Help Us Lose Weight And Achieve A Lower Body Mass Index (BMI)
This is a two-in-one type of benefit of cycling.
First, cycling is incredibly beneficial for us because it helps us lose weight. Thanks to the fact that it helps us burn calories, we can more easily achieve the caloric deficit that we need for fat loss. For reference, a 155-pound person who rides for half an hour will burn around 300 calories.
What’s more, when people put effort and exercise regularly, they are also more likely to start taking better care of their nutrition. It’s like a domino – one piece falls, knocks down the next, and this creates a cascade of positive behaviors.
The next thing we need to look at is the link between a high BMI and covid-19 risks. Research suggests that people with a BMI of over 25 are more susceptible to severe coronavirus symptoms. On top of that, weight-related health concerns such as high blood pressure are also linked to greater susceptibility to the virus.
So, while it may not be a direct effect, cycling is a fantastic way to start feeling better about ourselves, improve our health, and decrease the risks of coronavirus.
Cycling is here to stay. Not only is it a fun and versatile way to exercise, but it also offers benefits concerning our health, well-being, and finances.
So, if you’ve been debating yourself on whether or not you should take up cycling, remember this:
There hasn’t been a more opportune moment to do so than right now.