When we don’t have a separate lane for ambulances to speed through the heavy burst of traffic in our roads what more can we expect. A dedicated lane for cyclers and walkers? This is impossible as we have not yet reached a stage where healthy lifestyle and wellness take a front seat over getting the work done. A small sense of hope still lingers in my heart as I occasionally see cyclists occupying a tiny place in our lanes with their safety helmets and well-equipped shoes either performing it as an exercise or travelling to work.
Pedaling Fuels More Health into our Body
Gyms are well-equipped with stationary bikes of all kinds and cycling too has been treated on par with walking when it comes to physical activity. It is an integral part of cardio workouts prepping the body for bursts of intense physical activity. Many college campuses like the IITs and BITS, PIlani offer bicycles as the primary mode of commuting to their fellow students with a biker-friendly campus. It is indeed refreshing to see our younger generation still lingering onto this vehicle for essentially attending classes or going back to the hostel. Be it the scorching sun or the freezing cold these guys are prepared to face the harassing weather. By doing this they prepare themselves not only physically but are also mentally prepared to face the hardships offered by life. Cycling to college brings about an overall sense of wellness and makes the person a complete individual.
Studies that Portray the Glory of Cycling
There are studies that have already proved the benefits of cycling but a latest study shows that bicycling is not only associated with a lower risk of diseases but with a longer lifespan as well. The biggest study in this aspect, this study included more than 2,60,000 participants who were followed-up for five years. 52% of them were women and 48% were men aged between 40 and 69 years.
The participants were divided into five groups based on their mode of transport used for commuting to work such as walking, cycling, public transport, car, mixed walking (walking and riding) or mixed cycling (cycling and riding). Over the course of the study 2,430 of them died, almost 3750 were diagnosed with cancer and 1,110 of them had heart problems. Final results showed that compared to riding to work commuting by cycle was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer and, death too during the study period. Walking too was associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. Those who cycled regularly decreased their risk of cancer by 45%, heart disease by 46% and death by 41%. Walking too showed similar results but only when the individual covered at least 10 kilometers in a week. Though some feel that cycling too much can lead to infertility its better to do away with false accusations and remember that there is no truth behind these claims! If you are still unsure about this you can find it for yourself at www.firsteatright.com.
The advantage with cycling to work is that we are forced to work everyday and commuting by your cycle to work doesn’t need any willpower to exercise compared to walking or visiting a gym. Biking becomes a habit that doesn’t need any motivation as your bike becomes your mode of conveyance. Combining both cycling and public transportation too was effective in elevating total body health. Before choosing to cycle ensure a few things:
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.