Make way to a positive mind, great confidence, healthier lifestyle and a greener planet with cycling.

If you are in two minds to take up cycling or not and see yourself standing at the fence, than here are seven reasons which shall help you decide faster.

1. Easier Than Running: Cycling is considered to be a lighter form of physical activity. It has low impact on the body.  While running you end up applying two to three times the force of your body weight. Whereas cycling is easy on your knees and joints and as you rest your weight on the saddle, it gives you freedom to pedal and cruise along more swiftly. Running might help you burn more calories for the same distance but it is difficult to run for a longer duration. Hence, you can spend more time riding a bicycle at controlled speeds, with less efforts and enjoy your work-out sessions.  

2. Environment Friendly: A proven reality is that cars are not the best for our planet as they produce noise, pollute air, consume more space and responsible for disturbance in global climate conditions. Switching to cycling can trim the negative effects of cars, and make cities more human friendly. Even the animals and birds benefit out of this exchange. Cycling is an efficient transport and sustainable option to cars and cuts down congestion in urban cities. With no dependency on fuels you can make your contribution to reverse this climate change phenomenon by adopting cycling as a cleaner and greener alternative for commuting.  

3. Economical: If you are cycling to work regularly than it’s easy on your pocket and helps you save your hard earned money. Buying and maintaining a bicycle is cheaper as you save on fuel cost, insurance fees, parking ticket and taxes. Other cost advantages include skipping your gym membership, saving time as you get around faster and medical cost with less doctor visits. Aside from your personal benefits, cities with higher cycling population also stand a chance to gain. Typically, cities have to allocate higher real estate space for motorized transport, parking infrastructure and spend on road maintenance which means higher taxes for citizens. One car space can accommodate four cyclists so you can begin by giving up your car once a week and start riding till you reach your full confidence and shift your dependency on bikes to at least fifty percent.     

4. Socially Engaging: Cycling is an incredible way to grow your social circle, make new friends, acquire new skills or teach them what you already know. Meeting new people over a cycle ride can help combat stress, eliminate loneliness and boost self confidence. There are several cycling clubs that provides an ideal platform to make new connections and sometimes even find a date. By joining a cycling club you can invest your time in a more productive activity, create memories, support a charitable cause, get inspired or even enhance your leadership qualities. Therefore, with cycling you can give a new dimension to your routine life, establish deeper bonds and make creative breakthroughs. 

5. Health Benefits: Cycling gives you an amazing combination of different fitness forms since it’s a blended exercise focusing on your lower body, upper body, cardio and endurance building with long distance rides. Cycling also helps you in burning fat and weight loss, build muscles and strengthen your core. Maintaining a disciplined riding schedule can help decrease risk of heart diseases, reduce cholesterol and keeps your lungs strong. At times, it’s even good for expectant mothers and their babies. A 20-30 minutes daily ride can increase brain power with increase in blood flow and help you sleep better.    

6. Explore New Places: With new found friends in clubs or enrolling in organised cycling tours or even if going solo, you can move about on your own or a rented bicycle. Hopping on a bike gives you freedom to explore new sites at your convenient pace and time. What you observe moving slowly is a far better experience compared to travelling in high speed vehicles. With many destinations that are difficult to cover on foot, you can easily cover those places in a days trip especially when you visit a new city. Thus cycling makes you independent and improves your navigational skills as you discover new routes. All you need is a little motivation to step out with your backpack and other essentials.   

7. Good For Kids And Old Age: Cycling is best for kids and if they learn it during childhood it stays with them for the rest of their lives. An outdoor activity allows children to connect with the surroundings and observe little things in the neighborhood. Physical activity like walking, running or cycling keeps your child fresh and active. During old age, cycling is a good option for short distance rides of two to three kms and higher for those who are super-fit. A bicycle serves as a close companion and keeps you mobile lifelong. (If you are facing any health issues or just recovered from a surgery, take up cycling only after a medical advice)  



Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai


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