As of 7 April 2020, Singapore has entered its Circuit Breaker period, in order to control the spread of Covid-19. With more than 70 percent of Singapore’s population working from home, our lifestyle has now changed. Confined within the 4 walls of our homes over a long period of time can feel suffocating. Therefore, many have chosen to step out of their homes to take a breather and go out for exercise, particularly cycling. With social distancing measures in place, cycling is an exercise that one can opt to exercise alone. Here are some benefits of cycling for your physical and mental health during this Circuit Breaker.
Physical Benefit #1 – Improves Strength, Coordination and Posture
Cycling is a comfortable form of exercise for many as you get to decide the intensity for yourself. Cycling is a low-impact exercise, which also means it is gentle on your joints. As you stabilise your body to keep your bike upright, you will improve your overall balance, core strength and poster. As balance tends to decline with age and inability, keeping your balance on top of your game is vital. These are a few of the benefits of cycling.
Improved balance is also beneficial in the prevention of falls and fractures. As you cycle, you also engage your core muscles, which includes the back and abdominals. Strong abdominal and back muscles support your spine, improving comfort while cycling. Sitting in front of your computer for hours while working from home can be harmful for your spine, resulting in bad posture. As cycling requires you to stay upright while riding your bike, maintaining that posture will help you change up your bad posture!
Physical Benefit #2 – Builds up Immune System
Cycling raises your heart rate and gets your blood pumping around your body. Cycling habitually, especially at a high intensity, helps lower body fat levels, promoting healthy weight management. A study conducted by the University of Glasgow has also found that those who cycle on a regular basis can cut their risk of developing cancer or heart diseases by half.
Regular cycling can stimulate and improve your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular diseases are such as stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. Over time, if you gradually increase the amount and intensity of your riding, your cardiovascular system will improve in efficiency and you’ll get fitter.
Mental Benefit #1 – Reduces Stress and Makes you Happier
Working from home during this period can often leave you feeling stressed and breathless. In today’s stressful working environment, people are often looking for new ways to relax their minds and take a break from the daily hustle. Riding a bike regularly is an excellent way to keep your mind and body happy
Whether you are a young student or a working adult, stress is inevitable. While each person has a different way of coping with stress, one of the most recommended way by health professionals is doing exercise. Cycling is a great way for one to relieve stress as you’ll most likely feel more relaxed as you get to feel the nice breeze against your face.
Even half an hour of daily exercise has been observed to improve one’s mood and well-being. Riding a bike regularly creates a raise in production of endorphins throughout your body, which helps to relieve tension and light up your mood. Giving your mind that extra boost of positivity is important for your overall happiness. This is one of the mental benefits of cycling during the Circuit Breaker
Mental Benefit #2 – Boosts Productivity and Improves Memory
Staying at home for an extended period of time during this Circuit Breaker can sometimes result in the block of productivity. You’ll feel sluggish, lazy and unproductive. Sometimes, all you need is a quick bike ride to boost your energy levels.
Many artists and creative people have turned to cycle when they are suffering from a mental or creative block. Taking the time off a screen and seeing a fresh environment outdoors helps to stimulate those creative juices. Exercising while getting fresh air helps to sharpen your problem-solving skills and creativity, which boosts your productivity.
As we grow older, our brains become slower. We lose important functions such as our long-term memory. Physical exercises like cycling help build up new brain cells in our hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for your memory. Regular cycling helps maintain the regeneration of new brain cells, slowing down the process of losing our long-term memory.
Getting a Foldable Bike
There are many reasons as to why you should invest in a foldable bike, especially during this Circuit Breaker. With many staying indoors during this time, it would also mean sharing your spaces with your family members. While getting a full-sized bike might seem like a waste of space, why not get a foldable bicycle? You can easily tuck your foldable bike at a corner of your room. Not only will you be able to save space, but you can still get the full-sized bike experience.
Heading out to get groceries after your exercise would also mean needing to find a bike parking facility and also worry for the risk of theft. A foldable bike can easily solve the issue. All you need is to fold your bike down and roll it into the supermarket with you, keeping it close to you at all times. Of course, do remember to put on a mask before and after your exercise, and while you are grocery shopping.
Cycling in Singapore is still a popular form of exercise for many, especially now that you know more of some of its benefits. While you are out cycling alone, do remember to put on a mask before and after your exercise, and while you are grocery shopping.
Mighty Velo is the official distributor for Pacific Cycles in Southeast Asia. Just like any other stores, our retail store will be closed till 1 June. During this period, our online store remains open, at shop.mightyvelo.com. For any enquiries, drop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram. Till then, ride safe and ride alone.