Times such as these are tough as we’re amidst a super contagion that has spread havoc all over the world. The novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) is, in a true sense a pandemic.
As mandated by the Indian Government, most Indians have been staying indoors to prevent the spread and there has been a drastic drop in vehicular movement and pedestrian movement. Social distancing norms have been put in place to reduce the chances of a spread. While this isn’t the time to engage in group activities, it’s absolutely fine to ride a bike as long as you’re following some basic rules. It’s a great time to ride with family as long as everyone is healthy and not symptomatic.
Cycling can be a cost-effective, social distancing method of transportation or just a way to get out and exercise and get some fitness in.
IS FITNESS AN ESSENTIAL?
So many other countries have allowed cycling and running during this period, why not in India? This is not an entirely valid question because certain states in India such as Karnataka have allowed cyclists to venture out.
Back to the question at hand, yes, fitness is essential even in times like these. This doesn’t always mean heading out for a workout – working out indoors is possible too.
For those of us who reside in states where cycling and running is allowed – use this opportunity to make the best out of the lockdown. It’s a perfect time to be physically active; the air is clean, there’s not as much traffic and the weather is great.
Remember, while keeping in mind physical fitness do not forget precautions that must be taken in times such as these.
National experts aren’t telling people to avoid exercising outside. Instead, they’re saying that your risk of infection from outdoor exercise is low. You do have to practice social distancing of course. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay at least 6 feet away from other people when you’re outside your home.
CYCLING TIPS DURING THE LOCKDOWN
1. SOCIAL DISTANCING
Six feet apart is the norm now and will be for a while. Avoid cycling in groups – riding with a family member or someone you’ve been staying with is alright.
Don’t cycle on a busy street or trail at a busy time or with a group of people, and definitely don’t stop to talk to people.
There have been reports suggesting that the six-feet-apart rule isn’t good enough. For example, a recent research model suggests that respiratory droplets from bikers and runners may spread a lot further depending on a bunch of factors. Which is why it’s wise to maintain a wider distance apart when you’re walking and running outside (more distance the better). There really is no reason to get closer.
2. FACE MASKS
Face masks are essential to spread rapid growth from an unsuspecting carrier. This is especially important n public settings where it’s tough to maintain social distance, such as at the grocery stores or pharmacies.
While face coverings can be uncomfortable when you’re huffing and puffing on a strenuous ride or run, you should still wear them to prevent spreading the infection to other people. Even if you feel fine, you could be an asymptomatic carrier.
It’s best to wear a cloth-like mask that doesn’t compromise on protection or breathability.
Apart from masks, it’s important to always sanitize your hands before and after you step out or have just got back home. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at the entrance of your house for you and your family to use when they walk in.
Sanitization is key but not only of your hands but also antything and everything you interact with often. This would include your laptop, phone, doorknobs, etc.
HANDWASHING IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS
- Wet: Put both your hands under clean, running water.
- Lather: Apply a generous amount of soap to the inside and back of your hands as well as your fingertips. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and don’t forget to wash under your fingernails.
- Scrub: Rub both hands together and move your fingertips around both hands. You don’t need a scrub brush.
- Rinse: Return both hands to the running water and gently wash away the soap.
- Dry: Completely dry the water from your hands. Using a disposable towel (paper towel) is best to avoid leaving germs on towels.
Do go through our HOW TO CHOOSE ANTI-POLLUTION MASKS – BUYERS GUIDE to help choose the right mask for you
4. AVOID OVEREXERTING
Many cycling groups and even the government is encouraging folk to keep active for their physical and mental health, but they’ve stressed that staying safe may mean cycling less or avoiding cycling through crowded areas.
Apart from the obvious, it’s a good idea not to overexert yourself when exercising. If you push too hard, you might forget to maintain proper social distancing or injure yourself. An injury bad enough might need you to visit the hospital. Right now we need to avoid hospital as they’re already overburdened with Covid-19 patients.
We advise you to take more days off, and to spend less time cycling/running outside and more time training indoors, either running on the treadmill or cross-training — you can lift weights or do yoga, for instance — to build strength and flexibility. This is the best time to do so.
HOW SAFE ARE YOU?
It goes without saying that there’s an added risk of contracting the virus when you’re out – be it for whatever reason. It’s best to stay at home and manage your workout there as much as possible. It’s understandable that the urge to go outdoors for some riding or running is there, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
You can take a call on what’s right depending on where you stay and what the situation is there currently. You must also know the Do’s and Don’ts of what allowed and what’s no depending on where you stay. Follow the precautions and guidelines to stay safe.
This is a pandemic unlike any other and it’s highly dangerous. It’s also airborne which makes things even more difficult to manage. Head outdoors to protect not only yourself but others around you. When riding/running outdoors keep in mind the safety precautions mentioned above.
Stay home, stay safe and keep riding!
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WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I’m an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often.
Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time.
DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking
CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW
DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010