Dr. Kanika Chauhan


CYCLING – The Pandemic Road

Cycling in Times of the Pandemic 

Gone are the days where cycling was just considered to be a recreational activity. With passing time and increasing awareness, the various health benefits of it have come to light. Especially amidst the entire COVID-19 situation, cycling can be a refreshing, temporary “escape” from self-set boundaries! It regulates weight-related issues while keeping you in the fresh air and also, allowing you to safely maintain social distance!

Benefits Of Cycling 

Cycling entails various aerobic benefits. It is an endurance activity that means your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all work together when you ride a bike. With all gyms and outdoor workout locations shut, cycling is an excellent option, whether you want to get lighter or fitter.

Burn Your Fat And Improve Your Circulation 

While doing endurance activities at a moderate pace, we not only burn calories and sweat, but we also help in improving our circulation and heart health by aiding in developing collateral channels of blood vessels around our heart. These channels may prove to be a lifesaver in the event of a heart attack due to blockage in a significant heart vessel.

According to the Harvard Medical School, riding a bike at a moderate speed of 12 to 13.9 miles per hour will help a person weigh 70 kilos to shed 298 calories in 30 minutes.

How to do it Right 

We were all very young when we first learnt to ride a cycle, which is why the recreational aspect was the main focus and not the posture! However, for weight loss purposes, you need to check on your posture and ensure it is right! Here are a few things you must be careful about.

  • Your body should be neutral from head to toe.
  • Do not stiffen your shoulders. Keep them down in a relaxing position and away from your ears.
  • Your hands should be in a relaxed position and shoulders bent to act as a suspension.
  • Do not slouch in the riding position as this causes backache.
  • Make sure your knees are precisely above the foot or pedal.

Achieve Maximum Results 

  • Long rides for 60 minutes to increase your endurance at a moderate pace.
  • Hilly ride of 30 to 60 minutes to burn more calories

Necessary Body Prep Before the Ride

Before involving in any kind of athletic activity, one must ensure proper rest to the body, good hydration, appropriate shoes, apt attire and safety gears like a helmet and various guards.

Also, a proper liquid for in-between workout hydration/energy sources must be carried along.

What to Eat during & After

When you take up any endurance activity, you lose water and salts from your body while performing which must be replaced with a solution that has both water and salt. If you do the activity for more than 90 minutes, a fructose based carbohydrate source must also be there either in a drink form or an eatable item, for example, a fruit like a banana. This will ensure sustained energy and excellent performance during the activity.

Post cycling diet must be rich in proteins (preferably from an animal source like eggs, lean meat, fish, milk-based products) and complex carbohydrates like whole grains.

The routine diet must be comprised of a balanced combination of proteins, good carbohydrates, and heart-friendly fats. Adequate intake of minerals, vitamins, and water must also be ensured for wholistic health and fitness levels.