It won’t come as a surprise that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had an adverse effect on Australians’ mental and physical health.
According to the Department of Health, some of the physical activities that are off the table in Sydney and some other parts of Australia may include:
- Gyms, health clubs or fitness centres
- Public swimming pools
- Indoor or outdoor organised sporting events
- Classes, such as yoga or dance, in community centres and halls
- Playgrounds or outdoor gyms
- Visiting national or state parks
- Exercising with a group, such as team sports
For many, the restrictions don’t just bar their favourite activity – they also remove a vital community, a sense of routine and stability, and a space to unwind and clear their minds.
So, to keep themselves healthy inside and out, thousands of Australians have taken up cycling – in fact, cycling has risen up to 69% in some parts of the country in comparison to pre-COVID levels!
Like any exercise, cycling releases endorphins (the chemicals that make you feel amazing after a workout) but it also has some additional benefits that other forms of exercise may not be able to provide.
1. You can cycle alone or be part of a (virtual) community
While the current lockdown restrictions in Sydney regulate how many people can exercise together, one of the best things about cycling in “normal times” is that you can choose how you want to do it.
Want to go on a solitary bike ride with nothing but your favourite podcast, playlist, or the sound of silence to process your day? Or would you rather join some cycling groups in your area for a group ride and celebratory coffee afterwards? Why choose – you can do both!
Even during lockdown, cyclists are finding ways to keep the camaraderie alive without physical contact, so if you’re looking for a way to build a virtual community (that can become real once regulations allow for it), getting a bike is a great place to start.
Or, if you just want to vibe solo to ABBA’s Dancing Queen, that’s cool too.
2. Cycling can change your whole commute
While all forms of exercise help keep your mind and body fit, you can’t exactly downward dog or bench press your way to the office each morning.
Cycling is one of the few exercises that are capable of transforming your morning commute – plus, it gets you there quicker than any other form of exercise.
Cycling is more efficient than walking (in fact, it’s the most efficient form of human-powered propulsion) because it takes advantage of your momentum and lets you coast along even surfaces, while walking or running uses up more energy on non-forward propulsion functions.
What this means in practical terms is that you’ll get to work faster and arrive less sweaty and more energetic than if you walked. Win-win-win.
If you want to make your commute even easier, you can always get an e-bike instead of a pedal bicycle.
According to the Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives 2019 journal, which followed more than 10,000 adults in seven European cities, those who used e-bikes actually got more exercise than pedal bike cyclists due to the fact that they tend to spend more time on their e-bikes.
From the study:
“This analysis supports the notion to accept, or even promote, e-bikes as a healthy and sustainable transport option based on e-bikers travel behaviour and self-reported mode substitution. Planners should be aware that e-bikers travel longer distances than cyclists. Thus, e-bikes might be used for longer commuting trips than non-electric bicycles.”
3. The great outdoors do the mind and body good
Exercising outdoors has so many wonderful benefits that it has its own unique term: Green exercise. You might not think there’s a massive difference between using a stationary bike at the gym versus cycling outdoors, but experts disagree.
Some of the benefits of ‘going green’ include:
- Studies show that exercising outdoors improves your mood and lowers stress levels better than indoor exercise.
- Sunlight naturally boosts your Vitamin D levels, which supports healthy bones, brain, and heart.
- Sunshine encourages your brain to release the feel-good hormone serotonin, which acts as a mood stabilizer and supports healthy sleep habits.
- Exercising in green environments improves self-esteem, which is critical in maintaining good mental health.
Remember, because UV levels in many parts of Australia are high throughout the year (even in winter), you should always wear sunscreen and stay hydrated when you’re outdoors.
4. You can get 30 days free bike insurance cover
Sydney is Velosure’s hometown, so we’ve got casual commuters to serious cyclists in Sydney covered with free, no-obligation insurance for their new bike for 30 days if you purchase your bike and live in (and your new bike is normally stored in) Sydney area*.
Some of our insurance coverages in the complimentary Velosure Premium Bicycle cover include:
- Cover for theft from and away from home
- Cover for accidental damage
- Transit cover
- Bicycle rack cover
- Personal accident cover
Certain benefits are not offered under the complimentary 30 days policy.
If you have purchased a bicycle between $1,000 and $30,000 (including the GST), you can activate it by clicking here
If you have any questions, please call us on 1300 83 5678, or email us at [email protected]
*Eligibility criteria apply. You should read the Terms and Conditions of this offer which can be found here.