Biking to stay active


The fact that working out is good for you is nothing new. It is well-known that, if you want to stay fit and healthy, you ought to turn the TV off, get up from the couch and move your legs. The question is how to find the time and motivation to work out in a world that tends to prioritize other activities? Around a year ago, I found the answer in biking.

How I started biking

I am 25 years old and have been a type one diabetic for three years now. This means that physical activity is a key pillar to help maintain my blood glucose levels in range. I have come to peace with this now, but before my diagnosis, I wasn’t all too keen on exercise. And it was in an attempt to correct this that my father gave me a brand new bike for my 24th birthday. It was love at first pedal and I now don’t use any other means of transportation in the city.

How to begin

To get started in biking the first and most important thing you need is the will to get in two wheels and ride a bike. The second most important thing needed is, obviously, a bike. But despair not, because this doesn’t necessarily mean spending large amounts of money.  Of course, if you can afford it, there is always the option of going to the fanciest brand and choosing the latest and greatest design with the newest widgets.

However, there are plenty of low-cost options if you want to acquire a bike. For instance, a lot of used bike stores can be found in the center of just about any city, if you closely look for them. Another way to get a real bargain is to look in your garage: maybe the old bike you or someone in your family used to ride is still there! 

The state it is in is not that important, what matters the most is your determination to use it.

Defining expectations

Every bike ride is different and everyone will experience biking given their circumstances. So there isn’t a list of mandatory things that should be expected when riding a two-wheeler.  Having said that, what I found is common in all cyclists I know is their general happiness and positiveness. What is more, I must say I have found myself increasingly more confident and upbeat since I started riding on two wheels.

Biking in groups

To find a group of fellow bikers is usually quite an effortless task. You are bound to encounter at least one of them where you work or study. They can be easily spotted by their messy hair or tiredness when they arrive at the workplace. Moreover, they are likely to mention (as you are if you decide to take on biking) the fact that they rode there on their bicycle. You will inevitably come together. If you are as lucky like me, you can probably make arrangements with a few of your work buddies to ride to the office together! What is more, many weekends biking tours and expeditions are organized. This shared and not work-related instances help build community and enhance develop human relationships. 

You are not out of options if you are a shy or more reserved person. There is also a wide range of bike lover groups in social networks you can join, such as Instagram or Facebook. There are even a few bike-related apps that have their communities!

Advantages and tips

After I started riding my bike I haven’t looked back even once, as the advantages it brings to my life are so significant.  It has redefined my commute on a whole new level. I no longer spend hours and hours in uncomfortable, dirty, public transportation. Rush hour is now a time I genuinely enjoy. Biking at that moment helps me clear my head from work and gives me much needed peace of mind. 

Another crucial aspect of biking is that it helps me stay fit and healthy without going to a gym. It would do so for anyone who takes it up. And especially in my case, it is the way my blood sugar levels stay balanced.

Another huge superiority it has when compared to traditional means of transportation is that it has no negative shock on the environment. It is a way to have fun while commuting, staying fit and being environmentally friendly all at once!

One thing you do have to look out for is not hurting your knees. You should be especially careful to ride with your feet in the appropriate position or it could have an unfavorable impact on them. However, provided you know how to take care of that, there is no major reason to worry.

Another potential drawback could be that it is not as comfortable or easy to ride a bike when it’s raining. Nonetheless, I have found out that with the proper clothes this does not represent an issue at all. And I have come to downright enjoy the charms of biking in the rain.

But all in all, the way I see it is that all the advantages greatly outweigh the few possible disadvantages.

Rounding up

To sum up, biking is the best exercise for me. Not only does it help me stay physically active, but it does so in a way that seems practically child’s play. This is because it is so pleasant and well adjusted to my routine it does not feel like an obligation or a burden. When I ride my bike I do it because I love it and I want to, and not exclusively because I “have” to be fit or maintain a certain blood sugar range. The fact that it has made me strengthen human relationships and that it additionally benefits the environment seems just like the cherry on top, but I believe they are important aspects to consider. They mean this activity not only helps bring out the best in the physical aspect of one’s life but also makes holistic improvements in the philosophy of living.

Agus Morales

I’m an easy-going type 1 diabetic from Uruguay who has a passion for anything related to writing and reading. Also coffee.