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Focus on fitness


It is great to see more and more youth riding bicycles these days. It is one of the few positives that have been observed in Kashmir recently and it points out that fitness has become a priority for many. We all know how sedentary lifestyle has led to a wave of physiological diseases among thousands in the valley. Go to any hospital or a private clinic and you see dozens of patients lined up, most suffering from Diabetes, high cholesterol levels, hypertension and such disorders that are triggered majorly due to lack of activity. The ongoing pandemic has simply added to this lethargic approach to life that so many of us have adopted. We wake up and sleep staring at screens and go on scrolling endlessly through social media feeds losing precious time and hurting our health in the process. Amid this it is very encouraging to see young men riding cycles and going on cycling expeditions in Srinagar and other districts of Kashmir. This is a trend that should be promoted as much as possible. More and more people should adopt it and also encourage their children to use bicycles as a form of exercise as well as an affordable means of commuting. It is understandable that buying a cycle too has become a costly business as one hears people shelling as much as Rs 50,000 on buying one. However, one does not need a professional, multi-gear cycle to turn to this healthy routine. One can still buy a cycle under Rs 10,000 and get going. After all, so many of us shell much more than that on smartphones that have a lot to do with the state of physical and psychological health at present. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding bicycles regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, and good for the environment. Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. According to reports, an estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level. The health benefits of regular cycling include increased cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved joint mobility, decreased stress levels, improved posture and coordination, strengthened bones, decreased body fat levels, prevention or management of disease, and reduced anxiety and depression.