Pedaling keeps cyclists fit; protected them from Covid-19

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): OP Kathel pedals 40 to 50 km every day. The 65-year-old, who lives in the city’s Trilanga district, has retired as managing director of the Punjab National Bank (PNB).

He wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and hits the road within an hour. He also undertakes “long journeys” once a month or so, pedaling to Pachmarhi, Dodi, Narsingharh and other nearby places. Not only that, he uses a bicycle to go to the market for small purchases, as well as to visit friends and acquaintances.

“Words cannot express the benefits of cycling,” he says. Kathel was hypertensive and had to take medication. “I started cycling about three years ago. Now my BP is normal without taking medication. Plus, I feel so young and energetic all day,” he says.

Like Kathel, some other townspeople also use bikes for exercise and fitness as well as commuting to work and doing odd jobs.

Rahul Dev Singh (48), who works as a DGM in a central PSU, pedals daily to his office on Hoshangabad Road from his residence in Aakriti Eco City. He says: “The Covid pandemic has taught us how important fitness is”. Plus, we help protect the environment and save fossil fuels, says Singh. When you ride a bike, you expose yourself to the sun and your vitamin D needs are easily met, he says.

Mahendra Gogia (58), who lives in Alkapuri, cycles to her tableware shop and gift center at 10 Number Stop at least four days a week. Until a few years ago he lived in the old town and used to cycle about 13 km a day to his shop. I’ve been cycling for 17 years, he says.

Mahesh Khurana, 47, also uses a bicycle to travel from his residence in Bharti Niketan to his store in New Market at least three days a week. I have lost 10 kg since I started cycling, he says. On her way, Khurana also picks up plastic waste lying on the road.

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