With the many restrictions on our lives in recent months, in an effort to battle Covid 19, many of us have discovered, or rediscovered a love for a good walk or cycle because it gives us much more than just the physical well-being, it helps to burn calories, reduce heart disease and is great for your health and fitness, and for active and sustainable travel too.
Whether it’s on a local road, a bye-road, a pathway or cycleway along a main road, incorporating a walk or a cycle into your daily activities is a great way of keeping active, and it can also help you adapt to an alternative, active mode of travelling.
Being active for short periods every day is ideal for short, local journeys on foot or by bike and by exchanging those short car journeys with cycling or walking, you are building exercise into your day, from which you will reap the health benefits and rewards after, but not everyone always has the time or passion for walking or cycling.
For some people, finding the time or energy can be difficult, and with everything else going on from day-to-day, some people may have even lost interest in it.
As the weather begins to improve, Kildare County Council and the Kildare Sports Partnership are sharing the love of walking and cycling and are encouraging people, while observing the public health restrictions, to rekindle that bond and build-in time during their day to get back out on their feet or on the bike and to fall in love again with walking and cycling.
The current pandemic has shown us all the benefits and importance of keeping ourselves active and well, in the body and mind. Studies have shown that physical activity can be help to overcome depression and anxiety.
Syl Merrins, Coordinator of Kildare Sports Partnership said, “The importance of engaging in physical activity is vital for your physical and mental health and well-being, and never more so than now during this Covid-19 pandemic.”
Active Travel plays a key role in improving a person’s health too, however, most journeys, even short ones, are still made by car, whereas in many cases they could be made on foot or on the bike. Choosing alternative modes of transport while travelling to the local shop or to work can prove to have lasting benefits for everyone.
Walking and cycling are just two smarter ways to commute, and it doesn’t really cost much either. Declan Keogh, Kildare County Council’s Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer said “Getting back on the bike or going for a walk shouldn’t cost anything only time, in most instances, and the benefits of these two activities alone have far reaching rewards. Waking and cycling are a smarter way forward for a healthier, more active, sustainable, and environmentally friendly commute. If you haven’t taken it up yet, try it. You’ll love it.”
Even within the local travel restrictions which are in place now, people can still get a lot of walking and cycling done within their local restricted radius. If you are planning a walk or a cycle, the council reminds you to adhere to social distance advice and current travel restrictions and if you are walking or cycling at night or in low light, be visible to other road users.