Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates: Fight the virus — wash your hands, ride your bicycle

Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates

Spread of virus and associated health concerns are much in the news and in conversations recently, with many timely and sensible precautions getting renewed attention.

Here is another effective anti-virus action: Ride your bicycle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services, Mayo Clinic and many other medical institutions and advisors, physical activity is among the better things people can do to strengthen their physical health, reduce the burden of chronic diseases and improve mental health.

Good basic physical health, enhanced by regular movement, strengthens the body’s immune system — an important factor in this time of attention on virus and related maladies.

Basic fitness and good health are the best defenses against illness, helping avoid afflictions in the first place and shortening recovery time if you do get sick.

The active, flexible body is better able to come through physical bumps and falls with less impact or injury. Fascia and connective tissue, key parts of the musculature, become more elastic with movement.

Increased blood circulation that comes with even mild exertion improves the overall circulatory systems — including the heart, arteries and lymph network.

Bicycle riding for practical trips — commuting, shopping, errands, appointments, etc. — can provide a boost to overall health and those attendant self-defense benefits.

Stay sharp, stay happy

Even a mild workout — like a good ride across town — stimulates blood flow. This is particularly important in keeping the brain focused, alert and perceptive while riding, but it also improves what is called the neuroplasticity of the brain, making you mentally sharper in general.

All the current talk, restrictions, closures and unknowns of the moment create stress and anxiety. According to the CDC, regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning and judgment skills sharp, while reducing risk of depression and anxiety. Exercise also helps you sleep better.

Bicycling can even make you better-looking, by improving your mood: Bicyclists smile a lot.

As a form of exercise, bicycling has the additional advantage of complying with current recommendations for “social distancing.” Cyclists pass each other close enough to be friendly and mutually encouraging, while keeping a safe distance.

Good hygiene and attention to symptoms are essential these days. Add to those precautions the boost of physical exercise and good basic health.

Keep your distance, wash your hands, and ride your bicycle.

Enjoy your ride.

Join Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates in riding and promoting local bicycle use. For more information, call 618-8264, or write

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