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Do yourself a favor - ride a bike

A lot has changed over the past few weeks. As our local community, and communities across the globe, respond to the evolving coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, you may be feeling unsettled, to say the least.

During times of stress and uncertainty it's important to take care of ourselves. The physical, mental, and emotional strain caused by rapid change, anxiety, isolation, and the general upheaval of our usual lifestyle can take its toll.

Physical activity is always important but in these times, getting outside and being active is a critical agent for wellbeing. Enter, bicycling.

Many of us used to ride bikes as a child and many still ride today. So we know the happiness gained from being outside, riding in our neighborhood, the greenway, rural roads, or in the woods. Fresh air, birds and flowers, the sun and hillside. Our heart racing as we climb, the thrill of bombing down a hill, our legs putting power to the pedals and propelling us forward. All these things give us a break and give our mind and body a chance to recharge.

While social distancing is being urged we can still hop on our bikes the ride, with immediate family, or even with a friend so long as we keep 6ft distance. Winston Salem has some great greenways, MTB trails, and short paths tucked into many of our parks. You can also just ride a few blocks in your neighborhood. According to AARP, just 5 minutes of physical activity can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. And remember, physical activity and destressing is equally important for children, as it is for adults. These are unsettling times for the youth of our community. So encourage your kids to grab their bikes and go for a spin as well.

Here are some notes from the WS CAN board of directors about their experiences getting outside in the past few weeks...

"I am using this strange time to reconnect with nature. Whether it is hiking, visiting a mountain bike trail, or rides through Stokes county, physical activity is like reconnecting with an old friend in this strange land." - Bonny Cannon

"I have been getting out on my bicycle and exploring new roads around town.  The beautiful trees and scenery are calming.  I encourage everyone to get out for a spin!" - Lauren Duncan

"My husband and I have been taking our old dog on slow walks on a local greenway, and both have committed to running and/or biking as often as feasible, all while we employ social distancing." - Louise Allen

"Since I started working from home I have had a strong desire to get outside as much as possible. So I have done lots of yard work, dog walks, and bike rides. Riding always helps me get out of my head, connect with my surroundings, and makes me feel empowered and energized." - Amy Easter

WS CAN encourages you to stay safe, stay healthy, and do yourself a favor: go for a bike ride.

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