Cycling has been a common practice throughout the world since many many years ago. It can be for leisure and recreational purposes, or for sports and fitness. Anyone can learn how to ride a bike, therefore it is not an uncommon thing to do. Cycling has been well known for it’s healthy benefits for our bodies and can even play a big role to the environment by reducing the number of cars on the roads. However, what happens if you are cycling in air pollution? Will you do more good than harm? Let us explain, starting with the benefits of cycling!
Benefits of Cycling
As we all know, there are many things that we can benefit from cycling. Both mentally and physically, the simple activity will allow us to strengthen our bodies without spending much money. Young or old, anyone will be able to participate in cycling.
Within a thrifty two to four hours of cycling per week, it is already able to let you achieve a general improvement in health. Comparing to other forms of sport and exercises, such as running and weight lifting, cycling causes the least strain and injury on our bodies. As you pedal, it requires different muscles to work together, resulting in a good balance for a workout. Unlike some other sports, cycling does not require you to purchase expensive equipment as well. It is also a sport that does not require you to have professional skills, all you need to know is how to balance on your bike! Cycling can also be done at a gentle pace or at a higher intensity, depending on your physical tolerance, just follow your own pace. What other sport could offer you such generosity!
So you may be wondering, if it’s such a simple sport, how can you possibly benefit much from it? As surprising as it may seem, cycling packs in a load of advantages for your body. Due to its nature, cycling is like a form of aerobic exercise, your heart, blood vessels and lungs get to workout during the process. You’ll tend to take deeper breaths, perspire more and an increase in body temperature.
General health benefits of cycling include :
- Increased Cardiovascular fitness
- Improving joint mobility and flexibility
- Decreases stress levels
- Improves body posture and hand-eye coordination
- Decreases body fat levels
- Prevents and manages illnesses and diseases
In this time and age of the world, diabetes and cancer are illnesses which has proved to be fatal and have claimed many lives of the population. Therefore, we will like to summarize how cycling can help which these two common illnesses.
Cycling & Cancer
Researchers around the globe have studied how cycling and cancer are related and how it fights against each other, especially colon and breast cancer. It has been proved that if you cycle, the chances of you contracting bowel and breast cancer is lowered.
Cycling & Diabetes
The rate of Type 2 diabetes has been constantly increasing, concerning the public of their health. The main causes of this illness is thought to be from the lack of physical activities. People who tend to laze at home or drive for long hours without much exercise are at a higher risk of contracting the Type 2 diabetes. Finland conducted a large scale research, found that people who cycle on a frequent basis are less likely to develop diabetes.
So all in all, cycling has been proven to be one of the most effective exercises to regulate good health for our bodies. It is simple, affordable and enjoyable, yet packs in a load of good causes! If you would like to read more or have a better understanding, click the link below!
To read more about cycling and it’s health benefits!
Challenges of cycling in air pollution
Many cities and countries are infested with air pollution these days. Major countries like London, Beijing, New Delhi and Bangkok are some of the worst polluted places. One of the main contributors to the air pollution is the infamous PM2.5. If you’re a cyclist, be it for commuting or for leisure, the air is something you should be concerned about.
Health benefits VS Disadvantages
Cycling in air pollution, is it going to improve your health or making it worst?
On the one hand, cycling is good for health. On the other hand, with the increased rate of breathing from cycling, you’ll bound to be taking in more pollutants than pedestrians and other commuters. Will that have a noticeable negative impact on you? Let’s take look at this chart from a study to understand more.
The PM2.5 levels (50 μg/m3) in the chart are relevant to city areas with moderate traffic congestions. From the chart we can infer that cycling in such conditions for 60 to 90 minutes is still beneficial, the health benefits outweigh the disadvantages. However, if you’ll exceed an exposure time of 4 to 5 hours, the disadvantages of air pollution will start to outweigh the benefits of exercise. If you’re cycling in places with a scale of 100 μg/m3, in 1 to 2 hours, it will start to do more harm than good.
From the same study we have found, it has proved that the health benefits will usually outweigh the disadvantages and harms of air pollution. You will only face health risks if you were to be exposed to the air for long hours, such as bike messengers who ride around a lot in heavy traffic, or in a city with extreme heavy air pollution such as New Delhi.
There are many different hazardous particles inside the polluted air, the main culprit is the PM2.5. These particles are very tiny and fine which can enter our respiratory tract easily and cling onto our air-sacs in our lungs, you may not feel the effect of it right away, but over time you will feel difficulty in breathing if you have been exposed to polluted air for too long! Cycling in heavy traffic is even worse, the toxic fumes produced by vehicle exhaust gases is also one of the main concerns, so if you travel a lot in cities with traffic congestion, please take note!
To read more about cycling in pollution!
Is pollution mask useful?
With the rising awareness to air pollution, there has also been a noticeable increase of cyclists purchasing filter masks for their daily commute. Purchasing a mask is simple, but what are the main concerns you will face when buying one? For a new buyer, finding the right mask can be confusing.
Challenges of finding the right mask for cycling
- Heat – A filter mask covers a large area of your face, with the vigorous breathing and perspiration, heat will be trapped within the mask, causing discomfort over time.
- Stress – Many masks rely on a strap or an earloop to hold the mask in place. These straps and earloops may cause discomfort over time, some users experience pain and abrasions at the back of their ears.
- Noseclips – These are simple and well known features of many masks, it helps to seal the mask onto your face. They are useful, however, they may be too tight and obstructs users who wear glasses, another source of discomfort.
- The fitting – Some users casually purchase a mask, only to realize that it doesn’t fit them well. Gaps around the mask allow pollutants to enter, reducing it’s effectiveness and protection. Users with glasses also experience fogging when exhaling.
- Maintenance – Many masks on the market are made from cloth materials. Washing it is easy but drying it takes hours. If the masks were left unclean, it will remain moist, which is the perfect environment for bacteria and fungi to grow. Over time, it may also produce an awful stench from the bacteria growth.
- Portability – Some masks (e.g. heavy duty industrial respirator) on the market are very effective, but the ability to bring it around easily is compromised.
- Cost – For good results and effectiveness, you may also find yourself paying hefty prices in the long run. Some masks can’t be washed and reused, leaving you with the only option, to replace the mask/filter.
These are the common challenges a cyclist would face when purchasing a mask, there’s bound to be more but these are the usual ones that we have come across.
Despite all the challenges you have faced, you have finally came to a conclusion and purchased the mask of your choice. Maybe then you’ll ponder, how does the mask help? Why did I purchase it and not any other masks like the ones the hospital provides?
A high quality air filter mask provides to you with :
- Filter out any major pollutants in the air
- Helps to regulate breathing
- Ensuring you with a clean pair of lungs in the long run
There are a wide variety of air filter masks that you can purchase on the net, good examples are the masks made by Respro and Vogmask. These brands have designed their masks carefully, taking in consideration a cyclist’s needs and wants. So why do our users consider Totobobo Masks are superior to the rest?
Totobobo Mask for Cycling
Totobobo masks have been well liked by our users over the years, there are a few reasons as to why they prefer our masks more than the rest. Here are some of the reason :
- Trim to fit
- Easy seal check
- Reusable mask body, easy to clean and dry
- Easily replaceable filters
- Portable and easy to bring around
- Comfortable earloops
- No fogging of glasses if the mask is shaped properly
- Cost efficient (mask reuse 600 times)
The major challenge of buying a mask online is how to access the fitting? What’s the point of wearing a mask if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do? If you wear an oversized mask, there will be gaps around which allows the pollutants to enter, which compromises the effects of the mask. That’s why we have a downloadable “Totobobo simulator” for you to test the size before purchase. When you get your Totobobo Masks, you’re able to do a Visual Seal Check (VSC) right before you leave home! You’re also able to trim the mask to your liking and even reshape it with hot water or a hairdryer.
We have the PRO filters that were made for sports use, giving you a larger filter and also reducing the breathing resistance. We came up with a package that includes all the essentials needed for daily bicycle commuting!
We take our customer’s feedback very seriously, therefore we compiled a list of their reviews that may be worth your time reading!