Cycling Sunday begins! | Sunday Observer

Cycling Sunday begins!

7 February, 2021

‘Cycling Sunday’ is a novel concept put forward by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs, Sri Lanka Police, and the Spinner Cycling Centre to promote recreational activities among people who live in urban areas. The pilot project commenced on January 31 with the patronage of the Minister of Youth and Sports, Namal Rajapaksa.

Every Sunday from 4 p.m to 7 p.m a lane would be allocated for the cyclists from Kotte to Colombo and , every cyclist should maintain specific rules and regulations throughout the process. Wearing safety gear is a must for each cyclist. Apart from wearing helmets and other cycling safety gear, every cyclist should obey the health guidelines laid down for Covid- 19 control.

Maintaining a moderate speed and strictly observing the prohibition of not throwing garbage onto the road are musts.. The senior lecturer for sports studies at the University of Colombo, Dr. Samantha Nanayakkara, spoke on the concept of Cycling Sunday to the Youth Observer. She is a well-recognised sports educationist in the country, honored with multiple Presidential awards for her service in the sports field.

“Cycling Sunday is a much needed initiative for the public, and I appreciate the fact that the Government took steps to establish ‘active citizenship’ in the country.

According to my perspective, it is important to introduce and encourage the people who are living in the urban areas to engage in recreational activities such as cycling as they are the ones who are most vulnerable to non-communicable diseases as a result of the lack of exercise. Obesity, heart diseases, cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure are most common within urban localities.

Plus, the people stuck within the condominiums are rarely exposed to outdoor activities or other physical activities. Therefore, the concept of ‘Cycling Sunday’ would be popular among adults and kids in a short period” she said.

Physical gains from cycling

As a well-recognised sports educationist and a sports psychologist, Dr. Nanayakkara said how cycling affects the human body and mind.

“Cycling is the most effective exercise next to walking. Especially for Sri Lankans, cycling should become a mandatory physical exercise. we We consume a lot of carbohydrates through rice which is the staple food.

Also, as a result of, the nature of most professions, the amount of energy consumed is not burnt but stored within the body as fat. This condition leads to lethargy, inactivity, physical illnesses, and mental illnesses.

Lack of physical movements is the main reason why people become victims of bizarre diseases.

‘Cycling Sunday’ is the most practical recreational activity promoted within the country that suits the Sri Lankans.

Cycling is the best way to awake the systems within the human body, including the mind. Proper blood circulation, muscle function, brain activity, and heart function stabilised if one regularly cycles.

Cycling vs mental health

Mental instability is rarely taken into consideration and is mostly an ignored health condition. The majority of the people who are living an urban lifestyle undergo unhealthy mental conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, panic disorders, eating disorder, and addictive disroders.

Engaging in recreational activities helps in releasing toxic energies within the mind and body. Cycling makes a person travel and explore nature. It is a recommended activity by many psychologists.

It assists in improving mindfulness , concentration and relaxation. Also, through the project ‘Cycling Sunday’, people learn road discipline and safety. The allocation of a cycling lane should be very much appreciated as it encourages people to adjust and engage to riding freely around the city.

The launch of the project is a positive punch for the younger generation to carry on outdoor physical activities throughout their lives. In addition, the usage of safety gear such as helmets, knee guards, shoes, and precautionary gear is obligatory throughout the process” she said.

While concluding the discussion Dr. Nanayakkara commented that ‘Cycling Sunday’ is a value addition to the lives of youth and adults and a living example for the up coming generations to learn from and practice.