World Car Free Day: Walking or cycling is a gift for mental health

A motorized vehicle, although it is the most comfortable means of transport, as we all know, pollutes. That is why, seeking to clean the air, at least for one day, World Car Free Day is celebrated again this September 22. In this context, and in order to motivate people to walk or ride a bike, and adapt it as part of their routine, four prominent national athletes, Garmin ambassadors, comment on its benefits.

Marathon runner Karen Torrealba, states that “when you begin to integrate physical activity as part of your routine, you realize that your body is your means of transportation and that is the key to leaving the car aside. You begin to discover that your legs can take you to many places adding benefits: it improves cardiovascular and mental capacity, increases muscle tone and you can also distract yourself listening to music or an audio book. The athlete, who generally moves on foot, adds that with physical activity it is possible to understand that “movement is everything and we are designed for that. My Garmin Forerunner 955 is my ally for walking, because I pay attention to the pulsations that I deliver and load music, interview podcasts and topics that interest me right there.

While, the cyclist Paulina Pinto (@aventuradeados) It only moves by pedaling. “I will never get tired of recommending and being an example of mobility by bicycle, as it has all the benefits for physical and mental health, in addition to the economic ones, and to improve the quality of life.” The athlete acknowledges that the ideal is for cities to be “really bike-friendly”, with connected cycle paths and also aiming at exclusive urban centers for pedestrians, cyclists and scooters to promote trips in short sections. “A sustainable future is achieved with solutions that encourage the use of bicycles; there will be many more of us who will live in a cleaner world with happier people” she concludes.

Mariano López also from @aventuradeados comments that the city has been adapting for cyclists, better access, bike paths, and connections with other communes. “Commerce and the tourism sector, for example, have also understood the evolution of cycling in the city and little by little they have been adapting their infrastructure for it.” Regarding the benefits, López assures that there are many, however, he emphasizes that it keeps the mind fresh and active; “Pedaling improves your capacity for concentration and imagination, it helps to release the stress of everyday life. When you get on a bicycle, your body always flows and forgets everything bad, returning to being a child over and over again.” In this framework, he adds that “the daily use of the bicycle is not seen only as a means of transportation, but for me, for example, it is a lifestyle.”

Finally, rally driver Tomas de Gavardo He comments on the benefits of walking: “it has been proven that it is beneficial for health, it allows you to be active, burn calories and is the first step to having an active life”. The athlete also highlights the importance of caring for the planet: “the environmental impact generated by a car is great, so choosing to get around by bicycle or on foot as far as possible are actions that contribute to caring for the planet.”

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