Cycling is good even if there is pollution

It is no secret that Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City start have a problem with air pollution. It’s not that bad in the South these days thanks to the rain, but there are times when it can be worrying to get out there and breathe the fumes of the thousands of cars and motorbikes that flock the streets everyday. Yes, we can use masks despite the heat, but it is reasonable to wonder if the harm of pollution will be higher than the benefits from exercise you get when you cycle. Our slogan is “Climate change, ride a bike” for a reason, we want  a cleaner world, but not at the expense of our own health. Fortunately, it looks like cycling (exercise) is always good, despite the polluted air. At least this is the biggest finding by a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge.

However, according to their research, there is a point after which the benefits of cycling don’t increase even if we keep cycling and another breaking point, when they become smaller than the harm that the air can cause. In Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world (much more than Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City) after 30 minutes the exercise will cease bringing benefits and after one hour it would become more harmful than good. In Hanoi or Saigon the pollution is usually about half the one in Delhi, so cycling in the city would cause more good than harm after two hours.


graphic benefits bike pollution

And there is another factor, wether you cycle or not, you are in the city, you breathe the same air. One of the authors of the study said in this interesting piece in Quartz magazine, “we are not disputing the fact that air pollution kills,” said James Woodcock, one of the authors of the study. “[But] it would do so even when you are sitting at home. What we find is that being physically active, even in polluted cities, can cut that risk. So it’s a win-win.” In short, get on your bike, it’s always better than not doing it. And anyway, we would always advise to get tours or ride outside the city, the countryside is way more exciting for cyclists! 


4 tips to lose weight with cycling

Time to start that diet
Author: Alan Cleaver

In Vietnambiketours, we mostly care about the experience of cycling, about having fun, discovering new places, having an adventure, learning more about the local culture and make new friends. And on top of all that, we don’t forget that riding a bike is very healthy, it will make you fit and will help you lose weight. But how? Here are a few tips if you want to lose a few pounds and feel lighter when you ride.

1) Eat breakfast before you ride

If you are lazy to prepare it at home early in the morning, in Vietnam it’s easy to find a pho or a banh mi almost anywhere. Breakfast won0t only make you feel better and give you a lot of power for your ride, it will also activate your metabolism. If you don’t, your body won’t want to burn fats, it will prefer to store them for the future.

2) Avoid too much carbohydrates

If your goal is to lose weight, sugars and carbohydrates (which your body turns into sugar9 are your biggest enemies, even more than the demonized fats. Eating vegetables and protein is the best combination in the long term. Keep sugars and carbohydrates for the times when you are on the road and need a quick supply of energy.

3) Eat during the ride

Wether you prefer to stop and relax while you eat, wether you prefer to eat while riding (be safe!), you should never let your body get too hungry. Eat little but eat often, you will ride better and it will be easier for you to burn fats.

4) Give it all in the end

According to some studies, your body will be more prone to losing fats if the intensity increases at the end of your exercise. If you feel like sprinting and giving it all on the bike or doing a tough climb, plan it for the end of your ride, when your body is already used to the exercise.