As millions of people around the world find themselves in lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19, many are understandably looking for ways to exercise and stay healthy. If joining the legions of runners isn't for you, active travel on an adult scooter could be the answer you're looking for to get outside.
We commonly get asked 'Is riding a scooter good exercise?'. We’ve always championed kick scooters as a brilliant option to help get people outside and active, and in lockdown, the benefits are clearer than ever. It's time to take advantage of the quiet roads too!
Current UK Guidelines [18/01/21] allow you to 'leave your home to exercise. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.'. Going for a scoot is the ideal way to make the most of this opportunity while keeping fit in these strange times.
In order to improve our fitness levels, we need to maintain a raised heart rate, and a scoot is the ideal way. As an exercise, scooting falls somewhere between cycling and running. It’s low impact, so easier to go for a longer distance or time than a typical run. As a full-body workout, it's much easier to build all-around fitness on your scooter than cycling, as you won’t need to travel for miles to feel the effects. Stay in your local area.
NOTE: All information is correct for UK guidance at the time of writing, but please check your local government advice regarding COVID-19.
‘Can you get fit without running?’ - Scooting for Low Impact, High-Intensity Cardio
Not a runner? While there are many benefits to running, the impact it can take on your joints and the potential aggravation to old injuries may mean that running is simply not an option. If this is the case for you, fear not, scooting is the low impact on joints, high-intensity cardiovascular workout you’re looking for!
It also works the other way, if walking is not doing it for you either, switching to a scooter opens up a much wider range of fitness benefits. Scooting will help you get that increased heart rate that walking doesn’t quite achieve, and will help much more with your overall strength, balance, and endurance.
Taking up scooting for fitness brings the same benefits as any other cardio without the heightened pressure on your joints. This opens up fitness opportunities to people who might otherwise be wary, scooting is accessible to all abilities.
The journeys don’t have to be vigorous, you can go at your own pace. By simply getting out on your scooter for a short period you’re making positive progress towards your fitness, strengthening your muscular endurance, and improving your cardiovascular health. No need to worry about the stresses that come with a run anymore!
A Kick Scooter Will Mix Up Your Exercise Routine
Even in the current situation, we want to keep our exercise as interesting and varied as possible. Since we can’t get to the gym, what do we do?
A lot of us will likely be getting back into running and going for walks to make the most of our daily exercise, and we all know how much of a slog those first few runs to build back your stamina can be.
Perhaps your running route is getting a little monotonous? As we find ourselves stuck at home, the occasional bout of 'cabin fever' is inevitable. Your exercise is an opportunity to fight the mundane while adding something new to your daily routine.
In fact, not varying your exercise is a sure-fire way to lose motivation, and results in many people giving up altogether. A study by the University of Florida found ‘individuals who modified their workouts every two weeks over an eight-week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more, and were more inclined to stick with their exercise programs when compared to individuals who followed the same workout regimes week after week.’ Scooting allows you this possibility much more than going for a walk or a jog.
Scooting is a brilliant way to embrace a workout with multi-planar benefits. Multi-planar exercise works the body as a whole rather than focusing exercises on select groups of muscles. Typical exercises you’ll be doing in the gym will be single-plane, and as such, it’s easy to give yourself a muscular imbalance.
Learn more about the multi-planar exercise benefits of using a kick scooter HERE
Scooting is a balanced and even workout for the entire body. If there’s an area you’re less comfortable with, you can easily focus your scooting technique to improve it. For example, switching feet more often, after say, only two pushes will get you working your Sagittal plane (forwards and backwards) and frontal plane (side to side). The movements are natural, and as a result, you’ll really feel the benefits in daily life.
Is a Scooter Faster Than Walking?
The average walking speed is around 3mph, while jogging comes in around 5mph. Scooting trumps both at roughly 7mph! While these vary based on the person and the route you’re taking, they’re safe estimates.
As you can see from the chart below, a 30 min scoot takes you twice as far as a walk would. Make the most of a full-body workout for 5km, and you'll arrive at your destination at least 10 mins sooner than if you run!
With full control of your ride on a scooter, you're free to make the most of variable fitness. For example, going out for a shorter period but at high intensity will give you all the benefits of HIIT training.
Even if you’re going for your first scoot, it’s much easier to go a good distance without tiring yourself out completely compared to your first run! Swifty’s large 16-inch wheels make it easier to get up to a decent speed and mean you’re able to maintain it with fewer pushes when compared to a small wheel scooter. Low impact, variable exercise that’s fun, what have you got to lose?
We’ve loved seeing our community get out on their Swiftys for their daily exercise. One of our Instagram followers @Scotty_Clements clocked up 14.9km in just under an hour of scooting. All our models are suited for riding on the pavements and roads so we all have an opportunity to get out and get some exercise and much needed fresh air.
In these tough times, it's important to find the positives. Allowing yourself this time to scoot around and discover your local area is a great thing to do, I’m sure you’ll discover something you didn’t know was there before! Community spirit has improved around the UK in the light of this lockdown, and getting to know yours better could be a positive change to take forward once the virus has dissipated.
Take the kids with you!
It’s just as important for your children to get out and get some fresh air and exercise as it is for you. If you don’t have any outdoor space at home, it can be easy for them to start going a little stir-crazy! As per the UK guidelines, you can do your daily exercise ‘with members of your household’ and scooting makes for some quality family time!
The health benefits can be felt by children and adults alike, it’s a fun, low impact and accessible form of exercise for everyone. By taking your children out, you can be sure they’re getting the exercise they need while making sure that they’re traveling safely too, maintaining a good distance from everyone around them and keeping their contact points to a minimum.
Not only can you use this time to get out and active, but it’s a really good bonding time for the whole family – something we know from experience!
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It’s a SPEED MATCH! 🛴🚲 There have been quite a few enquiries from parents who want to keep up with kids learning to ride a bike. This is how we do the family ride, and reasons why it works so well! 🛴🚲 Speed! Running along after a small child on a bike is not ideal. Mum and dad on scooters is a speed match, which also means it’s ok to use the pavement or park to ride together. The speed match just makes it so much more fun for the whole family, and you may feel more inclined to do a longer route, rather than just laps of the park. 🚲🛴 Versatility! With mum or dad on a scooter, you can easily tend to your child, give him a push, step off to cross roads, be there when he wobbles and falls. 🚲🛴 Fitness! If you cycle alongside a small cyclist, it’s likely that the speed of those little legs and tiny cranks will get you to a speed of around 5mph max, which means you’re you’ll probably be freewheeling in the saddle. A scooter will get you off your butt and give you a bit of light exercise too! 😁 #swiftyscooters #scooterdad #scootermum #scootermom #adventureswithkids #getoutsidewithkids #adultscooter #scooterfamily #microadventurefamily
No one is going to benefit from the fun of scooting more than children. They relish the freedom a scooter brings, and will probably be as good at encouraging you to get out as you will for them. It’s easy to make fitness fun with your little ones. You can look on a map and plan where you want to go on a trip, and plan an adventure packed with the local sights together. Or even better, get into nature, learn about trees, birds and bugs!
When you scoot you’re in control of your own speed, so you can fit to their ability. If they don’t want to scoot, you can easily keep up with them while they cycle, which can be especially useful if they're learning to ride a bike! It’s easy to stop and start on your kick scooter, so you can easily tend to them. Once they’ve got the hang of it, you can be by your child’s side to make sure there are no accidents!
Get out, get active, and enjoy some priceless bonding time with the whole family!
With lockdown restrictions in place around the world, there are fewer cars on the road, making our communities safer for pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders. Make the most of the quiet roads while you can!
Not to mention that air quality will inextricably be improving too, the lockdown has resulted in ‘big drops in air pollution across the UK’s major cities’. You’ll never appreciate the fresh air more!
If your children are old enough then they can enjoy a scoot on a SwiftyIXI – LINK- but for those children that are pre-school (age 3-5) and not quite ready for their own scooter, they don’t need to miss out! You can take them along on the journey with our Booster for Kids.
Scoot for Mental Health as well as Physical Health
Physical health is inextricably linked to mental health, and in these times our mental health can be really tested. The Mental Health Foundation has discussed this on its website, citing that it’s now more important than ever to ‘Create a new daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. You could try … having an exercise routine’.
There are clear and direct links between getting out into nature and improved mental health. ‘Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems including anxiety and depression’. In this particularly taxing period, we need to do our best to help ourselves and one another tackle these issues, and getting out on your scooter is a simple and effective way to help out.
Scooting allows you to easily get out and active, and you’ll be feeling the benefits from even a short trip. Not to mention that scooting is one of the most fun ways to exercise at any time! You don’t need to be pushing yourself and going for records, by just going out for a lap of the block you’ll be feeling the benefits!
Mental Wellbeing is one of our Top 5 Health Benefits for Scooter Mums - Learn the rest HERE
How your Adult Scooter can help shopping
Getting outside and active is about more than exercise. Another permitted way to leave your house under the UK lockdown guidelines is shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine, this is, however, to be ‘as infrequent as possible’. As such, we’re all likely to be doing bigger shops than usual for the foreseeable future.
By embracing the kick scooter for these trips, we can seamlessly build fitness into our typical day-to-day routines.
Carry more with a Kick Scooter
Those without a car are pretty limited to the amount they can carry on any given journey, and how far they can travel to get to a supermarket that stocks everything they need.
This is where your scooter can come in! We’ve already discussed how easy it is to go longer distances with your scooter, and Swifty even has a range of bags and baskets between 18-24L in capacity, perfect for loading up with shopping to carry much more on your journey. Alternatively, strapping your backpack your scooter with the Rixen & Kaul Vario Rack means you're free to stand tall and feel the wind in your hair!
With a KLICKfix adapter added to your scooter, it's easy to clip and unclip these accessories depending on how much you need to carry!
Carrying heavy bags is one of the main culprits in causing shoulder and back injuries. Letting your scooter do the heavy lifting for you means you won’t risk doing yourself any damage and can still stock up for the week easily!
Shifting the weight of shopping onto your scooter means you won’t get as tired from your standard shop run. If you're one of the thousands of people volunteering to deliver shopping to friends and family, or those unable to go to the shop themselves, we highly recommend utilising your scooter to help with these trips. Take care of your back as you take care of your neighbour on your Swifty, and you'll be feeling all the benefits of a typical fitness scoot.
Getting fit while helping the community around you? That's a win-win!
Get to know all about Swifty’s range of accessories HERE
Adopting positive habits
Hopefully, this situation can help us realise how much we can get from one shop without needing a car too. A study discovered that ‘67% of Britain’s could walk to the supermarket, but instead 86% choose to drive’. We’ve all been guilty of substituting a walkable journey for a drive from time to time, in England in 2018 68% of car journeys were under 5 miles! Turning to our scooters in this difficult time, we can clearly see what an asset they can be.
By adopting these ‘green’ habits now, we can help lead positive changes. Imagine the difference it would make if we all continue to minimise our impacts on the environment once lockdown has been lifted.
In the current situation, it’s more important than ever to make sure we get outside and feel the benefits of fitness and fresh air. Your scooter gives you the opportunity to do it easily, safely and while having fun!