Whether you’re a working or stay-home mum, staying physically active can be hugely beneficial to your personal life. Besides the obvious health benefits, an active lifestyle can also improve your family and social relationships, while saving you some cash and time.
From getting to spend more time with their family to expanding their social circles, these three mums say they have seen their lives improve since they embarked on an active mobility lifestyle.
Learning by cycling
Twelve years ago, Madam Lilian Yeo had no idea how to cycle.
Then 50, the administrator at a law firm decided to pick up biking – as she was motivated to learn a new skill.
Today, cycling is a regular part of Madam Yeo’s routine. Along with her husband, the Woodlands resident takes trips to the market on her bike, or cycle to her relatives’ houses nearby.
“If I take a bus, sometimes the wait is a bit long, so it’ll be more inconvenient compared to if I just cycle… I’m keeping fit at the same time too, so it’s really good,” the mother-of-one said.
Madam Yeo also enjoys cycling because she gets to see a lot of sights along the way. And cycling time is also family-bonding time with her husband.
“My sister-in-law, who stays near us will also join in, and we will go explore our neighbourhood plus the surrounding area.
“Once we cycled all the way to Khatib and back…We would stop along the way to look at things, or maybe shop, so it was a full-day family affair,” she said.
The 62-year-old is convinced that cycling can be a useful tool to improve interpersonal communication.
“When my family cycles in our group, we’re always looking out for each other and communicating with each other if we see a potential safety hazard.
“Like if someone sees a puddle in front, or maybe people walking ahead, or a road obstruction, then we will pass the message down… it’s a small form of communication, but I feel it helps to bring everyone closer.”
Cycling time is family time
For some parents, travelling with two young kids can be a trying experience; To Madam Laarvanya Raveendhran however, the time she spends sending her sons to school every morning is one of the most enjoyable parts of her daily routine.
Madam Raveendhran cycles 10km each day to get her two sons, aged five and two, to school. Although there is a shorter 3km route, the Punggol resident enjoys the longer path through park connectors as her family gets to be immersed more in nature.
“My two boys like seeing all the greenery along the way, and we really enjoy spending more time together… At the same time, It’s good exercise and helps me keep fit, so it’s great for everyone,” said the 32-year-old homemaker.
The daily journey takes about one hour for Madam Raveendhran and her kids. They leave their home at around 6.50am to get to the school before 8am.
Mdm Raveendhran says she always tries to look ahead for any obstructions or people while cycling to keep her family safe. Additionally, she sticks to the designated cycling lane and makes sure her kids are strapped on tight before each trip.
“You get to see the sunrise along the way sometimes, and it’s a nice moment for each of us,” she said.
“I think getting to spend more time with your kids, sharing these nice moments and experiences with them, is really invaluable and something that you can really treasure,” she added.
The joys of cycling friendships
On her 50th birthday in 2006, Madam Joyce Leong organised a bicycle ride with 25 of her close friends. That resulted in the birth of JoyRiders, a popular cycling group which organises cycling group rides every day.
Madam Leong, who works full-time with JoyRiders, doesn’t drive because she feels that Singapore has a fantastic transport system and cars are just too expensive to own.
The energetic 61-year old said: “Cycling not only keeps me healthy and fit all these years but the number of friends that I’ve made is simply amazing. I used to be a marathon runner, triathlete and adventure racer but became a full-time cyclist due to a back injury.”
The mother of two daughters – aged 22 and 24 – is strict when it comes to road safety. Especially so to her daughters when they were younger.
“Every parent is protective,” she said. She would remind them of the basics in safety “like how to brake safely, and look left and right before you make a turn.”
There seems to be no stopping these super-mums from living an active mobility lifestyle whose lives have improved because of the various benefits that cycling has afforded them: health, convenience, money and time savings, and most importantly, providing an avenue of bonding with their loved ones.