Pedal Power Your Way To Fitness

Nic ready to go out on his bikeNick Carapanagiotu has recently discovered a new passion in cycling to improve his fitness level

Beneficiary Nick Carapanagiotu isn’t just a keen scuba diver. His diving club community has brought a new passion into his life.

What started as a conversation in a WhatsApp group has put Nick on the road to fitness on a specially adapted bike; here's his story:

“Communication during the COVID19 lockdown seems to have led to loads of WhatsApp groups. Some of my diving club mates got onto the subject of cycling in one of our conversations.

With the lockdown calling a halt to our diving activities, for the time being, one of the boys suggested we set ourselves the challenge of building up to a 40 mile bike ride, ending with a testing number of lengths in the swimming pool.

Being daft as a brush I said I’d be up for it if someone invented a bike for me and my shorter arms. I never thought they’d take me up on it!

Nic's new bike

I was amazed when a week or so later one of the newer members of the group asked for my measurements; ‘What for?’ I asked him and he said ‘I’m building you a bike’ – just like that – and he has!”

Nic's bikeThe bike is a standard bike with a trike attached to it so that Nick can reach the handle bars and work the bike from the back. He went for an initial test drive and then a five mile longer ride a couple of days later; now he’s hooked.

“A week after the initial bike rides the rest of the guys joined us for a seven mile bike ride. Now we’re building up to our challenge. I’m trying to get out twice a week and we now have a Diving/Cycling WhatsApp group to keep up the pace. We’ve even got an App we can use on our phones that tracks our journeys.”

Nick is still a passionate scuba diver and is waiting, with his friends, for the local diving quarries to open again (hopefully on 15th June) so that they can get some practise in before diving at sea or in open water. He’s very glad to have physical activity in his life – and the cycling has added another string to his bow; -

“Fitness isn’t just about your physical wellbeing. It gets you out and about, you meet new people and you have something to look forward to. I’d definitely recommend it – you get a good buzz that really helps your mental wellbeing. If you feel fitter, you also feel happier.”

Nick's fitness tips

If you’ve always wanted to get into physical activity here’s how you can get started:-

  1. Think about what you’d like to do and find out if there’s a club or regular session in your community – it’s good to get fit with other people.
  2. Do a bit of research on the internet as there may be more than one club and you can see which one will suit you best.
  3. Council-run sports facilities are often less expensive than private clubs – go on your local council website or give them a call.
  4. Make sure you do something you enjoy – fitness is meant to be fun.