Having a hobby has been proven to improve mental health. It is no doubt a great way to escape from the routines. And Mitrais has long been known for its social club diversities where employees with the same hobby or interests are encouraged to gather outside working hours to enjoy their hobby.
For the past one and a half years, the pandemic has urged people around the globe to pick up a new hobby to stay healthy and sane. One of the trending hobbies is cycling as it is the most doable recreation and affordable one. Jaka Pratama, one of Mitrais’ Analysts, is no exception to this cycling trend. Jaka first discovered cycling as a hobby long before the pandemic. “It was my hobby when I was a kid. I needed to find an exercise that I could do daily without other companions, and cycling was one of them. I started to ride my bike again in 2017.”
Working a full-time job does not hinder Jaka from cycling almost every day. Thanks to Mitrais' work-life balance culture: an employee like Jaka can spare his time riding his bike early in the morning for two hours or around 50 km on weekdays, and for four to five hours, approximately 100 km on the weekends. In addition, to support the staff’ cycling hobby, Mitrais offices provide bicycle parking spots and a shower room to encourage cycling to work.
Like many cycling enthusiasts, Jaka truly appreciates his hobby because it helps keep stress at bay, maintain his ideal weight, and strengthen his immune system. “I’m full of energy after each ride, so I can work better afterward. Also, I don’t get sick easily like I used to.” During the pandemic where life deals with uncertainty and people are constantly worried, cycling has helped Jaka keep his sanity intact, maintain work performance while WFH, and spark motivation. Jaka admits, “It might sound cliché, but cycling for me is a form of meditation. When I ride, I feel disconnected from the sedentary lifestyle, no staring at my laptop or checking out my phone. It's just me and my bike, and I get the chance to reflect on myself."
Being outside allows Jaka to indulge in all the beautiful scenery he passes through, refreshing his mind and putting him in a good mood. “Nothing compares to riding on a small quiet road through the mountains. With no other sounds around you but your breath and tire rubbing the road, the wind breezing through you, fresh air in your lungs, and the stunning scenery right in front of you, it's amazing!" Jaka adds that overcoming challenging tracks, such as a mountain or a steep hilly slope, boosts his confidence to achieve the impossible as long as he keeps moving forward.
So, are you interested in giving cycling a shot? Jaka has some tips for beginner cyclists:
“First, ride with any bike that you have. There's no need to worry about the clothing or gears. Second, start simple with a short distance and duration. Then, gradually increase them. You may want to ride to your favorite coffee shop or grocery store. Third, make it more enjoyable by riding in beautiful areas with fresh air such as beaches, rice fields, mountains, or quiet village roads. Joining a group will also make the ride more enjoyable. Lastly, for motivation, install a sports app on your smartphone to track your progress. You can also compete with your friend, which is a good source of motivation!” he concluded.
With so many benefits that cycling can offer, are you ready to get your two wheels on the road? Well, when in doubt, pedal it out.