Make Bicycling a Part of Your Lifestyle
Did you know that according to the League of American Bicyclists, just 3 hours of bicycling per week can reduce a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%? Plus, moderate bicycling can burn about 600 calories per hour for a person weighing 150 pounds. A person who is out of shape and weighs more will burn even more calories per hour.
Been away from bicycle riding for a while? No problem; your proficiency comes back quickly. Why do you think they say “it’s just like riding a bike!” This is one of the reasons there are more bicyclists in the US than skiers, golfers and tennis players combined (National Sporting Goods Association).
Here are some of the best ways to incorporate bicycling into your busy lifestyle:
1. Replace a bike ride with one of your normal driving routines, even if only one day a week to start . Did you know that across the U.S., households take an average of 11 car trips per day, but only 20 percent are work related? (according to the Governor’s Institute on Community Design). This means we have lots of opportunities to replace one or more trips per day with our bikes such as riding to the store for milk, riding to a neighbor’s house for coffee, or riding to see your kid’s game. You’d be surprised how fast you can reach 3 hours of riding.
2. Commuting by bicycle to your work, train or bus stop. Here’s an example: If your daily commute is 4 miles each way, at an average of 12 miles per hour, your ride would take just 20 minutes. Plus, commuting by bike helps the environment by reducing pollution, smog and global warming. But more importantly, biking to work is a great way to start and end every day with an invigorating and mind-cleansing routine.
3. Make time for rides with family and friends. Every day, new bike paths and park trails are being created to provide access to riders of every skill level. Recently, the US government pledged over $1 Billion to help improve walking and biking trails around the US. From the successful rail-to-trail programs (see http://www.railtrails.org) that turn old rail lines into walking and biking paths, to bike lanes and paths around parks and recreation areas, biking is more accessible than you think. Like to go off road? From coast to coast, the US has mountain bike clubs and organizations committed to creating and preserving trail networks (see http://www.imba.com). Feeling more adventurous? There are also more than 160 US ski areas that open trails to mountain bikers in the summer, with nearly 90 of these offering chair lift service for cyclists.
4. Take a bicycle tour or rent bicycles next time you go on vacation (instead of a car or bus tour) for a more rewarding and memorable way of experiencing the places you vacation.