Cycling is good for your Health
Great news: you don't have to become an "athlete" to see huge health benefits from a little light cycling. Just getting to work and back can change (and lengthen) your life dramatically. No gym memberships or extra "chores" required. You're spending time in your car every day - put that time to use, and get fit at the same time (it's like "free" hours!), and it will wake you up even better than a cup of coffee.
The U.S. Surgeon General, and Centers for Disease Control recommend getting a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. You can do all 30 minutes at once or break it up into 10- or 15-minute periods. Moderate intensity exercise or physical activity is activity that causes a slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate. Moderate intensity means you should still be able to carry on a conversation while excercising. Perfect, that's us.
Studies show that regular physical activity:
- Improves your chances of living longer
- Improves quality of life
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Helps lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Helps protect you from developing certain cancers
- Helps prevent or control adult-onset diabetes
- Reduces the risk of arthritis and alleviates associated symptoms
- Helps prevent osteoporosis (gradual loss of bone mass/strength)
- Improves mobility and strength in later life
- Alleviates symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Benefits weight reduction and weight management
Weight Loss - Riding at an easy speed (12 - 14 mph) most people will burn approximately 500 calories per hour (citation needed). A little extra effort and you can double that (and get to work faster too). A consistent bike commuting schedule will steadily and reliably melt off the pounds, which is not only healthier than a diet-only plan, but the results last longer.
Disease - About 365,000 deaths per year are attributed to lack of excercise in the U.S. due to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other conditions (citation needed).
Car Accidents - Dying in a car crash is bad for your health. Read a little more about this on the Safety Page.
Bottom Line - A year ago my waist was a 36, now my 34s are falling off! I get comments from friends and co-workers all the time about how I'm looking "trim". The same is true for at least two other people I know who have started commuting by bike, and none of us is trying to lose weight, we're just getting to work, saving money, feeling good and having fun.
COMING SOON: Calorie Calculator, testimonials, Citations