Friday, March 13, 2009

biking is just plain good for you

This is the Schuylkill River Trail heading west, come on NEWBIES, join me on Sunday, March 15 at 1:00 pm

Perhaps it's time we considered reacquainting ourselves with the humble bicycle. Small lifestyle changes can go a long way and you might be surprised at just what a difference replacing a few car trips with bike rides can make.

Most people understand the physical benefits of biking - it's low impact, aerobic, and you don't need to get fit before you start. Most people live within six kilometres of their work, and that's an ideal distance to ride. Try it a couple of mornings a week, and you'll be amazed at how quickly your body adjusts. You'll arrive at work fresher and mid-morning caffeine fatigue will be a thing of the past.

And biking is ideal if you're one of those people who always seems to be short of time. The extra few minutes needed to bike to work - and biking's quicker than you might think - has been spent in healthy exercise. That makes a lot more sense than driving home from work in the car and then paying to go to the gym.

There are mental benefits to cycling as well. Exercising releases endorphins into the blood creating a feeling of contentment and happiness which helps to reduce stress. In fact the psychological benefits derived may be better than those from many other forms of exercise because cycling also involves anaerobic (resistance) activity which has antidepressant effects.

Being active also helps bring on deep, quality sleep at the end of the day. You'll wake feeling more refreshed than ever and much better equipped in body and mind to deal with a new day's challenges.

It's hard to find an activity that ticks as many boxes as cycling does. It's good for the environment and good for you. It's cheap and nearly anyone can do it.

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