Biking: Good for the Body, Good for the Environment
Many states are friendlier to bicycle riders more than ever before. This is, in part, to federal funds that have been made available for improvements for the bicycling community. Not only are there more paved bike paths and designated bike lanes, but some cities have even added bike rental kiosks that make getting on a bike easy to do any time.
Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise. Using a bike for your daily commute is great for the environment and helps reduce your personal pollution output. Even if you are not quite ready to make the commitment to commute to work on a bike every day, you can still get many health benefits from biking. Try biking to and from work a few days a month or just bike for pleasure on your off days.
I learned from my grandparents, who rode bikes for pleasure well into their 80s, there are many health benefits to bike riding.
- Have trouble sleeping? Biking reduces stress levels and may help get your circadian rhythms in sync thanks to the extra daylight you are taking in.
- Boost your memory! Biking helps increase the blood flow and oxygen to your brain.
- Get in Shape! Bike to burn fat and lose weight while building strength and toning your muscles, especially in the legs and bum.
- Low-impact exercise. Biking is easier on the legs, feet, and knees than many other forms of exercise such as running.
- Good for a variety of ages. As I said, my own grandparents were avid bike riders throughout their lives.
What do you need to get started?
Get a bike. Visit a local bike shop and see the varieties available. You do not need a fancy bike or a mountain bike. Road bikes are a good start for most people. Do not hesitate to look at Craigslist or other online sales resources for a good, sturdy second-hand bike. A lot of older bikes were built to last. You want a bike you are comfortable on, so be sure to test out a few models to find the one that is right for you.
Wear a helmet. Even though your local helmet laws may not require adults to wear a helmet, you should get a new, well-fitting helmet and wear it every single time you are on your bike.
Be visible. Wear light colors. Consider adding lights to your bike, especially if you might be riding in the dark. Even for daylight rides, a flashing light might help increase your visibility.
Finally, be sure to know your local laws. Bicycles are considered vehicles. This means you must follow the same laws as other vehicles on the road. Know your state laws and watch out for traffic.
Have fun and be safe!
Jaime Johnson has been a writer for HERS Magazine since 2014 with a focus on health, wellness, and beauty. She can be contacted via her blog at www.naturalbeautythebook.blogspot.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/naturalbeautythebook.