More reasons to bike to work

More reasons to bike to work

There’s a saying “if you build it they will come.” And in Minneapolis, you could say “if you build it they will bike.”

Since the city built a bike path 10 years ago, there has been a significant increase in the number of people biking to work. For those who live within three miles of the Minneapolis Greenway, a bike path connecting residential areas to the downtown, there has been an 89 percent increase in commuters biking to work and a 33 percent increase among those who live within six miles according to a study published in The Obesity Society.

Based on this data, researchers concluded that when a city’s infrastructure supports cycling, individuals are more likely to bike to work. This behavior has been linked to less weight gain and lower cardiac risk.

“This study reinforces the idea that the way our environment is constructed has the potential to positively impact community health,” said John M. Jakicic, Ph.D. “As proposals are designed for new developments or the renovation of existing infrastructure, we call on architects, engineers, and city planners – among others involved in the process – to consider designs that make physical activity safe and accessible for the community.”

Katie Sweeney, a certified level 1 Spin® instructor who teaches classes at the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, has experienced many benefits from cycling.

“For those looking to begin cycling start with an indoor cycling class or a leisurely ride through the neighborhood,” said Sweeney. “This will help you learn some of the basics and become comfortable on a bike.”

Whether you are biking to work or biking for exercise, make sure you are safe. Always wear a helmet, carry a water bottle, wear closed-toe shoes and make sure your bike is the appropriate size.

“Cycling offers mental and spiritual health benefits. It gives you a chance to enjoy nature while you are riding alone or to socialize with others if you choose to ride with a group,” said Sweeney. “The cycling community is very friendly and I encourage everyone to give it a try.”

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Comments

2 Comments

  1. I could imagine biking to work also gives you some time to clear your head at the beginning and end of the day… while you get a good workout in!

  2. I love having the bike lanes that I can use on my bike commute. It’s a great way to get your exercise in while not feeling like you have to cram it into an already hectic day!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.