It’s warmer now. Here’s why riding a bike outside is a great way to exercise
You spend so much of your life on wheels, either in your car on the way to work or sitting on a rolling chair at your office. You’re not getting any healthier on four or five wheels.
Spring provides an opportunity to lose a few wheels and ride a bike, a fitness activity that cuts calories and is easy on your joints. You don’t need spandex to get started.
Donna Granback, a personal trainer at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., provides some top reasons to take your bike out of the garage and start pedaling.
- You can travel longer distances than walking or running while enjoying the sights of your town or city.
- It’s low-cost after you buy the bike and helmet. You might already have them.
- It’s easy on your joints and therefore good for the aging body.
- You get to be outside.
- It’s great for families, especially on bike trails.
- The exercise is good for your heart.
- You don’t have to be an expert to get started. You probably learned how to ride a bike decades ago.
- You can go places and run errands you needed to do anyway.
Granback also offers some tips for people who want to move beyond riding along the bike path:
- Indoor cycling (spin) classes are one way to test your endurance before going out for a long ride
- You can join cycling clubs in many cities and suburbs where you can learn more and get encouragement.
- Stop at a few bike shops to see what’s out there. Talk to people about what type of riding you want to do (trail/road, easy/fast) to ensure you have the correct type of bike.
- Buy a bike that actually fits your body. Bike shop experts can help.
- You can spend a lot, but you don’t have to.
And remember, wear a helmet.
About the Author
Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.
Will Aurora be sponsoring a bike team for the UPAF ride this year? How do I sign up? Thank You.