Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | July 19, 2008

Cycle Your Way to Health: Part 1

          Because of rising gas prices, increased traffic and the other costs of operating a motor vehicle, more and more people are choosing to ride their bicycles to work, school and for short trips around town.  This provides many benefits including enhanced aerobic fitness, improved cardiovascular health, increased muscular endurance, and improved body composition (i.e., decreased body fat).  It also provides significant benefits for the environment by cutting down on auto emissions.  However, bike commuting also requires some advanced planning, especially if you want to ride to work or school on a daily basis.  To enhance your cycling experience, make sure you take the following steps:

1.  Determine your current level of fitness.  You don’t have to be in great shape to start commuting by bike.  In fact, you can be in lousy shape.  Cycling will allow you to comfortably improve your physical fitness over an extended period of time.  However, consult with your physician before you get started to make sure you are healthy enough to ride.

2.  Get your bike ready.  I suggest you ride a comfortable, upright bike that is relatively inexpensive.  While you don’t want a cheap bike that is going to break down, you don’t need a $3,000 racing bike either.  If you have a bicycle in your house collecting dust, there is a chance that it will work just fine.  Take it to a good bicycle shop for a thorough “tune-up” and tell the mechanic you want to commute on the bike.  He or she may recommend additions such as a bike bag or rack for carrying your belongings and fenders to keep you from getting splashed by puddles.  If you need to purchase a bike, you can get an excellent commuter bike for less than $500.  If this sounds like a lot of money, keep in mind that it costs approximately 30 cents per mile to operate a motor vehicle.  If you drive 8 miles each way to work, it will take you less than 6 months to make up the cost for the bike.

In my next post, I will discuss two more steps you should take to enhance your cycling enjoyment and safety.

NEXT POST: July 23, 2008



  1. […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by jbuffy on 2008-09-11 Cycle Your Way to Health: Part 1 – bookmarked by 6 […]

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