Monday, 3 June 2013

Guest Post: Get On Your Bike (whatever kind) and Get Fit

Whether you’re secretly envious of the amateurs on road bikes wearing uniforms of champions, or remember back to tooling around on your first two-wheeler, or if you just enjoy the feeling of a breeze on your face as you actually see the world go by, getting (back) on a bicycle is a great way to get a super healthy dose of mostly easy exercise - and enrich your life by doing it!
Oh, and there’s also the gym, where you can read your favourite magazine or book as you tune out the world and pedal away for miles and theoretical miles, or take one of those crazy-looking (awesome feeling!) spin classes filled with all kinds of folks working their butts off.

Besides feeding your muscles and your healthy soul, biking also burns plenty of calories. Thirty minutes of pedaling will melt off around 150 even if you don’t do much but cruise along (that’s a hearty bowl of cereal or a slice of apple pie), up to 415 for getting up to 10 miles per hour (a cup of fettuccini alfredo or a chocolate milkshake), and up to 670 calories (a 7-inch personal pizza or pad thai with coconut soup) if you ride like the wind, hills be darned.

If you live somewhere flattish, it’s easy. Just get a good solid backpack and do your errands by bike. (This will also encourage you to shop locally, always a good idea.) You can count on it taking about twice the time. Unless there’s traffic that is, then you’ll just fly past people sitting, waiting, in their cars – and get where you’re going before they do if they’re heading your way.
And without major hills to tackle first off, it’s also easy to get that Tour de France fantasy working. Just buy yourself some skin-tight spandex with your favorite team logo and race around your neighborhood (and far beyond if you want to!) like you’re gunning for a yellow jersey. Failing that, just cruise the streets and look at your neighbors’ homes and yards. Add a bell to the handlebars if you want to add some friendly charm.

If you live in the hills and aren’t aerobically fit (yet!), or your neighborhood is decidedly not bike-friendly, it’s time to get a bike rack. They’re cheap (starting at $20) and easy to fit (there are plenty of two-minute-or-less videos on YouTube that walk you through each easy step), and it’s totally worth the effort to drive with your bike down to a local park or boardwalk, spend some sweet time with the world around you, and shape up your health in the process.

Whatever bike-basket of good-for-you goodies you choose, a bicycle is simply always there for you. And there are so many cool bike options out there these days!  From racing to mountain to cruiser to BMX, and literally everything in between in the form of hybrid bikes such as the trekking bike, cross bike, commuter bike, city bike, and comfort bike. All these modern marvels let you pick out the new-you toy perfectly suited to your fitness level and aspirations, your personality, your style.
If you'd like more useful tips on keeping in shape or upping your fitness, you can visit Women's Health.

Image by mcgillcycling used under creative commons license


Do you ride a bike, why do you love it?


  1. I have a bike and used to ride a lot, but the roads are so busy now that I find it really scary. I wish there were more bike paths, but there are some and then they end, so I have not ridden my bike for years.

  2. I love my bike, I got it during the winter and it has a basket which Ive decorated with some fake flowers. We go exploring every where when the sun is out. My thighs burn even on the flat, but I get stronger every time!