Remember how you felt riding a bike when you were a kid? Joy, fear, fun and freedom were just some of the emotional memories you may recall as you took to the road for the first time. Once you gained confidence, you started pedaling to school, the supermarket or around the neighborhood. Biking gave you freedom and you could go as far as your bike and legs could take you.
Then as you got older you may have put the bike away for a car and forgot how much you enjoyed it.
Well it’s time to dust-off that old bike and join the global surge in adult biking.
Cities around the world have added bike lanes, set up dedicated bike trails and established bike sharing stations. Europe has long embraced biking as a mode of transportation.
Now the US has caught on and states and national organizations like the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy are adding trails designed to “increase our mobility, improving our health, spurring economic development and job creation.”
transforms unused rail corridors into vibrant public places—ensuring a better future for America made possible by trails and the connections they inspire. [Rails-to-Trails is] creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.
Who exactly is contributing to the increase in bicycling’s popularity? According to PeopleForBikes:
The national surge in bicycling since 1995 may have more to do with healthy hips than with hipsters.
Biking rates among people between the ages of 60 and 79 are soaring, an analysis of federal data shows. New trips by seniors account for 22 percent of the nation’s growth in adult biking. And because biking among children is actually falling, these seniors’ new trips are equivalent to more than a third of the overall gain in biking.
Why biking is so good for you.
Here are some facts about biking:
It involves virtually every muscle in your body so it provides a great, overall conditioning exercise.
Riding a bike is good for your heart and can lower blood pressure. It provides a great exercise for overall cardiovascular fitness and helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
Studies suggest that women who walk or bike 30 minutes a day, may lower their risk of developing breast cancer. Regular biking may also reduce the overall risk of cancer by 34 percent according to a Swedish report.
It can trim your waistline. Steady pedaling for 30 minutes burns about 300 calories. And since it builds muscle, it helps boost your metabolism and helps you maintain a healthy weight.
Riding saves cities, towns and taxpayers money. A 2011 report estimates that Portland, OR saved an annual $155 million in healthcare costs thanks to a regional bike trail network that helped reduce the incidence of obesity and other costly diseases.
It feels great, boosts your energy and promotes good mental health.
And, cycling is easy to do.
Make cycling one of your fitness goals.
As part of your healthy living routine, add a bike ride to your exercise program and set it up in CraveMate as a goal. Document your excursion with a picture or video, and share it with a friend. Spread the good, healthy news about biking and start pedaling. But before you get on your bike, put safety first and don’t forget your helmet!