Monday, May 4, 2009

Ride and Seek

Looking for a good way to burn calories and get in shape this summer? Try biking! It was a lot of fun when we were kids (Ok, I grew up in Pittsburgh so "biking" consisted mostly of walking my bike up a huge hill and riding down, but whatever, it was fun), and it is still a great way to get in shape now.

The April 14th edition of the Washington Post Express gave five great reasons why you should take up biking again:
1) You will burn a ton of calories-at a relaxed pace, a 130-pound woman can burn up to 473 calories per hour. The amount of calories burned will increase the faster you pedal.
2) It gives your joints a break-cycling is low-impact so it is good for anyone with knee problems and is a good alternative for runners.
3) Your legs will get toned-Your quads (front of thighs) and calves get a good workout when you bike.
4) You will bust the blues-British researchers have found that 71% of people who exercise outdoors said they felt less tense afterwards.
5) You will become a better driver-When you ride a bike, you use your entire body and mind. This will transfer to the steering wheel, and you will become more aware of everything around you.

Another good reason: Think of all the money you will save in gas if you bike to work or to run errands.

On that note, here is a good way to get started. May 14th is National Bike to Work Day. This is a great day to get started with adding a little biking to your fitness routine.

You don't have to buy a fancy, expensive bike. Start simple. You can purchase a bike from Target or Sports Authority for a reasonable price. Check out your neighborhood yard sale or Craigslist for a second hand bike.

Washington DC now has the Smartbike Program, which is a self-service public bike rental program. These bikes are good for running local errands.

So you have 10 days to get ready for Bike to Work Day. What is your plan?

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