7 Reasons to Get on That Bike
By JENNIFER CASSETTA
May is National Bike Month and it’s my goal to convince you to hop on your bike by the end of this blog!
Whether you want to do your part in saving the environment, save money or even lose weight, there's something here for you. Here are seven reasons why you should start biking more now:
1. Get to Know Your Neighborhood
Did you just move to a new city or new part of town? Or maybe you've lived in the same place for years? Either way, getting out on a bike can give you a whole new perspective on your ‘hood. You'll see architecture, discover new restaurants, stores and people that you may not have noticed when driving by.
2. Burn more calories
A 150-pound person can burn an average of 400 calories in a one-hour bike ride. Do that for just over two times per week for a month and you can lose one pound of fat. Would you commute to work, or ride to the restaurant to meet friends for an extra calorie burn? I would.
3. Get Toned
While on the exercise topic, riding your bike strengthens your quads and hamstrings and can help you tone and tighten as you pedal. Biking uphill will increase the booty-burning effects.
4. Connect With Your Inner Kid
Was riding a bike one of your favorite childhood activities? It was for me. So every time a get on my bike now, the sense of freedom and fun that I get reminds me of growing up and riding my Huffy with my friends. Couldn't we all use a little more connection with our inner kids?
5. Save money at the pump
Every penny counts and at an average of $4 per gallon (at least here in L.A.), not pumping gas as often adds up to more money in your wallet. Less miles on your car not only saves gas, but will reduce wear and tear as well, making it last longer.
6. Save the Planet
Keeping your car longer can reduce your carbon footprint and so can saving gas! That's two ways you can feel great for biking instead of getting into your car.
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7. Get the Glow
Show up to work or that dinner date with a sexy glow. You'll have wind-blown hair, rosy cheeks and dewy glow to your skin. It's sexy, I promise!
But before you jump on that bike, here are three must-have safety products for pedaling on city streets:
While biking at dusk and at night, it's imperative that drivers can see you. You must make yourself as obnoxiously bright and blinky as possible. I clip these strobe lights to my clothes, one in the front and one on my back. Then I slide this cuff light onto my arm and I keep a red blinking light on my back wheel and a bright flashing light on my bike facing forward.
In martial arts, we have a saying: Your face is the most expensive thing to fix. When biking, keep your head and face safer from injury by wearing a helmet. I'll totally admit that it's my least favorite thing to wear, but it’s also the most important.
I know very few people who live in Los Angeles that haven't had a bike stolen from them. A strong bike lock is not the thing to scrimp on. Invest in a good bike lock like this one from Kryptonite to reduce bike theft.
Readers — How often do you ride your bike to work or just around the neighborhood? Is your city or neighborhood bicycle-friendly? What’s your favorite part of riding a bike? Leave a comment below and let us know.
Jennifer Cassetta, M.S., CN, is an author, speaker, third-degree black belt, clinical nutritionist and personal trainer. She works with global business leaders traveling the world as their personal health coach. She just co-wrote her first book, Hear Me Roar: How to Defend Your Mind, Body and Heart Against People Who Suck, which empowers women to be strong, safe and sexy through self-confidence, self-defense and nutrition advice.