Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why you should ride a bike in the winter?

Why do we become less active when it gets colder? Why do we spend less time outdoors and more time inside? We drive more, eat more and exercise less. The slightest hint of a cold day brakes our spirits and we curl up. The body tricks the mind and the mind thinks the body is crazy. When we see someone running or riding a bike we say, "they are crazy" or "its too cold to be outdoors". But the person working out or commuting to work daily has one advantage over us. They are in motion.

I am not an avid runner or in the gym a lot but riding a bike has been my means of exercising all my life. Cycling anytime of the year has many benefits. It improves physical fitness and reduces the risk of heart disease. I have known bike messengers that have said, "they never get colds or other winter "dis-eases" during this time. Biking outdoors during the winter is a sure cure for cabin fever, but it offers mental benefits as well. Accomplishing anything outdoors during the brutal winter months can present a challenge. But biking during the chilly time of the year may be the challenge you need to boost your workout. If you decide you want to start biking during the winter months there are a few things to keep in mind when dressing for cold-weather riding. The key element to winter cycling is proper attire. My five most important areas to consider are the feet, hands, head, neck and chest. Winter cycling can be surprisingly comfortable. Assuming that you are dressed correctly, the physical act of cycling will warm you up faster than you would be if you're waiting for your car's heater to warm up. Winter cycling can be surprisingly convenient. Suppose you need to travel a couple of miles to the store. On your bicycle, you might have already made it to the store and back in less time than it would take to scrape your windshields and dig your car out of the snow.

Cold weather can paradoxically improve traffic conditions. Since many people bunker down in the winter, traffic tends to be a bit lighter and calmer. When conditions are slick on local roads, many motorists reduce their speed significantly. This is good news for cyclists -- when motorists are going at sensible speeds, the chances of getting into a fatal collision with a car goes down tremendously. In addition, roads aren't torn up by road construction like they are in the summer time.

Winter cycling is FUN। You can get the same endorphin rush that winter skiers get। However, whereas most skiers only ski a handful of days throughout the winter, you can ride throughout the entire winter. Exercise weans off winter poundage. If this is the season when your main physical activity is walking to and from the omnipresent platter of holiday cookies and when the lack of sunshine sends your spirits plummeting, even a short daily bike commute can keep you in fair physical and mental health. Be well and ride safer than safe!

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