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Return to the Outdoors with Your Bike

Get Fit & Enjoy Nature While Cycling
  -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

With the weather nice and warm, now is as good a time as ever to get yourself and those you love outside! Is there a better way to exercise than to be out in the warm sunshine, feeling that cool breeze cross over you? Dust off your bike, bring the family, and get in a great workout! Sure, it may have been a while, but now is the perfect time to start.

Ages Ago
Think back to the last time you rode a bicycle. If you are like many people, it was probably ages ago, perhaps even when you were a kid. You’d pick up your bike and head down the street to a neighbor’s house, or have races with your siblings. Maybe you even biked around campus in college. But, somewhere along the line, like many people, you stopped. If you still own a bike, it might be buried in the garage under years of other things. And yet, many incorporate the stationary bike at the gym into their workouts. What’s stopping you from bringing this workout outside and enjoying an old pastime again? It will be much more enjoyable that staying one place!

Build Your Own Workout
Cycling is a great aerobic activity, not matter how fast a pace you choose. And that is exactly what is great about it: you can choose exactly how strenuous you want the exercise to be, whether that means scaling a mountain or relaxing on a flat course. You can pick and tailor it to how you feel that day. It’s easy to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. In the process, you’ll not only be toning your leg muscles, but you’ll also be cutting your risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure and building strength while enjoying great cardio workout. Over time, you’ll be able to go farther, faster.

Plus, you’re in the sunshine! Sun exposure allows your body to obtain vitamin D (but don’t forget the sunblock if you're out for more than 15 minutes). When compared to running, cycling is a low-impact sport, so you will be giving your knees a break instead of pounding the pavement. All that you need is a decent pair of shoes, a good bike and a helmet. A little wobbly at first? With time, you will be riding that bike just like the pros do it. Just be patient and be careful.

Save the Earth
What is stopping you from spreading your exercise ambitions to others? Get a buddy involved, or even the whole family! You’ll be motivated to ride more often with the help of others, and it can even be fun! (Exercise can be fun? Imagine that.) Chances are there is a bike trail somewhere in your community. If you are lucky enough to be able to bike to work or even to the store, why not take advantage? This is especially helpful if you find it hard to fit exercise into your daily routine. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone. What’s more, you’ll be saving the environment from your car exhaust. What could be better?

So while the sun is shining, leave the gym and get moving! It will be a great addition to your fitness routine.