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Love to Bike? Why Not Enjoy the Benefits Every Day?

By Sandy Schroeder

Questions about biking are coming up more and more as healthcare experts tell us how healthy biking can be. Many of us have a bike in the garage, but now many of those bikes are showing up on a daily basis for commuting or exercise.

The U.S. Census Bureau says bike commuting jumped from 488,000 in 2000 to 786,000 from 2008 to 2012.  Here are some of the reasons why from the Orange County (Calif.) Register.

Biking builds muscles - Go for an all-day ride this weekend and your body will report back. You may feel the effects in thighs, buttocks, hamstrings, calves, arms, shoulders and abdominal muscles. That's quite a workout for a day of biking fun in the park or near the water.

Biking lets us exercise without pressure - Biking provides low-impact exercise for the joints, helping people with sore joints exercise without stressing their joints. Biking outdoors or on a stationary bike helps lubricate the joints and strengthen the muscles around the joints.

Biking helps the heart - When you bike regularly, your heart beats faster, lowering your risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure. Mix up the intensity for the best workout. Bike at moderate speeds, under 10 mph, and at a faster pace, more than 10 mph. Begin gradually with biking routines building up your endurance to strengthen your heart and muscles.

Biking helps us lose weight - Biking can be a moderate to intense workout, whichever you choose . You may bike through the park with your kids or progress to ride a mountain trail. Either way, you will benefit from being outdoors burning calories. A person weighing 160 pounds burns about 300 calories biking for an hour under 10 mph.

Biking keeps our bodies young - Recent studies show daily bike riders had stronger immune systems, less inflammation and more muscle than people who were sedentary. Help your kids adopt the habit too. I know people who started riding in their teens, and are still riding in their 40s. They have enjoyed good health the whole way.

Biking can add years to our lives - Researchers encourage us to bike every day, if it feasible, to lower our risk of cancer, strengthen our bodies, and protect our hearts. Assess where you are today in endurance, weight, and overall health and consider how biking might help you achieve your goals.

If you decide to bike more, wear reflective clothing and choose the safest paths. Look for protected bike paths near the water or in your favorite park instead of riding with traffic in busy city streets. Start this weekend with a family ride to the park or through your town's bike trails. Keep right on going, finding ways to bike, rather than drive, every day.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tampa, Fla, 

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