health for your
By Jennifer Nelson
IN THE SUMMER OF ’75, when I was 10,
my friends and I cycled the neighborhood,
pretending we were commuting to work.
Schwinns and Huffys subbed as our sedans
and hatchbacks. We rang our bells and
squeezed rubber horns to simulate honking,
used hand signals when turning and rigged
portable radios to our handlebars for tunes.
Of course, we were merely being kids.
Who knew that, in addition to being
fun, all that fresh air, sunshine and
exercise was also keeping our
weight down, lifting our moods
and protecting us against cardiovascular disease?
“Cycling is a very
easy form of exercise
for a lot of different
people,” says Dr.
a sports medicine physician
in San Diego
and a member
of the USA Triathlon
medical staff. “For folks
who have arthritis, folks who
have underlying knee injuries or those
who are overweight and are trying to
ease back into or start an exercise program,
cycling is a great fit.”
Today, according to the U.S. Bureau of
Transportation, 468,800 commuters head to
work on their bikes on a daily basis.
• Buy a bike that fits. Do a stand-over in the store to make sure you can safely stand with both feet on the ground. The frame should be a few inches below the groin. For saddle height, place your heel on the pedal at the 6 o’clock position. Your knee should be slightly flexed. • Always wear a snug-fitting, Snell-, ASTM- (American Society for Testing and Materials), CPSC- (Consumer Product Safety Commission) or ANSI- (American National Standards Institute) certified helmet. • Obey all vehicular rules. Ride in the direction of traffic. • At night or dusk use a flashing rear light and mounted headlight. • Ease in. Start with 15- to 20-minute rides and work up in five-minute increments. • If you decide to cycle to work, ask your auto insur- ance company if there’s a discount for not using your car to commute.—JN Safety first
SEPTEMBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 45