About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ahhhhhh, Nothing Better Then a Bike Ride!

I just came in from doing a bike ride and I am feeling exhilarated as I usually am after being on my bike...Is there anything better? I am so lucky that I live in this beautiful Valley that is lined with horse ranches and vineyards. Right now the hills are green like Ireland and I am in heaven as I ride down the rolling country roads. It is just fantastic.

Anyone who knows me knows that cycling is one of my favorite activities to do. There are so many benefits to riding a bike. It is one of the best ways to shape and strengthen your legs and butt. It is also terrific for improving your cardiovascular conditioning and it is great fun. If you can ride your bike to school or around town, you’ll be helping the environment and getting fit at the same time.

The health benefits of cycling are many. According to the British Heart Foundation, cycling a minimum of twenty miles per week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease to less than half that of non-cyclists. Cycling at a gentle 12 mph on a flat road uses an average (depending on body weight and size) 450 calories per hour. Imagine what a little intensity will do.

Riding a bike still brings out the kid in me. There is a sense of freedom in it. Feeling the wind on your face, the fresh air, and the beautiful scenery make for a great way to stay fit and healthy.

One of the best feelings in the world to me is how I feel after a long bike ride. All of those wonderful “natural sedative” endorphins that have been released into my body leave me feeling calm, relaxed, and happy.

It is very important to have proper bike fit, along with certain comfort and safety gear. An uncomfortable bike fit will surly keep you from wanting to ride. If the saddle is adjusted too high or too low, you will not like it. Also, it is important to have the right size frame for your height.

You must have a helmet when riding a bike. There is great risk when you do not. A small fall could leave you with a head injury, with a helmet you would most likely not have any injury at all. If you get on a bike, a helmet must be on your head!

It is also important to carry water with you on your bike. Water cages are pretty standard on bikes. Dehydration is not good when you are riding. Also make sure you are fueled up with food an hour or two before you ride. Having a blood sugar crash while riding is no fun at all. I carry protein bars or glucose products with me when I ride just in case. I also ride with electrolytes in my water to help keep my body hydrated.

It doesn't matter if you are on a mountain bike, road bike, cross trainer, or beach cruiser, you can have great fun and experience one of the best ways to be fit. You will never see an avid bike rider that does not have great legs and a toned butt.

If you are just beginning to ride start with five to ten miles on easy terrain. Then add time and difficulty as you progress. Riding bikes will bring out the kid in you, shape your legs and butt, reduce your body fat, strengthen your heart, and give you a feeling of exhilaration.

It is just another choice for you to be healthy and happy, I hope you give it a try!

Till tomorrow,

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