Have you ever considered reducing your travel time if you walk between two places, toning the muscles you have without any extra effort or increasing your stamina and, in turn, making your heart healthier?
If not, you should consider taking to two wheels as your source of urban transportation. Biking is an activity that enhances your health and the health of your community!
Urban biking is especially something downtown Phoenix residents should consider. Commuting by car or by foot in downtown can sometimes be a challenge. That’s where biking can make your life so much easier.
If you bike, you don’t have to worry about long commutes or traffic jams. On a healthier note, biking is good for you in many ways.
Biking helps burn fat, promotes healthy sleeping habits, encourages healthy digestion and even increases the endorphins in your brain, which makes you a happier, more confident person.
ASU exercise physiologist Christopher Berger is an avid biker and takes a personal interest in biking issues.
“Of course biking is healthy. We’ve got pretty dry air and nice sunshine, so it’s nice to be outside. Our roads are pretty well-kept, you know, there are no potholes or anything like that … and they’re flat, so biking isn’t very strenuous. Logistically, biking is a good idea — it saves you so much time. Health- and fitness-wise, it’s a good idea. It’s just nice to be outside.”
Berger said he thinks biking has more of a future in downtown Phoenix compared to Tempe simply because enforcement is a little bit different.
“People would be more proactive about putting bike lanes in around downtown Phoenix. There are already colored biking lanes on some downtown streets, so I’m pretty optimistic.”
So what exactly makes biking so healthy, and how do you ensure to make the most of your biking experience?
Berger said it’s a combination of things.
“Depending on how you set your gears up, biking can be a very aerobic exercise. If you set your gears really high, it become anaerobic for a little while, because you have to increase the amount of force you generate to move the bike. If you have a lightweight bike, you can bike for a long period of time. I think there’s a lot to be said for a really strong-frame mountain bike because in urban biking you have to have something that’s pretty durable.”
Another source that really promotes urban biking is the organization BikeForce.
BikeForce Phoenix is a collaboration of courier cyclists in downtown Phoenix who serve the business community.
BikeForce aims to help businesses reduce the operating costs of sending packages, documents and parcels all while promoting green energy, environmental awareness and physical fitness.
Could this get any better?
Thomas Johnston, office manager of BikeForce Phoenix, explained why biking is so beneficial to the downtown community.
“We deliver packages from business to business via bike. We are all for urban cycling here at BikeForce. I’m a big believer in biking — the more bikes on the road, the better. It’s healthier and better for the economy. Studies have shown that when there’s more biking, the economy’s better, because people don’t have to worry about parking. I bike almost 100 miles a week. I’ve been a courier for 16 years, and it’s just how I move around.”
Now that you’ve heard testimonials from two passionate sources about the benefits of urban biking, it’s up to you to broaden those horizons and perhaps try breaking biking into your schedule.
Not only will it help the environment, it will help keep you healthier! So get out there and cycle away toward a healthier you.
Stay healthy, my friends!