12 May 11 May is National Bike Month - Trade in Your Spare Tire for a Rolling OneCelebrated nationally, May is recognized as National Bike Month and next week, May 16-20, is Bike to Work Week. This means there's no better time to dust off your two-wheeler and use it to not only get to work, but use it for some low-impact, high-result cardio exercise.
One of the many great things about riding a bike (or taking a spin class) is that you can, for the most part, go at your own pace. Barring any steep hills are drill-sergeant instructors, you control the gears on your bike and can push yourself to what makes sense for you on a particular ride.
As far as health benefits go, cycling has incredible positive benefits for burning calories and improving heart health. Depending on your pace, gender, age and weight, steady cycling burns about 300-600 calories per hour. And the British Medical Association found that riding your bike only 20 miles a week could reduce your chance of coronary heart disease by as much as 50 percent. And for those who may be concerned about the rewards-vs.-risks of cycling, researchers last year published a study that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the potential risks associated with air pollution and accidents. Furthermore, the study suggested that if you switched from driving your car to work to cycling, you would add between three and 14 months to your life.
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