FITNESS

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SMILE, YOU’RE ON A BIKE TRAIL

by Aaron Dorksen

There are two places where I’ve almost never seen anyone act anything but friendly: in church and on a bike trail.

The first one is no surprise, as a church naturally puts people in a loving, peaceful mood.  But a bike trail?  You know what?  Most people seem to be in a naturally loving and peaceful mood there, too.  Riding a bike out in the fresh open air seems to cleanse your spirit.  If it’s been a while since you’ve been on a bike, you might think about giving it a try.

If you don’t have a bike, maybe you can borrow one your first time out.  If you enjoy the experience, and I bet you will, an investment of a few hundred dollars or more can put you in business.  Your bike will pay itself off in a matter of months compared to the price of other recreational and fitness activities. 

Make sure to purchase a bike helmet as well.  Better safe than sorry.  And depending on how into it you are, you may want to invest in a pair of padded bike shorts and even add a small pack for the back of your back in which to store items like water, trail mix, sun screen, etc.

Riding on a bike trail, whether it’s a flat rails-to-trails type or a mountain bike course, is a great experience.  You might go solo, with a friend, or even make it a family outing.  In Ohio where I live there are countless beautiful scenic bike trails to choose from, many of which are converted rails-to-trails courses that are flat and easy to ride.

Riding a bike is something people of just about any age can do.  Bike riding is a lot easier on the joints than running.  You can start out easy and build up your confidence and endurance on the bike in no time.

My dad is almost 70 years old, and he knows he’s not exactly the first guy I’d call to play on my men’s slow-pitch softball team.  But because he’s always worked out and kept in good shape, riding a bike trail together is a great way we can both get a great workout. We routinely go on 15-20 mile rides.

It’s a great activity to do together and most people we encounter on the trail offer a warm hello or tip of the cap.  When we take a bike ride together, it leaves me in a good mood for days to come.

The local bike trail is a wonderful fitness resource everyone should try.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail your comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.net

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