To cycle or not to cycle

I really like to ride my bike. I always have, as a child I would pedal

My bike

away the summer days. In my adult years, I have been a yo-yo rider. I tend to be a yo-yo everything, when it comes to health.

I read this article today, and realized I just need to get on my bike more. My city, although not large, is not particularly bike friendly. However, as the article points out, the health benefit exceed the accident risks.

Cycling in the city: Health benefits outweigh accident risks
By Robert Preidt, HealthDay

The health benefits of cycling in an urban environment outweigh risks posed by air pollution and accidents, a new study has concluded.
Researchers analyzed data from international studies on the benefits of exercise and the threats posed by vehicle exhaust and traffic hazards. They then estimated what the health impact would be if 500,000 Dutch adults switched from driving to cycling for one round trip of roughly five to nine miles a day.

The study found that cycling even for a short period of time in traffic can lead to significant exposure to components of car exhaust, such as tiny particles and soot, that may contribute to respiratory and heart problems. Because cyclists tend to breathe about twice as deeply as car drivers, they inhale larger amounts of air pollutants.

The researchers also calculated the risk of dying in a traffic accident as about four times greater per half-mile traveled for cyclists than for car drivers.

But they determined that the health benefits for cyclists in The Netherlands were at least nine times greater than the hazards. By switching from driving to cycling, people would, on average, live three to 14 months longer because of increased physical activity. The risks they would face would be potentially losing 0.8 to 40 days of life because of increased exposure to air pollution and an average of five to nine days from a fatal traffic accident.

The findings were reported online June 30 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Switching to cycling was also found to benefit public health because it would eliminate 500,000 car trips a day, leading to a reduction in air pollution, the researchers noted in a news release from the publisher.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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My Quest for Average

I wrote a blog post for my blog (The outRAGEous Experiment) on July 5, 2010. Here’s the post and my challenge to myself:

There has been a running conversation in my house about change. No, not the kind of change we were promised in the last election (and failed to get, I might mention) but a change on a much more personal level. I feel that my life has become, well less than….
So, we (I) am embarking on a world of change. I have already begun. Today I cut a tree that was bothering me from my back yard. I bought a new rug for my living room and that room will be rearranged by weeks end. I have plans to paint my office in two weeks (my next available weekend). However, it is just NOT enough.

The change I am looking for is deeper and far more personal. I read today that 3.8 million people in the United States are over the 300 lb mark! I feel their pain! Although I am not over 300lbs, I am far closer than I am happy to admit! The article I read went on to say that in the US, the female average weighs at an unprecedented 163 lbs.

I must admit I would be happy to be weighing in at 163. Therefore, I am officially and publicly declaring it my goal! By the Fourth of July next year, I will be average 🙂

Welcome to the journey

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