I love to stay active. I find that being active daily makes me feel better than when I do nothing physical so for me, it makes sense to do something as often as I can. As I’ve gotten a bit older and have been physically active well over 40 years now, I’ve gotten a bit smarter (not much, just a bit) and look for activities that are fun, physically stimulating (challenges my heart, lungs, muscles, functionality, balance) and are safe for me to do. Safe in that I limit the downside of injury while I’m performing an activity as well as how it will effect me in the long run (just because something doesn’t bother you while you’re doing it doesn’t mean it won’t later in the short term or long term).
For years now I have been an avid cyclist. I have a few bikes to my name and depending on my mood, desired effect, weather and some other factors, I will opt for a particular bike to use for a particular stimulus. Without getting into too many boring details, suffice it to say that I have a variety of bikes that give me a variety of benefits and so I have utilized these bikes to recreate and enhance my fitness. See, most folks think that improving your cardiovascular system, body composition, mobility, blood pressure, etc. is relegated to the gym. It’s not. You don’t need a special aerobic program to get fit. You don’t need to have a machine tell you when to go faster or to slow down, go up a hill or down a hill because when you are out recreating, you are doing all that inherently.
I could go on here but I’ll just get down to the take home message: get out, expand your options, your mind and your lungs. Go for a walk, bike ride, jog, hike, play volleyball, etc. outside and enjoy the many benefits of recreational activity. I promise you it’s a lot less boring and has many more advantages.
I know this seems counter intuitive to most, but the law (and safety experts) require cyclists and runners (and even pedestrians) to be on the right side of the road – meaning you ride (run, walk) with traffic, not against. I am confronted all too often with people who are riding or running against traffic which then forces me off the shoulder of the raod and into traffic lanes. An all too dangerous scenario, especially at higher speeds. This post comes at a time when a client of mine was recently struck on his bike (fortunately he suffered only a broken wrist) by a motorist who cut him off to grab a parking spot. I myself had someone do the same thing to me this weekend as she decided hanging a U-turn over double yellow lines and cut me off as I was going 20MPH all so she could get that special space near the boardwalk. So, if you are out recreating, please know the rules of the road. Motorists, as I suggested in an earlier post, please be observant of those not in cars. That parking space will wait. You just may save a life.
Sometimes it’s just an extra second that you need to take to make sure you and those around you are safe. A majority of motorists, especially this time of year, don’t take the time to look for non-drivers, i.e. runners, cyclists, walkers, etc. which could lead to severe consequences. As someone who cycles often, I can tell you that it’s quite dangerous on the road, simply because either motorists aren’t looking for you or don’t feel the need to yield in your favor. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that there are groups of cyclists who obnoxiously ride together in the middle of the road which makes it hazardous to both driver and cyclist. Regardless of whose fault it is, please just take an extra second before making turns because it’s not always cars that are sharing the road.