Bike riding

Riding a bicycle is great exercise, according to an article by Karen Marie Jones, retired LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent. Biking can be a powerful workout to get the heart pumping and be considered a moderate-intensity exercise. The large muscles of the lower body will get stronger from biking, also.

(Editor’s Note: This article was written by Karen Marie Jones, retired LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent.)

Eating nutritious foods is important for health, and so is regular physical activity. Exercising is one of the most important things people can do to improve their health.

There are a variety of ways to engage in regular physical activity throughout the day. Choose activities you enjoy.

Riding a bicycle is great exercise. Biking can be a powerful workout to get the heart pumping and be considered a moderate-intensity exercise. The large muscles of the lower body will get stronger from biking, also.

Bike riding can be a solo activity or a family affair. People cycle on the road, in the neighborhood or on an established bike path in the community. Many parish playgrounds have areas that can be used for riding a bicycle. When the weather is not the best, move the workout indoors by using a stationary bike. A regular bicycle can be transformed into an indoor bike by using a stand, called an indoor trainer.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive set of recommendations for Americans on the amounts and types of physical activity needed each day.

Below are the recommendations:

-- Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and should perform muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days each week.

-- Youth ages 6 to 17 years need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, including aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening activities.

-- Bike riding is a fun activity for any age. Young children can ride on the back of an adult’s bicycle in a special seat with a helmet. School-age youth can ride a bike appropriate for their size and weight with the helmet.

Are you now motivated to make healthy physical activity choices like taking a spin on a bicycle?

See you on the road or in the neighborhood. It will do the body good.

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