Easy to be Green

Finally! The warm weather has started rolling back into the region, a welcomed break from the harsh winter we just endured.

The warm weather has many advantages than its counterpart, cold weather, doesn’t have: a chance to go outside in minimal clothing, studying outdoors or whatever else tickles your fancy. What most don’t consider is that warm weather offers a chance for a very special form of transportation: cycling.

Now there is no doubt that we have all heard about the ‘go green’ intiatives sweeping the country. It is even becoming a little annoying. But, like a parent telling us what to do, it is good for us. Cycling’s role in all this is that it provides an affordable way for you to ‘go green.’

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, Americans ‘account for 45 percent of the world’s global automotive CO2 emissions.’ Three things are leading to this staggering number: amount of driving, fuel economy and the carbon content of the gas used. Guess how much CO2 bikes produce? Zero.

Saving the environment is not the only benefit. Cycling also can help improve your health in a few ways.

In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statistic that says Kentucky has an obesity rate of 27 percent. The CDCP said that obesity is caused by eating too many calories and not enough physical activity. What way could you increase your physical activity? That’s easy- cycling.

Back pain, according to CyclingandHealth.com, is caused by a direct lack of exercise. Cycling can help with back pain, because it helps build the muscles in the’ back that support your spine.

Most importantly, cycling can help your heart. Cyclingand Health says that stress and other factors, such as hardening of the arteries, lead to high blood pressure. Cycling reduces these by helping improve blood circulation, which makes the heart work more economically. This will lead to an overall drop in blood pressure, which will reduce the risk for heart disease.

Being a Lance Armstrong doesn’t have to be your goal, but next time before you go to start your car consider jumping on your bike instead. It will not only help you, but in the long run it will help us all.