Commuting the Healthy Way
We know that riding a bike to work helps improve air quality — Mother Earth says thanks — and it is also a boon for your well-being?
That’s right: opting to get out of the car and pedal to the office can actually lower one’s risk for cardiovascular disease and decrease body mass index (BMI), according to recent studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Plus, exercise, like bicycling, releases endorphins, which promote brain happiness. That’s something any smiling bike rider can confirm.
Locally, Aspen Valley Hospital, WE-cycle’s Impact Sponsor, is all about preventative healthcare in order to keep you out of the hospital. “Our vision is ‘to foster our community as the healthiest in the nation,’” says AVH spokesperson Lisa Prior. That may seem counterintuitive, but it’s their mission.
Part of that holistic approach is a recommended prescription of nutritious eating, enough sleeping, and regular exercise. For people who don’t have time to get in a daily workout, something as simple as riding a bike instead of getting in the car can suffice. At least 50% of WE-cycle rides are more than a half-mile—remember, the first 30 minutes are free—so we know that people are upping their heart rate at all times of the day.
Dr. Kimberly Levin, Pitkin County’s public health officer and an AVH emergency room physician, is an avid outdoor enthusiast and WE-cycle user.
“WE-cycle embraces and promotes a healthy lifestyle by making biking an easy and accessible option to us all,” she says. “Instead of driving, WE-cycle provides the choice to be healthy, to be outdoors, take a step to fight climate change, and most importantly to be proactive to improve both our mental and physical health. I love hopping on a bike to get around town and to the hospital. It brings a smile to my face.”
Exercise is a sure way to improve one’s health, but there are many ways to be proactive. One upcoming opportunity is the Aspen Valley Health Fair, where community members can sign up for a blood draw and run a lab panel. The event is back after a year hiatus, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 and Oct. 21-23 at both AVH and the Eagle County Community Center. Book your spot, then ride a bike!
Dr. Kimberly Levin, Pitkin County’s public health officer and an AVH emergency room physician.
Dr. Christopher Rosenberry, Trauma Director at Aspen Valley Hospital shares his tips for bike safety.