I’ve talked before about how bicycling can help you to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and boost your body confidence. Put the two together and what do you get? Cupcakes, of course! Also, cookies, gelato and whatever sweet treat you like best.
That’s right – a major benefit of riding a bike is enjoying the sweetness of life. Many people tend to live in a never-ending state of stifling guilt, wherein they eat something decadent, feel bad about it, hate their body and berate their lack of willpower. Whether they can summon the energy to go to the gym is a make-or-break determination of their self-worth. What should be a simple enjoyment becomes a torture.
That is no way to live.
Here’s an alternative: ride a bike; eat a cupcake; smile.
Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Let your body work for you as part of your everyday routine, not as “exercise.” Then reward your body with a sugar high. You deserve it. And ease up a little on yourself – perfection is an unworthy goal. Everything will balance itself out in the end.
Did you know that sitting all day is as unhealthy as smoking or sun over-exposure? After reading about that study, I feel like even bicycling to and from work every day is not enough to make up for all my sitting. Bike commuting is an amazing activity for consistent exercise, but on average totals only one hour of my day. I have a desk job and many activities I enjoy after work – reading, blogging, watching movies – are sedentary.
In an effort to make my lifestyle more active (no gyms, please!) I often spend my lunch hour walking around downtown Chicago, even if the weather is rainy or freezing. An additional benefit is escaping the office and enjoying life. I take pictures, watch people, window shop or duck into a coffee shop to read. As temperatures rise, I find myself integrating the bicycle into my lunch breaks for a little extra work day escape.
On Friday, Betty and I sailed a couple of miles to enjoy fresh macaroons, but sometimes I venture farther afield. The pictures below are from a long escape earlier this month, which I wrote about here, but it took me a while to develop and scan the pictures from my Diana Mini camera.
The thought of missing out on such adventures in favor of watching TV in the break room or eating at my desk is unbearable. I think everyone would be a whole lot happier if we all enjoyed mid-day escapes in the fresh air more often – preferably with a bicycle
We cycle as transportation and as a way to enjoy life more by connecting with the world around us. We do not engage in the “sport” of cycling – not that there is anything wrong with that, but neither of us is exactly the sporty type. The health benefits of daily cycling, however, are undeniable and serve as a big reason to ride a bike.
Ommmmmm – ah
The other side of this benefit is that the muscles can get very tight with repetitive motion and some complimentary stretching is necessary. Not to over-complicate our basic message of city cycling (“Oh, now I have to create a targeted stretching routine to bike to work? Forget that! Where are my Hummer keys?”) but a bit of stretching would do a cycling body good. We both practiced yoga before we started riding bikes and have found that yoga and cycling is a lovely combination.