Health: Biking – Fun and great exercise

By Debbie Bell/Franklin County Health Department, Published:

Did you know that May is National Bike Month?

Members of WalkBike Frankfort have been working hard to plan and promote several local opportunities during the month for you and your family to get outside and celebrate this national observance. Take a moment and check out these exciting events.

Sunday Funday are slow-paced family rides suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels. Children are welcome when accompanied by a responsible adult. Meet at the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe at 1 p.m.  Routes will vary and the rides usually last about an hour.

Bike to Work Day is Friday. WalkBike Frankfort will offer bicycle commuters a breakfast treat and coffee at participating downtown businesses such as Magee’s Bakery and the Kentucky Coffeetree Cafe.

Frankfort Bluegrass Cycling Club rides and GABRAKY training rides have begun. For more information, check out the link at http://bit.ly/1k7fBYh.

A membership drive is underway to get more participation in WalkBike Frankfort. The drive will last until the end of the year. A member’s name will be drawn each month for a gift. You don’t have to be a supporting member to be eligible to win, but you do need to make sure you’re officially signed up.

It’s easy; just visit www.walkbikefrankfort.org/join and follow the steps under “Join WalkBike Frankfort Today!” There will be a general membership meeting at 2:30 p.m. June 1, on the grounds of the Old Capitol. 

While biking and the activities proposed above create excellent outlets to promote family time and make new acquaintances, they also serve as a way to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s physical activity guidelines for health benefit are as follows:

For important health benefits, adults need at least: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity like brisk walking every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. 

A more intense regimen should include: 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity like jogging or running every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups listed above.

An alternative is an equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups.

Find your old bicycle and dust it off. If you don’t have one and don’t want to buy a new one, a used or reconditioned one can be purchased at the Folk Bike Recyclery, 308 Lewis St., or online at www.folkbikerecyclery.org.  

Before riding, make sure safety is a priority for you and your family.  According to the CDC, in 2010 in the U.S., 800 bicyclists were killed and an estimated 515,000 sustained bicycle-related injuries that required emergency department care.

Roughly half of these cyclists were children and adolescents under the age of 20. Annually, 26,000 of these bicycle-related injuries to children and adolescents are traumatic brain injuries treated in emergency departments. 

Many injuries could be prevented or the impact reduced by wearing a helmet. Any bicyclist who does not wear a bicycle helmet is at increased risk of head injury. Wearing a properly fitted helmet every time you and your children ride a bicycle is one important prevention method.  

For additional bike safety guidelines visit www.walkbikefrankfort.org.  

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