Oceanside residents struggling to get a handle on their love handles would do well to consider cycling to work, says Bike to Work Week organizer Michael Addiscott.
If they do, he said, they’re not only likely to shed a few pounds, but they’ll be able to do so while enjoying many of the same treats that packed on the extra pounds in the first place.
“Anywhere you look there are obesity problems, but more often than not, the calorie intake hasn’t increased, it’s the loss of physical activity,” he said. “For people who don’t engage in sports, we lack active living and we aren’t making the decisions that save you from struggling to walk up a short flight of stairs.”
Cycling to work — or to the store or coffee shop — rather than driving a vehicle, he said, can do much to address this lack.
“There is no guarantee about staying healthy in life, but if we can make some simple choices that often are easier on your pocketbook as well, we can significantly reduce the risk of unwanted illnesses,” he said.
“By cycling, I can pretty much eat or drink whatever I want and I don’t have to buy bigger pants. I don’t go out training on my bike or do fitness rides. All I do is ride to and from work, play with my kids and help run the bike club at the middle school. I stay in shape simply because I am making healthy lifestyle choices.”
Cycling, he added, does more than shrink the waistline. It also, he said, can add years of healthier living.
“As a regular cycle commuter, you are going to enjoy the health of somebody 10 years younger,” Addiscott said.
“You are going to get ill less and it could be another 10 years before you get a lot of those illnesses that come with age.”
This, he said, is not only good for the individual involved, but for society as well.
“There’s reduced wear on the infrastructure and parking, and on health services as well,” he said.
“You defer cancers, heart disease, strokes and diabetes, all the big killers in our society. If a greater proportion of those who can cycle did so, we could save six years of health care right there. How many billions of dollars is that?”