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  • Wed October 12 2005
  • Posted Oct 12, 2005
simple way to solve many of life's problems is within your control. How? Ride a bike to school. Here are some common concerns about the state of transportation today: Problem #1: I don't have a bike. A bicycle can be purchased for less than a tank of gas. Many stores sell used bikes, such as Stuff Etc., Goodwill, Salvation Army and Wal-Mart. Problem # 2: Gas prices are outrageous. Don't buy gas. Gas is priced by a simple economic principle - supply and demand. If you decrease the demand for gas, available supply will increase and the price of fuel will decrease. Europe has already figured this out as well as Japan and China. The U.S. seems to be the only nation that is too lazy to ride instead of drive. Problem #3: I am scared of cars. Do a little homework and find a suitable route. The Cedar Valley Nature Trail stretches from Waterloo to Iowa City and goes directly to the Kirkwood Community College main campus from both directions. Problem #4: Pollution, smog and carbon monoxide are killing me. Yes they are. If half the cars could be eliminated from the road, the air would be much cleaner. Problem #5: I will be all sweaty. Good! Sweating is a way to cleanse your body of toxins and keep your skin healthy and beautiful. Don't want to stink? Pack a change of clothing and a small towel. When you get to school, go to the washroom, wet a small cloth and give yourself a quick sink bath; wipe the danger zones that cause odor, dry off and change clothes. Five minutes and you are on your way. As an alternative, you are already warmed up with cardio after the ride so now you can go directly into a workout, take your shower afterward and be ready for the day. A little known fact: Kirkwood has at least a dozen showers with hot water and free soap. Keep your wet towel and riding clothes in a locker until the end of the day. Problem #6: My butt looks too big. Cycling is one of the best exercises to tone your gluteus maximus (butt) as well as your calf muscles. By riding a bike to school and anywhere else, tone legs and a tone butt will follow. Problem #7: I am out of shape. Cycling will put you in shape and improve your physique gradually. Unlike weight lifting, cycling is a low impact exercise that is good for joints. Cycling requires less work to move great distances than walking short distances. Our culture has grown more and more sedentary. The latest technological advances are biologically degenerating - making things easier, faster and requiring less work. Animals are supposed to work to survive. Humans are animals and are not removed from this just because they seem to be more intelligent. Equally important as exercise is diet. Ever heard anyone say, "You are what you eat,"? In chemistry and biology you will learn that every time something is eaten, the molecules that make up the food are broken down and become the molecules of that organism. When garbage goes in, garbage comes out. Your body is a result of what you feed it. Think about what you eat next time you pick up a soda, chips or a pastry. Now that you are on your own, you are responsible for knowing about your health. To view a more in depth chart visit http://www.coolnurse.com/calories_burned.htm. Heart health is a growing concern in America. According to the American Heart Association, 335 people die from coronary heart disease CHD every year. About 1.2 million people will have cardiac arrest this year and about 494,000 will die. Obesity is a major factor contributing to cardiac arrest. The survival rate for cardiac arrest is about 5 percent. About 65 percent of Americans are obese or overweight. Cycling helps to improve heart function and strengthens your heart. According to The President's Council on Fitness and Sports of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, by keeping strong blood flow and elevating heart rate everyday, arteries flush out and don't develop clogs or harden. A healthy heart and arteries will save an ambulance trip to the hospital. Find the fountain of youth. Cycle!

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