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Friday, June 28, 2013

Bike sharing offers big fitness benefits for small commutes | Business Day


WITH bike-sharing plans rolling on asphalt from New York City to Budapest, experts say city streets are becoming as fitness-friendly as country trails.
Even short cycling jaunts can make a difference in the health of city dwellers.
"If you were driving a car and switched to biking, that 10 minutes going and coming a day would be a big deal," says Dr Robert Oppliger, a US exercise physiologist with the American College of Sports Medicine.
Dr Oppliger, an avid cyclist, says even a 3km to 4km spin can yield significant health benefits.
"There’s a lot of information coming out on something called active transport that compares travelling by bike or public transit to travelling by car," he says. "The benefits are significant the more mobile you are."
Government guidelines recommend adults accumulate 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week. Cycling, he said, can be part of that.
"Bicycling has positive effects on weight and cardio-vascular health," he says. "Even a couple of times a week is beneficial in terms of all the problems with obesity."
Last week, the American Medical Association designated obesity, which affects one-third of US adults, a disease.

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