One of the principles I was taught early on as a psychology student is “correlation is not causation”, which means that just because research finds trends does not mean that we can prove that one variable caused another.
A correlation has been reported of a higher percentage of the population that bikes to work in the cities considered the most fit in the US. Since biking to work requires regular physical exercise, it is not surprising that those that commute via bicycle increase the fitness quotient for their cities. Richard Florida also found correlations between those populations with a greater percentage of biking commuters and higher earnings, more creative jobs and fewer working class jobs, more diverse populations, and higher ratings of happiness.
Brian Cantrell, a web developer at Media Refined (parent company of DietsInReview.com), is an avid bicycle commuter who also mentioned happiness as a reason why he enjoys biking to work. “There are a lot of reasons I enjoy riding to work. The first is that I feel better when I get to work because I’ve got my blood pumping a bit so I really feel awake. I also like that you experience your city unmediated. When you are in a car you are traveling at a higher speed and there’s a wall between you and the neighborhoods you pass through so you don’t see much as you would on a bike. Lastly, I’m just happier when I’m active every day. I barely move while I’m at work and my eyes are always focused about two feet in front of me, definitely a sub-optimal situation, but I think cycling is the perfect antidote to it.”
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. MS is an autoimmune disease and the body attacks the healthy tissue in the brain. MS may cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech or even bad memory. Some people lose their ability to walk let alone ride a bike. The unpredictability of the disease can present many challenges, including the possibility of facing increasing limitations. Anyone may develop MS but there are some patterns. Two to three times more women than men have been diagnosed with MS.
I am participating in the 2011 MS Coastal Challenge in Ventura, CA because my husband Randy has MS. Every week he has to take an injection of medicine that will hopefully slow down the progression. The side effects that he deals with every week are having symptoms of having the flu, headaches and chills. He has to take over the counter medicine to help counteract the side effects. My wish is that a CURE is found so that people like Randy can live a life without the need for these horrible side effects.
Many people prefer biking to work or school to help the environment, save money, or just enjoy nature. So due to popular demand, Google maps introduced biking directions in March 2010 so that cyclists could more efficiently map out bike trips. The bike directions allow a user to personalize their trips, find bike lanes, and avoid big hills and major traffic zones. Google maps provides a useful tool for those who want to stake out the best routes and get reacquainted with a heart healthy childhood pastime.
In order to find bike trails in your town, type in the city on Google maps. Once you have found the correct city and zoomed in, click “more” on the options at the top of the map. The drag down list includes a “bicycling” option. Once you have selected the bicycling feature, the city map will now include dark green lines which indicate a bike-only trail, light green lines which indicate a bike lane on a road, and dashed green lines which indicate a road is designated as preferred for cyclists but without the specific bike lane.