Tag Archives: Mark Twain

What are the Health Benefits of Walking and Bicycle Riding?

Regular readers know I ride my bike regularly and I also consider walking to be one of the finest exercises. It is nice to see this documentation from the People Powered movement.

I have written about the health benefits of walking and bicycle riding previously. Regular readers know that I rode my bike over 6000 miles last year. To read further, check out the following posts: Seniors walking, walking in general, bicycle riding. I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world, totally unappreciated.

The People Powered Movement has issued a benchmark report on some fascinating aspects of walking and bicycling.

Public Health Benefits

• Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
• Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
• In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.

We could easily leave the car and walk on many errands, according to the report.

Tony Licata (cq), of Chicago, and his pet poodle Gabi make circuits of the Northery Island bike path Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)

My dog and me in Chicago out on a bike ride.

• In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Some 27% of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car. Residents of the largest U.S. cities are 1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average.
• 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).
• From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.

Some folks say they won’t ride a bike because it is not safe. But the study indicated otherwise.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
•14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
• In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
• Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities. As a senior citizen who rides his bike almost daily, this bullet point was not fun for me to learn. I do believe that wearing a helmet and biking gloves would reduce those numbers.

3972e700ca84f01348e68d3840717600

I love this Mark Twain quote.

Please do consider walking more often and/or taking up bicycle riding. Each is a wonderful, very inexpensive way to get that much-needed daily exercise.

Tony

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Why People Fail at Losing Weight

quote-Mark-Twain-giving-up-smoking-is-the-easiest-thing-88411I think Mark Twain’s words on quitting smoking translate perfectly to the way people handle losing weight. Most people keep doing it over and over. Yo yo dieting. Despite all the words and books written and DVDs made on weight loss and exercise, more than half of us are overweight and nearly a third of us are outright obese.

I think I know why.

I have been writing this blog more than five years now and in the course of it I have read thousands of pages on losing weight. Every day it’s the same, take off pounds fast, eat these fat burning foods. Burn those inches off your waist with these movements. And on.

In the past five years, I have learned that the battle of the bulge starts in the brain. As above, so below. To succeed at losing weight, you need to decide that you currently have some unhealthy habits and you are going to end them. Those extra pounds are a result of the unhealthy habits. But that is just the beginning. Page one…

The magic secret to losing weight and keeping it off is very simple. Not easy at first, but simple. You need to understand that losing weight is the beginning, not the end. You don’t take off those five, 10 or 15 pounds you are carrying and then your problems are solved. When you get those pounds off, you don’t quit, breathe a sigh of relief and go back to your old unhealthy ways. You don’t celebrate by going out and eating a pizza.

One of the courses I have taken since retiring is “Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at any Age” The instructor is Dr. Anthony Goodman. There are many wonderful lessons in it and if you have the time and inclination, I recommend you check it out at The Great Courses. 41yylmmgocl-_sy300_I think the most important concept I got from that course was the origin of the word diet. Dr. Goodman points out that the word diet comes from the Greek diaita – which means a manner of living or a way of life.

So, if you decide to go on a diet to lose weight, go on that kind of a diet. Change your manner of living, in particular how you relate to food and exercise.

If you go on that kind of diet, you are on the right track. Pay attention to what, and especially, how much you eat. Make sure you get your exercise as close to daily as is humanly possible. And realize that is the manner in which you will live going forward. You will not slip back into your old, careless unhealthy habits that allowed you to pack on those extra pounds in the first place. You won’t be a Mark Twain type of dieter.

fitness

Eat less; move more; live longer. Simple, but not easy, at first. I have been doing it for five years now and I think it has actually become easy because it is the way of my life. My weight has stayed in the 150 pound area since I first lost the pounds writing this blog and I haven’t put it back. You can do the same.

Tony

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Valentine’s Day Biking Wishes

I love to ride my bike and just felt like sharing these. They always make me feel good.

5dbf9c8375e093976a8b7b8c30e9b357I whole heartedly agree.

 

c9c834bbd54f2e062eaf489952fd2664Mark Twain, one of the best. Profound and funny.

292c2b36b87ed3df9ce20b3a1248252cLeave it to Ernie, right?

15+-+1-1Sweet…

c4e46b060a4051f79af62b08c2fa0b64’nuff said.

bbcc5ddb262f3cab03922beeeecc0ddaLove the sentiment. Bought the shirt.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tony

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What are the Health Benefits of Walking and Bicycle Riding?

Regular readers know I ride my bike regularly and I also consider walking to be one of the finest exercises. It is nice to see this documentation from the People Powered movement.

I have written about the health benefits of walking and bicycle riding previously. Regular readers know that I rode my bike over 6000 miles last year. To read further, check out the following posts: Seniors walking, walking in general, bicycle riding. I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world, totally unappreciated.

The People Powered Movement has issued a benchmark report on some fascinating aspects of walking and bicycling.

Public Health Benefits

• Bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%.
• Between 1966 and 2009, the number of children who bicycled or walked to school fell 75%, while the percentage of obese children rose 276%.
• In general, states with the highest levels of bicycling and walking have the lowest levels of obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes and have the greatest percentage of adults who meet the recommended 30-plus minutes per day of physical activity.

We could easily leave the car and walk on many errands, according to the report.

Tony Licata (cq), of Chicago, and his pet poodle Gabi make circuits of the Northery Island bike path Monday, Sept. 21, 2009. (Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune)

My dog and me in Chicago out on a bike ride.

• In 2009, 40% of trips in the United States were shorter than 2 miles, yet Americans use their cars for 87% of trips 1 to 2 miles. Some 27% of trips are shorter than 1 mile, yet 62% of trips up to 1 mile long are by car. Residents of the largest U.S. cities are 1.7 times more likely to walk or bicycle to work than the national average.
• 12% of all trips are by bicycle (1.0%) or foot (10.5%).
• From 2000 to 2009, the number of commuters who bicycle to work increased by 57%.

Some folks say they won’t ride a bike because it is not safe. But the study indicated otherwise.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety
•14% of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are bicyclists (1.8%) or pedestrians (11.7%).
• In the 51 largest U.S. cities, 12.7% of trips are by foot and 1.1% are by bicycle, yet 26.9% of traffic fatalities are pedestrians and 3.1% are bicyclists.
• Seniors are the most vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians. Adults over 65 make up 10% of walking trips, yet comprise 19% of pedestrian fatalities and make up 6% of bicycling trips, yet account for and 10% of bicyclist fatalities. As a senior citizen who rides his bike almost daily, this bullet point was not fun for me to learn. I do believe that wearing a helmet and biking gloves would reduce those numbers.

3972e700ca84f01348e68d3840717600

I love this Mark Twain quote.

For fun, and because I love Mark Twain, I have to include his wonderful quote: “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.”

Please do consider walking more often and/or taking up bicycle riding. Each is a wonderful, very inexpensive way to get that much-needed daily exercise.

Tony

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