An aerobic walkout

An Aerobic

Can you think of an exercise that doesn’t require any kind of court reservations, health club memberships, expensive clothing or endless lessons? Need a hint? It’s something you’ve done daily since you were a small child. If walking was your answer, give yourself a pat on the back.

It’s true. Even though you’ve probably heard that walking is a good exercise, you may not really know how or why it is. As an aerobic exercise, walking ranks right up there with running, swimming, and cycling. In addition to the aerobic benefits, a brisk walk can burn from 320 to 450 calories an hour. Some experts say that jogging a mile in 8-1/2 minutes burns only 26 calories more than walking a mile in 12 minutes.

Aerobic walking can offer one of the best workouts for the heart and lungs. Prolonged workouts of 50 minutes or more increase the heart beat and cause the lungs to consume more oxygen. That winning aerobic combination can help build physical fitness. Continue reading “An aerobic walkout”

Save the Earth One Trip at a Time

Make a decision

In 1992, I began a trial separation from my car. I garaged my slogan-crusted Honda Civic for use in a pinch and made better friends with my bike. After spending the next year cycling, walking, taking transit, and sharing rides with friends, I realized I weighed less, felt better, had more money, and had used my car only eight times–hardly enough in justify paying registration and insurance. I sold the Civic and chalked up my first car divorce.

Since then, I’ve had other relationships with cars. I had a brief union with an electric car that ended in disappointment. I’ve had flings with rentals and trysts with taxis. I now have a cordial though distant friendship with a hybrid owned by my husband, but I’ve never again held title to an internal combustion car. My history has convinced me that nearly all of us can drive less, helping ourselves as we help the Earth. Continue reading “Save the Earth One Trip at a Time”

Hot wheels & High hopes

Cycling is not a high-profile sport in Canada, but the 1996 Canadian Olympic team boasts some possible medal contenders. The women’s team is particularly strong and includes mountain biker Alison Sydor, road biker Clara Hughes and track rider Tanya Dubnicoff.

Overlooked at home, Canadian cyclists ride for respect in Atlanta

They are household names in Europe, famous in the United States, and some rank among Canada’s most successful professional athletes. They are also becoming more visible-sponsors with products ranging from shampoo to doughnuts splash their faces on national television. But the fact is, Canada’s best cyclists remain largely unknown in their own country. And although more and more Canadians ride recreationally these days, cycling as a competitive sport is about as exciting as lawn bowling for most of the nation’s sports enthusiasts.

That, however, might all change in Atlanta. Over the past few years, Canada has put together a cycling team capable of pedalling to Olympic victory. Among the men, track rider Curt Harnett is a realistic medal hope, and relative old-timer Steve Bauer, 37-Canada’s most accomplished road racer ever-could once again summon a great performance. But the real cream of the Canadian crop is in the women’s team: mountain biker Alison Sydor, road racer Clara Hughes and track rider Tanya Dubnicoff will all be among the favorites in Atlanta. “The women’s cycling team,” says Harnett, “has put the fear of God into opponents.” Continue reading “Hot wheels & High hopes”

A deadly combination

Cycling on roads

Biking ought to be the healthiest way to get around. But cycling on roads meant for cars can be a very dangerous form of transportation.

Last Friday, six bikers on a busy highway near Montreal were bowled over by a pickup truck in broad daylight. Three died, and the survivors were badly injured. Then, on Saturday, a cyclist on a rural road in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains was killed by an alleged drunk driver. On the same day, Michael Bitton from Listowel, Ont., was struck and left in a coma while biking in Louisiana, where he attends graduate school and is a member of the Louisiana State University cycling team.

It was an unusually perilous weekend, and yet every year between 50 and 70 cyclists are killed in Canada in collisions with cars. Given the many advantages, both personal and environmental, associated with biking, society has ample motivation to reduce these accidents. Continue reading “A deadly combination”

Reebok enters cycling arena

Reebok enters cycling arena

Reebok International Ltd., Canton, Mass., has introduced a full line of men’s and women’s cycling shoes and apparel for a market that industry observers report has “taken off.’

“There are two big opportunities in athletic footwear now,’ said Robert Meers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Reebok. “One is the walking market, which is currently in vogue. An even greater opportunity is in cycling.’

At the recent National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) trade show, here, Reebok presented a cycling seminar to retailers to spark interest in the sport. The company will be initially marketing the line through bicycle sports shops and sporting goods stores that currently stock cycling gear.

“There are over 80 million participants in cycling,’ noted Meers. “And for the first time since World War II, there are more adults riding bikes than children.’ Continue reading “Reebok enters cycling arena”