Quick Tips: Staying Active This Winter with Biking

Despite the changing of seasons and temperatures dropping, thousands of Citi Bike riders continue to embrace cycling to stay active and healthy even in the coldest of months. Cycling is a healthy, affordable and low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It’s also environmentally friendly – especially in an urban setting – and it’s one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine, such as commuting to work.

Recently, Citi Bike partnered with Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care – one of New York’s largest urgent care operators – by co-branding docking points at 25 locations in downtown New York in an effort to raise awareness about cycling health benefits. In honor of this partnership, we wanted to share some of biking’s myriad health benefits for all riders, no matter where you’re biking this fall and winter.

Dr. Neal Shipley of Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care offers the following benefits and quick tips to the estimated one billion people who ride their bicycles every day, whether it’s for transport, recreation or sport:

• In terms of exercise, it only takes two to four hours a week to achieve general improvement to your health, and cycling is one of the simplest ways to get exercise.

  • Because cycling is low impact, it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise, which is especially great for those who are starting a rehab program. Additionally, it’s a good muscle workout as cycling requires use of all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
  • Unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
  • Cycling also increases stamina, strength and aerobic fitness. Cycling can be done at a very low intensity to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout. Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.
  • The excitement you get from coasting down hills and being outdoors means you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
  • As a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using subways, taxis or buses with healthy exercise.
  • Additional health benefits of regular cycling include: Improved joint mobility, decreased stress levels, improved posture and coordination, strengthened bones, decreased body fat levels, prevention or management of disease and reduced anxiety and depression.

To hear more about how some New York City riders stay active and safe while biking, check out Kayla in the City, Mary in Manhattan, NYC Pretty, Stroller in the City and Football Food & Motherhood.

Riders should brush up on bicycling rules provided by the Department of Transportation and safe riding tips from Citi Bike. Happy cold-weather riding, bikers!