As it turns out, our sedentary lifestyles are wreaking havoc on our bodies.
Some studies point to sitting as being one of the primary drivers of disease, putting it on par with smoking in its ability to shorten one’s life.
Ironically, by not having the time to workout, we are shortening the amount of time we will have.
Reversing that damage must begin today.
The trick is finding a sport you love. You want to choose an activity (or two) that excites you. One that you look forward to engaging in, and that you can sustain for 30 minutes at a time.
Your minimum goal should be to get 75 minutes of intense activity in each week. This can be weight lifting, cardio, playing tennis, walking, swimming… the list of options is endless.
The requirement, however, is mandatory.
Benefits of Riding a Hybrid Bike
Cycling is one exercise that I am quick to suggest. It is low-impact, allows you to pedal at your current fitness level, and constantly challenges you to ride further and faster.
Plus, there are few things as relaxing as spinning through the countryside or down some bike trail, admiring nature.
It also is one of the more affordable sports you can get in to. High-quality bicycles start off at just a few hundred dollars, and provide you with a decade of riding, with very low maintenance.
Plus, it is a fun sport to do with a friend, spouse, or local bike club.
One of the challenges I set out to folks is to try to ride 10 miles. For most beginners that sounds like an insanely high number. However, that translates into about 60 minutes of light pedaling.
If you have a water bottle along, you can confidently complete that workout twice a week, and you will feel engaged, alert and quite mellow following each session (I know from experience)
Fifteen miles a week is all it takes to meet the minimum standards for fitness and to add decades to your life.
Fifteen miles of bliss and you could live longer.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
So what is a good bike for the new rider who wants to live to 100? (I’m overselling it a little, now).
Learn More: Cycling for Weight Loss
Choosing the Best Hybrid Bikes
I always recommend looking for the Diamondback brand of bikes. I’ve had quite a bit of experience with these bikes and find them easy to assemble and even more accessible for repairs.
Plus, you can shop online and purchase one directly from the manufacturer. This can save several hundred dollars in middle-man costs and let you get more bicycle for your money.
This year, the Diamondback Hybrid is called the “Edgewood”. The change the name up from year to year, but it is a reliable machine that is fun to pedal.
It comes with a wide range of gears which scares some new riders. However, I always tell new riders to only start with the “2” on the left shifter and a “4” or “5” on the right. You don’t ever have to shift it again if you don’t want to.
There are many other cheap hybrid bikes for sale. Dave’s Cheap Bikes has a pretty robust list you can check out as well, and he seems to update it every couple of months or so. Plus, your local bike shop should have some options.
Of course, you can always shop your local pawn shops for a used bike. Make sure the bike is comfortable for you to get on and off of, and adjust the seat up so that your leg is almost straight when the ball of your foot is on the pedal (a 20-degree bend at the knee is ideal).
Brands like Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, and Fuji, are all excellent brands to buy when shopping for a reliable used bike. Buying used can save you a lot of money, when you can find a suitable one for sale in your market.
These bikes also work great for commuting. Pack some wet wipes (baby wipes work great for this) and an extra set of clothes, and you can wipe down in the restroom at work and change from your workout clothes into your work gear.
As long as you get the sweat wiped off, you won’t have to deal with any post-ride muskiness. That only sets in when sweat has an hour or two to encourage bacteria growth.
Remove the sweat, and you remove the bacteria that creates unwanted workout scents.
Folks who commute regularly often find themselves riding 10-20 miles a week and discover dramatic lifestyle transformation as a result. (Plus, you save money on gas!)
I’m always impressed with how easy it is to maintain an active lifestyle, the benefits it yields and yet how insanely hard it is to find the required time to work out the minimum amount each week.
Hopefully, you’ll find a sport that is easy to engage in, and that appeals to you.
Here’s to crossing paths with each other on some bike trail when we are 90!
Additional Reading: Must-Have Mountain Biking Equipment Items for Beginners