Need Exercise? Try Biking!

Low Impact Exercise Provides Extensive Health Benefits

Quality of life for Southwest Floridians ranks high when it comes to outdoor activities, weather and sunshine. For many, these are as essential to living as oxygen itself. There is no shortage of ways to enjoy the great outdoors year round, from kayaking, walking, running and of course, biking.

As one of the lowest-impact methods of exercise, biking offers a way to not only enjoy the fresh air, but burn calories, build endurance, tone legs and hips and build core muscles.

“There is very little out there that even comes close to biking as far as working out,” says Treva Nadreau, manager of Trek Bicycle Store on Pine Island Road in Cape Coral. “If you’re averaging about 16-18 miles an hour, you’re going to burn about 1,000 calories, even at a moderate intensity.”

Nadreau points out that having the right equipment is essential to a smoother, more safe ride, which is what sets Trek apart. When people make an investment in a Trek bike, they will have access to free tune-ups, safety checks, extended service plans and knowledgeable staff. Trek is also involved in local, national and global events, supporting causes such as Wounded Warrior Project, One World/Two Wheels and rides to support local causes such as breast cancer awareness. Locally, Trek stores can be found in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero, and Naples, giving cyclers in Southwest Florida plenty of purchasing choices, as well as access to the services Trek provides.

With a Trek store right on Pine Island Road near the Chiquita intersection, Cape Coral residents have access to local services as they pursue their biking hobby. And biking those miles might be even easier as the city continues to develop. Cape Coral touts itself as a “bicycle friendly community,” and was awarded for its efforts by the League of American Bicyclists. Currently the city offers 90 miles of interconnected bike paths; however, according to Nadreau, they have committed to creating a total of 230 miles within the next 10 years.

One Cape Coral resident who looks forward to even more trails is biking enthusiast Amy Johnson.

“A friend asked me to join her group in the Tour de Cape, and I loved riding when I was younger, so I got a bike and started practicing long distance rides to prepare,” said Johnson. “The feeling of freedom on that first ride brought back memories of when I was younger.”

Nadreau said heart health is also at the top of the list when it comes to benefits of biking. Best of all, biking sometimes just doesn’t “feel like exercise.”

“It’s hard for a lot of people to exercise,” Nadreau says. “Once it starts to feel like an obligation, it’s tough to stick with it. But biking sometimes doesn’t seem like exercise. It’s relaxing at the end of the day. For some, it’s nostalgic. It helps you feel like a kid again.”

For more information about Cape Coral’s bike paths and an interactive bike path map, go to: capecoralbikeped.org