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 Bicycling to Work Can Benefit Your Vascular Health

May 1, 2011    Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson    312-334-2311    scknutson@vascularsociety.org 

CHICAGO - Adjust your helmet strap. Pack your saddle bag. Join the cycling craze during National Bike Month, Bike-to-Work Week (May 16-20) and Bike-to-Work Day (May 16). Participation in one or three of the May events is a boost for your vascular health.

“A daily 30-minute bike ride is great exercise and great for your vascular wellness,” said Steven Leers, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Exercise is essential for maintaining good blood flow and a healthy body weight.”

The bike-to-work initiative is gaining in popularity. The 2009 United States National Household Travel Survey reported that 11 million Americans use pedal power every day. Among the benefits of bicycling are better health, a healthier work force, and a greener environment.
 
The cardio-vascular benefits of bicycling includes a reduction in the risk of coronary disease and stroke, the number one and four causes of death in America according to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Vital Statistics Report.

Three hours of weekly cycling reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent according to Colorado-based Bikes Belong. MayoClinic.com states that the merits of regular physical activity include:
 
  • combating chronic disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, preventing type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer
  • managing weight
  • boosting energy level
  • sleeping better.

From an employers’ point-of-view, physical activity results in more alert workers who call in sick less often.

As a “green” alternative to automobile use, a four mile round trip bike ride prevents 15 pounds of pollution from spewing into the air according to WorldWatch Institute. Bicycle use saves greenbacks as well. The annual cost of operating a bicycle is $120 compared with $8,000 to maintain a car according to the League of American Bicyclists. 

“Incorporating 30 minutes of healthy bicycling - even on a stationary bike - into your day is good for your overall health,” said Dr. Leers. A one-hour bike trip traveling at 10 miles per hour burns between 354 and 593 calories.

For information on vascular health, visit VascularWeb.org®.
 
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery

The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,370 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at VascularWeb.org®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.
 

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VascularWeb® is the prime source for all vascular health and disease information, and is presented by the Society for Vascular Surgery®. Its members are vascular surgeons, specialists, and vascular health professionals who are specialty-trained in all treatments for vascular disease including medical management, non-invasive procedures, and surgery.