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Network Health Blog

The Benefits of Biking at Any Age

arial view - biking

In Wisconsin, we’re lucky to have miles and miles of scenic bike trails. The fall provides the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy them. The summer heat is behind us and the changing leaves make the landscape even more idyllic.

Network Health associate Rosemary Dvorachek is an avid cyclist. “I ride a few miles every day until there is ice on the pavement. It clears my mind and helps me relax.” Finding an activity that combines physical exercise with mental benefits is so important.

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If you’re looking for some new bike trails to try, Rosemary can offer a couple suggestions. “My favorite trails are the Wiouwash and the Tails of the Fox Cities over the Trestle Trail Bridge. They offer multiple access points, a variety of landscapes and plenty of wildlife to view.” Rosemary explains both of those trails are also convenient because they are close to home. “But, if I have time to plan, then Door County is my destination. The paved roads throughout the peninsula and Washington Island meander through such beautiful countryside.”

Biking is one of those rare activities that’s perfect for any age. We learn how to ride bikes as children and it offers lifelong fitness benefits. It can also be a low-cost activity but you’ll want to make sure you have the right gear. Rosemary says, “When you begin, go to your local bicycle shop and get help with equipment. A bicycle needs to fit you in the height, the placement of the handlebars, the handgrips and the type of seat. Second, dress comfortably. Your clothing should fit so that you can stretch.  Not too tight, but not so loose to get caught in any of the moving parts. And don’t forget about long pant cuffs and shoelaces. Long pants need to be rolled up and shoelaces need to be tucked in to avoid an injury.”

Once you have the appropriate bicycle for your size and the proper gear, you’re all set to hit the trails. But, if you’re new to biking, you may not want to push it at first. Rosemary advises, “Go easy on yourself.  Plan for short trips initially and see how your body reacts. Adjust your equipment or your distances accordingly. The objective is to have fun.”

When Rosemary is on the trails, she takes it all in. “I enjoy the sights, sounds and smells surrounding me when I bicycle. Birdsong is all around. The smell of fresh cut hay, the heat of the sun, I love it all.”

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Autumn in Wisconsin is lovely, but also a little bittersweet. Winter is right around the corner. “Once there is ice on the ground, my bicycle finds its way into the basement, onto a stationary bicycle stand.  I spend 20 minutes or so every day on my stationary bike during snow and ice season, staring out the window, listening to music and wishing for spring.”

Important – Network Health Medicare Advantage members will have access to an exciting new benefit to stay active even in the winter months. Make sure to watch your mailbox for more information. All 2017 plan and benefit information will be mailed to Medicare Advantage members by September 30.


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