Commute Healthier, Mentally and Physically

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What a difference a change in your commute can make. Increasingly, people are opting to bike to work, rather than resigning themselves to the morning sardine can routine (public transportation) or the grind of rush hour traffic. Are they making this decision for their health? Yes, but often mental well-being is the deciding factor and physical health is an afterthought.

For most people, especially those of us who live and work in cities, biking to work isn’t exactly a physically demanding ordeal. But if you are making the average bicycle commute, you are doing yourself a lot more good than you may know. According to 1 World, 2 Wheels, the average person loses 13 lbs. in the first year of commuting by bike. Not a bad perk for avoiding the sardine can.

And, weight loss is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how bicycling can improve your health. Another stat: Just three hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent.

With all these health benefits in mind, Endomondo has been looking for ways to promote healthier commute alternatives. This month, we’ve found some great partners in that endeavor. Kimberly-Clark’s Scott® Brand and the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin (Bike Fed) have teamed up to offer a free, four-month biking challenge.

The Challenge is open to all Wisconsin businesses, organizations and residents 18 and older. It begins at the start of National Bike to Work Week on Monday, May 16, 2011, and runs through September 30, 2011. Riders will track their progress using Endomondo Sports Tracker.

Participants will earn points based on the number of miles and trips in both the transportation and recreation categories, all tracked with Endomondo and posted to a special campaign website where participants can send motivation and challenge their friends and coworkers. Individuals will be entered into prize drawings (prizes include a Trek bike or a Trek recreation package) and will receive one entry for each point earned.

Simply put, the more you ride, the better your chances to win. For additional details and to sign up for the Challenge, go to www.challenge.bfw.org.

If you don’t live in Wisconsin, we would still love for you to track your commuting! Even though there won’t be prizes involved, make this the summer you change your commute habits and see how you like it. Bike to work, track your progress and free up some space on the public transport for the rest of the sardines.

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