Global Bike to Work Day: 4 Reasons to Cycle

Little changes in our routine can guide us to better health in the long run. One simple change is ditching the car for the bike seat and getting a little extra activity on the way to school or work. Strava, the social network for fitness enthusiasts, invites cyclists around the world to join the Global Bike to Work Day Challenge on May 10th to become a part of the largest bike to work day to date.

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More than 100,000 people have already pledged online, and by participating you open the doors to not only helping yourself but also helping the environment with the benefits of cycling.

1. Live Healthier, Live Longer

For those looking to shed a few inches, ramping up your cardio by biking to work is a great place to start. Biking to work for a year can help the average person lose 13 pounds. Doing aerobic exercise accelerates your breathing and heart rate, which helps to stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles and keep you on a path to wellness.

Other health benefits can include lower blood pressure, boosts of energy, muscle building, and improved coordination. Riding a bike for three hours a week can already cut your risk of heart disease by 50 percent.

2. Save Money and Time

It’s a no-brainer that biking to work is much cheaper than fueling up your vehicle and driving every day. It costs about $400 a year to keep a bike in shape, while it takes thousands of dollars to own and maintenance a vehicle. If your commute involves tolls and daily parking fees, you’ll be putting away even more dollars when you put away the car.

The time saving benefits will put a smile on every big city driver’s face. These days it feels like we spend more time sitting in traffic than we’d like to, but cycling skips the whole thing. If you don’t already drive because you live walking distance from work, a bike ride is still about three times faster than walking.

3. The Environment Will Thank You

Bikes have long been a poster child for green transportation because it substantially helps clear our air. A solo driver in an average vehicle releases about 1.2 pounds of C02 per mile, while the average cyclist releases only 0.7 grams through respiration. Cycling significantly reduces transportation emissions while also reducing traffic congestion and the need for harmful fuels.

Bonus: it takes only about five percent of the materials and energy used to make a car to manufacture a bike, and cycling produces zero pollution.

4. Happiness Production

Aside from feeling better from the fitness-friendly benefits of cycling to work, spending more time outdoors is guaranteed to cheer you up. The release of endorphins and vitamins from the sun are working together to boost your levels of feel-good hormones and make you happier. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself wishing your commute were longer.

Exercise can improve your mood, while sitting in rush hour traffic does the exact opposite. By commuting on your bike, you’ll be happier when you step into the office and when you get back home. Biking helps you to create that simple feeling of exhilaration as you zoom through your neighborhood knowing you’re helping yourself and those around you.

Since its inception, Strava has helped cyclists and runners track their activities and engage with other athletes in a fun, motivational way. Each week 150,000 new athletes around the world sign up to Strava, and last year Strava athletes uploaded an average of 5.3 activities every second. StravaMetro anonymizes and aggregates the millions of human-powered commutes uploaded to Strava every week, and then partners with urban planners and departments of transportation to improve city infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

Cyclicts can participate in Global Bike to Work Day by uploading and tagging their commutes on Strava, and use the hashtag #CommutesCount on their social media channels to show global support for better cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Every pedal has the potential to make cycling better in communities all over the world. Whether you ride one mile or 50, if you bike to work on May 10th you can be a part of a global movement to make cities better for cyclists.

Jab, Cross, Uppercut, #MELT: An Inside Look At The BOX MIA

Originally published on StayFit305; connecting fitness enthusiasts in SOUTH FLORIDA with inspiring trainers, gyms and healthy eating options.

When you’re planning your next workout, chances are boxing has been at the bottom of the list of activities. For a long time, boxing got a bad rep for being a “too-difficult-to-even-attempt” sport that does nothing but build a bulky upper body. Not only is boxing actually a full-body physical challenge, it’s also an exercise in mental coordination and self-discipline.

Boxing builds strength, agility, hand-eye coordination, stamina and power. It’s the perfect blend of the cardio your body needs, while providing the strength training your muscles crave. For Miami locals, the days of limiting boxing experiences to Rocky re-runs are coming to an end. The BOX Mia, located in Midtown, opened early this year to make boxing great again by providing a space for newcomers and pros alike to enjoy a complete workout filled with energy to last through the whole week.

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As you step into The BOX Mia, the dimly lit studio and the powerful vibrations from music’s latest hits recreate the thrill of that famous walk into the ring. The studio has a boutique-sized feel with all the amenities of a full boxing studio; including a training ring, black lit group room, smoothie bar, refreshing bathrooms, and more.

Facing off with your personal heavy bag recreates the intensity of staring across the ring at your opponent, while your “K.O. SCORE,” located directly overhead, acts as the judge’s scorecard. Each punch – real punches, not taps – is recorded throughout the workout for post-workout analyzing. The BOX MIAcombines the glamour, grittiness, and benefits of the sweet science in a group fitness setting where you can choose to either compete with yourself or any of the 30 other boxers in the class.

The BOX Mia uses a unique technology that allows boxers to see quantifiable results during each class. This “K.O. SCORE” brings out each participant’s competitive nature and helps them improve with every class. This added touch makes it feel less like you’re aimlessly working out and more like you’re a part of something. Whether it’s you vs. you or you vs. that dude that shows up for every 6 a.m. class, the friendly competition and measureable results keep you engaged the entire class.

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For myself, it was the first time actually boxing and not another “cardio party” kickboxing or barre box class. I was a little terrified of embarrassing myself – especially when I received boxing gloves and wraps for the first time of my life and didn’t have a single clue where to start. Their staff and regulars were so eager to help that once I stepped foot into the room and slipped on the gloves I instantly let go of all reservations.

We kicked it off with a warm-up jog around the room and went straight into freshening up our technique in front of a mirror. Our instructor, Angelica Segura, went through the jabs, cross, uppercuts, leg movements and pieces that made up the boxing routine. She tossed a couple of burpees in between to keep our heart rate moving. We then went straight into combinations against the boxing bags putting our practice to work and starting to work our numbers to get higher and higher.

There was something about being able to look up and seeing how close you were to the next set of a hundred, for example, and turning something on within yourself to get you there. I remember losing myself in a minute of “rapid punching” and coming out of that feeling extremely refreshed and accomplished. We finished the class off with a couple of strength exercises for the whole body: crunches, planks, push ups, more burpees, and other workout favorites. We ended with a quick cool down and stretch before everyone raced to the screens to log their K.O. score and set their next goal.

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#MELT Challenge

One of the lead trainers, Angelica Segura, created a summer challenge to help revive the workout routine and get boxers excited to sweat again. Here’s how it works: Sign-up for 3 classes in a week, collect a punch card, participate and kick ass in each challenge, write your name, date, time, and score, get the card hole punched, and wait for your average score at the end of the 3 classes. The individual with the highest challenge score wins!

PRIZES: 1 Free Class, 1 Free T-Shirt, 1 Pair of Wraps

NEXT CHALLENGE DATES: AUG 15-20

The BOX Mia is located at 3301 NE 1st Ave #104, Miami, FL 33137. For more information visitwww.betheknockout.com.

When to go: Monday through Friday starting at 6 a.m., Saturday and Sunday starting at 8 a.m.

What to bring: Light clothing (you’re going to sweat), comfortable shoes, water bottle and boxing gloves (if you’ve got them)

How much you’ll spend: 1 Class ($27), 3 Classes ($81), 5 Classes ($130), 10 Classes ($250), 20 Classes ($480), 30 Classes ($660), Unlimited 30 Days ($350), Unlimited 12 Months ($300),Personal Training Sessions Available