I’m always on-the-go around NYC whether it be for shoots, meetings, or just to have fun! And I’m alllll about staying fit and healthy throughout my day, so biking around town is one of my go-to means of transportation in my city, or wherever my travels might take me! So, when Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care asked me to partner with them to checkout some of their new Citibike locations in my neighborhood and to provide me with some health and bike safety tips, I was ready to ride! Checkout some health benefits and important safety tips from Dr. Neal Shipley and Dr. Robert Korn of Northwell Health-Go Health Urgent Care to stay active and safe in the city.
- Health benefits of regular cycling:
•Increased cardiovascular fitness
•Increased muscle strength and flexibility
•Improved joint mobility
•Decreased stress levels
•Improved posture and coordination
•Decreased body fat levels
•Prevention or management of disease
•Reduced anxiety and depression
Bike Safety Tips:
- Wear a helmet that fits – We all know helmets are important, but ensuring your helmet fits properly is crucial when it comes to bike safety. Helmets are made to be snug, but not tight. A properly fitted helmet should move about an inch when tugged.
- Be cautious – Don’t assume cars and pedestrians can see you – an open door in the bike lane can lead to quite a serious injury. Take care and be alert when riding on the streets to ensure a safe ride. If you’re nervous about street biking, head to a park! The city has an elaborate bike map, so you won’t be hard-pressed to find a more scenic route.
- Learn the rules of the road – If you’re going to ride on the streets, know how to do so within the law. Be safe and study up on NYC bicycling regulations, found here.
- Cell phones have no place on a bicycle – you have even less margin for error on a bike than you do in a car. Plus, taking one hand off the handlebars makes you a setup for a fall after even a minor bump or obstacle. Pull over to read that text!
- Dusk and dawn are high risk times for drivers not being able to see you. It is a good idea to use a high-quality rear red flasher at all times to increase your visibility.
- Good footwear is key to being able to control your bike. And we don’t mean Manolo’s. Sandals, flip flops, (or bare feet!) make your bike harder to control and increase the risks of a slip and fall. Most sport shoes will do just fine. Put the high heels in your pack!
- Speaking of backpacks-your bike is subject to the same laws of physics as everything else. Carrying a very heavy pack high on your back raises your center of gravity, making you and your bike more unstable, and less likely to stay upright if you swerve, or bump something. Keep heavy objects down as low as possible: messenger bag, handle bar bag, or bike pannier (saddle bags) work best.
- Know where to go if you do get injured – Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care can handle all minor, non-life-threatening bumps, scrapes and fractures. It’s providers can x-ray possible sprains and strains, diagnose and treat these injuries – or recommend you to a more specialized practice or physician within the Northwell Health network.