Who doesn’t love a good bike ride? Especially this time of year, the weather is beautiful in Eastern Washington. Instead of driving to work-using gas and being tied up in traffic- ride your way to work, miss the traffic, get a terrific energy boost, and burn some extra calories while doing it! In fact, biking is shown to have tremendous health benefits, we’ve listed a few for you:
It’s good for your heart! Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.
It makes you strong! Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body such as: your calves, thighs, and rear end. It’s also a great low-impact mode of conditioning for folks with injuries to the legs, knees, or hips that may prevent them from taking part in more rigorous workout programs.
It keeps you lean! You can burn a lot of calories while biking, especially when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace. It has also been associated with helping to keep weight gaindown and even has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism even after the ride is over!
It keeps you young! Do you want to live longer for your loved ones? Bicycling is a great way to increase your longevity, as cycling regularly has been associated with increased ‘life-years’.
It makes you light on your feet! We all love to dance – why not ride your bike to get rid of those “two left feet” your friends are always talking about?Moving both feet around in circles while steering with both your hands and your body’s own weight is good practice for your coordination skills.
It can put a smile on your face! Any exercise you take part in has a way of boosting endorphins – making you feel better overall, but riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health.
It gives your immune system a boost! Your immune system is the most important part of your body for fighting off those pesky viruses and cancer cells that attempt to take over your body. Cycling can strengthen your immune system, and could protect against such cancers, illnesses or disease.
Though there are significant health benefits to cycling, sometimes we do it just because it’s fun! And who wouldn’t? I know I do. Why do you ride a bike? Let us know in the comments below.
United States Senator Maria Cantwell stopped by CHAS Health’s Maple Street Clinic to urge Washington State to bring back Basic Health Plan.
Basic Health is a federal program that was modeled after Washington State’s Basic Health Plan, which went away when the WA HealthPlanFinder Marketplace website was implemented. This program would help patients who have had difficulty affording the cost of Marketplace Plans.
Cantwell was joined by Washington State Representative Marcus Riccelli, CHAS Health CEO, Aaron Wilson, the Native Project CEO, Toni Lodge, and other advocates urging the state to adopt the affordable insurance program again. Cantwell said it could help about 162,000 people in Washington, who earn between $16,242 and $23,540 annually, which is just above the Medicaid eligibility rate. “The Federal Basic Health Plan will help patients maintain affordable coverage and will also reduce unnecessary health system costs by enabling patients to maintain continuity of coverage instead of churning between the Apple Health program and the exchange plans” says Wilson.
“Our state has been an innovator in health care in so many ways, and Basic Health is just another example of that.” Cantwell said, now that we have the basic health plan as a federal option, currently a family of 4 in Spokane with an income of 48,000 per year could have these options. Right now, paying a monthly premium of $259/month for a private plan on the exchange, that same family in New York under the Basic Health Plan is paying just $20/month.If the Basic Health Plan had similar premiums…that family could save over $2886/per year.”
Many families are, “literally one broken arm away for their kids to sending them in to financial hardship.”
It’s a plan that saves the consumer money, improves the overall health of our community, and it saves the state money. There could be more than 10,000 people in Spokane that would qualify for the Basic Health Plan.
1 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, mint, chives, or whatever you have on hand!)
1 cup fresh (or frozen) peas
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 cup chopped salami
1 cup chopped sharp white cheddar
1 avocado, diced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
For the Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup olive oil
To blanch the asparagus, bring large pot of water to a boil. Break off the stalky end stems. Boil the asparagus for 90 seconds. Remove and plunge into a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes. Remove and pat dry.
Place all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or salad shaker. Toss together the salad and vinaigrette and dig in!