#PMC2014

Tune Your Body

Our body is designed to move. A complex scaffolding of muscles and bones allows us to achieve remarkable feats of coordination and balance.

Our sedentary lifestyles have made modern life much more comfortable, but our bodies have become sluggish and lazy.

Regular exercise has multiple benefits. It strengthens muscles and bones, keeps the joints flexible, reduces fat deposits, stimulates the brain, and reinforces the immune system to protect the entire body against diseases and the effects of aging on a long term basis.

Due to it’s many positive effects, regular exercise is the true fountain of youth. Studies show that middle-aged people who have never exercised on a regular basis appear up to 20 years older physiologically than their active peers.

Exercise is fun, free and offers an array of benefits. Some forms of exercise like stretching, yoga and Pilates increase flexibility. Others, like weight training, build healthy bones and joints and improves muscle strength. Aerobic exercise like brisk walking, jumping rope, running and dancing increase endurance by helping the heart work more efficiently.

Tune your body as you would a fine instrument and see how far it takes you.

These words were taken from an informational poster at Boston’s Quincy Market where the exhibit Body World’s Vital is currently on display. I had the pleasure to view the exhibit on a recent visit to Boston with a friend. The bodies on display are real people who gave their consent to use their bodies so others may learn more about our functions. The bodies are preserved using a process called plastination, by which the fluids in the body are replaced with plastics such as silicone rubber, polymers and resins to then permanently preserve these specimens. The skin is removed and the muscles, tendons, bones and organs are revealed. It was amazing to see how our muscles are attached to ligaments, attached to bones. The human body is an amazing machine.

Image

Image

Besides exercise, your body needs the proper fuel. Eat a well balanced diet that consists of an abundance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy proteins. Drink plenty of water and limit dairy to two servings a day. Use healthy oils like olive oil or canola oil and avoid trans fat. A proper diet will give you all the energy you need to get out and move your body.

Take care of your body! It’s the only place you have to live!

Advertisements

Massachusetts Bike Laws for Riders and Motorists

I had two great weekend rides with my husband and a first for this year; an evening ride! Saturday was a 32 mile very windy ride. With a northeast wind we headed out in a southwesterly direction keeping that stiff wind to our side. Riding 15 miles in that direction we did an about face and headed northeast. Now the wind came from the other side. It’s not possible to ride a 32 mile loop and not go directly into the wind at some point but we managed to keep it to a minimum.

Sunday was cooler with a light east wind off the Atlantic. We rode 33 miles around the reservoir; our typical Sunday ride.

With today’s afternoon temperature reaching 73 and a light workload, I managed to get it done a little early and had time for a 23 mile ride after work/before supper. My first of the year! PMC training is nearing full swing!

I am often surprised at how close vehicles come to us while on our bicycles. Seriously, who is in such a hurry that they’d risk running down a bicycle because they don’t want to wait until it’s safe to pass? I knew my state had laws established but never took the time to look them up and see exactly what they say. Here’s what I learned:

Image

On a bicycle in Massachusetts you have these rights

  • You may ride your bicycle on any public road, street, or bikeway in the Commonwealth, except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting bikes have been posted. 
  • You may ride on sidewalks outside business districts, unless local laws prohibit sidewalk riding. 
  • You may use either hand to signal stops and turns.
  • You may pass cars on the right.
  • If you carry children or other passengers inside an enclosed trailer or other device that will adequately restrain them and protect their heads in a crash, they need not wear helmets.

On a bicycle in Massachusetts your responsibilities are

  • You must obey all traffic laws and regulations of the Commonwealth. 
  • You must use hand signals to let people know you plan stop or turn.
  • You must give pedestrians the right of way.
  • You must give pedestrians an audible signal before overtaking or passing them. 
  • You may ride two abreast, but must facilitate passing traffic. This means riding single file when faster traffic wants to pass, or staying in the right-most lane on a multi-lane road. 
  • You must keep one hand on your handlebars at all times.

In a motor vehicle in Massachusetts your responsibilities are

  • Motorists and their passengers must check for passing bicyclists before opening their door. Motorists and their passengers can be ticketed and fined up to $100 for opening car or truck doors into the path of any other traffic, including bicycles and pedestrians. 
  • Motorists must stay a safe distance to the left of a bicyclist when passing. Motorists are also prohibited from returning to the right until safety clear of the bicyclist.
  • Motorists must pass at a safe distance. If the lane is too narrow to pass safely, the motorist must use another lane to pass, or, if that is also unsafe, the motorist must wait until it is safe to pass. 
  • Motorists are prohibited from making abrupt right turns (“right hooks”) at intersections and driveways after passing a cyclist. 
  • Motorists must yield to oncoming bicyclists when making left turns. The law expressly includes yielding to bicyclists riding to the right of other traffic (e.g., on the shoulder), where they are legally permitted but may be more difficult for motorists to see.
  • Motorists may not use the fact that bicyclists were riding to the right of traffic as a legal defense for causing a crash with a bicyclist.

http://massbike.org/resourcesnew/bike-law/

Image

And there you have it. Motorists must pass at a safe distance. If they are unable to they must wait until there is opportunity to pass safely. This does not mean if there is oncoming traffic on a narrow road that it’s ok to squeeze by in a rush to get home say what? five seconds earlier? Please folks, share the road!

PMC 2014 is less than three months away. I’ll soon be mailing, emailing and handing out fundraising requests. PMC is a two day 192 mile bike-a-thon raising money for Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. Over 5,000 cyclists participate each year. I am required to raise $4,300. To date my total is $1,446. Last year I raised over $8,000. My goal this year is $10,000. Would you consider sponsoring me in my 11th ride with the PMC? You can do so by going to https://www.pmc.org/egifts and my ID is JS0126. You can also “Text to Give to My Ride” which means donors can text PMC JS0126 to 20222 to donate $10 to my ride. You must reply “Yes” to the confirmation text message. You can do this up to 5 times from the same phone and the donation will appear on your cell phone bill.

Thanks for reading my blog. Ride and drive safe!

An Apple A Day

My hubby and I did have an opportunity to ride our bikes this weekend, though the conditions weren’t the best by any means. Saturday’s high temp reached 50, which is eminently warm enough to ride. However here in central MA we still have quite a bit of snow on the ground, and it’s melting. We thought the main roads might be pretty much dry…..not so. From water blown up by cars and coming off my back wheel I managed to end up pretty wet. Add to that a line of muddy sand right up my backside to my shoulder blades. But it didn’t matter because I rode my bike this weekend! 

Today was considerably colder and we resorted back to cross country skiing, because after all, there’s still plenty of snow in central MA! While skiing alongside the Wachusett Reservoir I sighted a rare bald eagle! The American bald eagle is such a majestic bird. We only have a few of them Massachusetts. I spent several minutes watching it glide and soar on the air currents. 

Image

 

We’ve all heard the saying “An Apple A Day keeps the Doctor Away”. Have you every wondered why they say that? We all know that fruit is packed with nutrition, but specifically what is it about apples that keeps the doctor away? 

Bone Protection

Phloridzin, a flavonoid that is found only in apples, may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Another component of apples, boron, also strengthens bones.

Asthma

A recent study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

 

Cholesterol

The pectin in apples lowers LDL, bad cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Image

Lung Cancer

After studying 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. It is believed this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

Alzheimer’s

The flavonoid quercetin was also shown to protect brain cells from degeneration in laboratory rats. It is believed this also holds true with humans. 

Breast Cancer

In a study of rats who ate one apple per day their risk of breast cancer was reduced by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent. 

Colon Cancer

Research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Diabetes Management

The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.

Weight Loss

A Brazilian study revealed that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting

All in all, an apple is a healthy snack packed with flavonoids and antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, cancer, aid in digestion and protect brain cells. But you must also eat the skin! The skin of an apple is loaded with fiber and aids in digestion.

PMC 2014

My blog wouldn’t be complete without a blurb about the Pan Mass Challenge. This year is the 35th anniversary of the PMC and my 11th ride with this group of like-minded individuals from many walks of life who have taken it upon themselves to eradicate cancer. Our goal this year is to raise $40 million for cancer care and research at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute through it’s Jimmy Fund. One hundred percent of the money raised by riders goes straight to DFCI. I personally have set a goal to raise $10,000. I feel confidant that I can attain this goal. Would you consider helping me? Online donations can be made here http://www2.pmc.org/profile/JS0126. If you’d like to know more about the PMC and it’s work, check it out at http://www.pmc.org.

Image

Thanks for reading my blog!