Bicycle Riding Safety

Bicycle Riding Safety and Care

Bicycle riding can be a great pastime or a fantastic way to get in some exercise while also getting some fresh air and sunshine. But there are some bicycle riding safety issues to be aware of and also some basic care you can give to your bike to keep it riding smoothly and safely.

Bicycle Riding Safety
Bicycle Riding Safety

The Ups and Down’s of Biking

Hills add challenge and interest to any bike ride. Follow these tips for handling hills with confidence, and get the most out of this great, low-impact activity.

  1. Going up. Before you approach a hill, slow your breathing down to a comfortable rate. Shift down into the next gear to make pedaling easier. Relax your body, keep your back straight and your hands loosely gripped on the bars.
  2. Coming down. You should always stay in control of your bike. Sit back on the seat for stability and keep your feet parallel to each other. Slowly pump both your front and rear brakes to slow down without skidding. Ease back into a comfortable pace and enjoy the scenery.

Bicycle Riding Safety Tips


  1. Keep a whistle on a chain around your neck and use it instead of a horn. It’s louder and shriller.
  2. Having trouble climbing hills? Maybe you’re hunching over the handlebars. This constricts your breathing. Sit up tall instead.
  3. On wet roads brake lightly now and then to whisk water off your brakes – especially after you’ve gone through a puddle and before you start down a hill.
  4. If you skid, don’t try to move your wheel. Keep your wheel in whatever direction you are going. Similarly, on a loose surface, let the bike drift the way it wants.
  5. In the country, sharp curves often have loose gravel and holes. Brake to reduce speed before you get to a curve, not while you are on the loose surface. Keep as far to the right as possible to avoid cars that may move into your lane as they round the corner.
  6. Use a winter hard hat liner, found in hardware stores, as a helmet liner in cold weather. For further warmth, push a folded section of newspaper up under your shirt to help block cold winds.

Bicycle Chains

Kerosene is the best cleaner for a greasy bicycle chain. To keep the chain from squeaking, clean it every 2 months and lubricate it with a lightweight bicycle oil or a spray lubricant designed for the purpose.

If your chain breaks and you can’t fix it right away, lower the seat and push along with your feet.

Home Made Bicycle Lock

You can make a lock from six feet of vinyl-covered steel cable, two U-bolts, and a padlock.

At each end of the cable, make a loop and secure it with a U-bolt. Strip or epoxy the threads so that the nut can’t be removed. Run the cable through the frame and wheels and around the bike rack or a sturdy post. Padlock the loops together.

If you must leave your bike unlocked, remove the handlebars or front wheel and take it with you.

Repair a Bicycle Tire

You can repair a tire in no time flat with two kitchen spoons, some fine sandpaper, contact cement, talcum powder and a thin piece of rubber or soft plastic.

For patches, cut small squares of rubber from an old tire tube or swimming cap. Coat one side with contact cement and let it dry.

Remove the wheel and push in the tire with your thumbs just enough to angle the spoons, 5 to 7 inches apart, under its edge. Work them around, pulling the edge of the tire over the rim.

Take the tube out of the tire and look for the puncture. Check inside the tire for any sharp stones or debris. Put your ear to the tube. Can you hear the air escape? If you can’t find the leak, inflate the tube and submerge it in water. Bubbles will locate the hole.

Dry the tube and rough up the area around the hole with sandpaper. Coat it with contact cement and apply the patch, sticky side down. Sprinkle talcum powder over the patched area so that the tube won’t stick to the tire wall.

If you inflate the tube a little, it will easier to put back in the tire. Begin remounting the tire by first inserting the air valve into the rim, then work the tire back onto the rim with your thumbs. If this proves difficult, use the spoons – but with care. The could puncture your newly repaired tube.

When the tire is back on the rim, inflate it and replace the wheel.

Spring is coming – get your bike ready for some summertime exercise.

See also:

Commuting to Work?

Commuting to Work and Excess Weight

A survey of 10,500 Americans found that for every extra 30 minutes commuters spent driving, they had a 3 percent greater chance of becoming obese compared with workers who spent less time driving.

In addition, people who lived within walking distance of stores (typically less than one-half mile) were statistically less likely to be obese than those who had to drive to shop.  These findings indicate obesity has an environmental component that can be addressed.

The bottom line is, the longer you must drive on your way to work, the more likely you are to be obese.  Living closer to work and avoiding traffic jams may help not only your your stress levels, but your waistline as well. The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Is Commuting to Work Preventing You From Exercising?

Get Fit Fast. Cannot fit an entire muscle strengthening routine into your schedule? Do just two exercises every day, so by week’s end you have hit all your body parts. It will take less than ten minutes and you will keep your muscles and bones strong.

Eat Better, Too

Grocery Bag
Grocery Bag

Before modern medicine, a sound diet was the best defense against disease. As more and more medications were developed in the 20th century, we lost our focus on nutrition.

More recently, a significant amount of research has been redirected toward the important effects of the six primary classes of nutrients. These include vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water. The studies focused on each element’s effect on the body.

It is important to follow a good nutritional program. Among exercisers, particularly those trying to lose weight, it is common to take in too few calories. The combination of commuting to work, over-working and under-eating can place stress on your body and its immune system.

Tip: Most people require about ten calories per pound of body weight per day. If you go over that amount, you will probably gain weight. If you fall too far short, you set yourself up for immune-system problems.

Garcinia Fruit for Weight Loss

Garcinia Fruit: A Powerful Diet Supplement

Garcinia Fruit contains the active ingredient hydroxyciteic acid (HCA), which promotes weight loss, according to results of a placebo controlled study. The HCA inhibits an enzyme called citrate lyase that makes fat from carbohydrates.  In addition, it helps increase serotonin. Serotonin is known as the ‘feel good‘ neurotransmitter in the brain. It improves mood and the desire to over-indulge in food on a bad day.

A placebo controlled study combined guggul extract with Garcinia cambogia extract and tyrosine. Over six weeks, twenty overweight persons experienced a significant decrease in body fat mass and average body weight. The subjects lost body fat, but not lean mass. Fatigue went down, and there were no adverse effects.

Since the study, garcinia has been growing in popularity and the verdict looks pretty good.

What is Garcinia Fruit?

Garcinia Fruit
Garcinia Fruit
  • It looks like a pumpkin.
  • It is found in South-East Asia.
  • It is high in hydroxycitric acid.
  • It helps increase serotonin levels.
  • It suppresses the appetite.
  • It is said to be one of the most powerful diet supplements discovered.

Serotonin acts a natural appetite suppressant. That tub of ice cream, those french fries, that pile of mashed potatoes with gravy…they seem so right when your serotonin is low. That is because people with low serotonin levels tend to overeat.

Super Fruits Acai, Apricots and Avocados

Super Fruits Acai, Apricots and Avocados

In our first in a series of fruit frenzy posts, we will take a quick look at three super fruits – acai, apricots and avocados and their health benefits.

Click each image below for a larger view of the super fruits.Acai berries thumbnailApricots thumbnailAvocado thumbnail

Acai Berries

Super foods are those foods that do such things as lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The acai berry is now one of those foods.

  • Acai berries provide energy to our bodies. This helps us keep moving.
  • Acai berries help you lose weight faster.
  • Acai berries can lower your cholesterol.
  • Acai berries can lower your blood pressure.
  • Acai berries help prevent several serious diseases like heart disease.


  • Apricots are a good source of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps protect vision.
  • Apricots are a good source of vitamin C.
  • Three medium apricots contain about 50 calories. This makes them a great low calorie snack.
  • The beta-carotene in apricots may provide heart benefits.


  • Avocados are sodium and cholesterol free.
  • Avocados contain omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Avocados are a good source of vitamin K and vitamin C.
  • Avocados are a good source of beta-carotene.

Avocado Caution

Individuals with latex allergies should limit their avocado consumption or avoid it completely. Unfortunately, the fruit contains high amounts of chitinase enzymes. These enzymes are associated with latex allergies. Lightly cooking the food slightly deactivates these enzymes.

Super Fruits: Persistent Point

All fruits are healthy for us, but the best ones are those with the most fiber. A good rule of thumb is to stick with the fruits – the ones with edible skins or seeds. Fruits included are apples, peaches, pears, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and grapes.

Eating the skin and seeds amps up your fiber intake. The skin and the seeds contain most of the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. That’s why it’s much better to eat whole fruit, rather than relying on juices.

Guilty of Bad Mood Eating?

Are You Guilt of Bad-Mood Eating?

No bad mood eating. Eat with a positive attitudeDo you tend to overeat when you are feeling down? Or snacking at work, or when you do not really feel hungry? This is bad mood eating and it is a bad habit. Remind yourself that those chips will not make you feel better. When we are depressed, angry, lonely or anxious, many of us eat in an attempt to make ourselves feel better. Research found this does not prove true. The next time you are in a bad mood and find yourself reaching for a snack, try these steps:

  • Stop. Ask yourself why you want to eat. If it is because you are in a bad mood, remind yourself that no matter how delicious it looks, it is not going to do a thing for your mood except, perhaps, make you feel guilty afterwards. This is definitely not what you need at a moment like this.
  • Do something instead. Call or visit a friend, listen to music, take a walk — these things actually do make you feel better. With some repetitions, this self-reminding strategy should become a habit you will find yourself using without thinking twice.

Since bad mood eating can also be considered emotional, you may also wish to read about Emotional Eating.

The Metabolism Factor

If you can get yourself into regular walking, you will also gain a boost in your metabolism, not just your mood! This can really help bad mood eating.

As we get older, our metabolism slows down four percent per decade. You can boost your metabolism through diet – eating six small meals a day, for example, will cause a small increase in your metabolic rate – but the best way to rev up your metabolism is through exercise. Specifically: A three-day-a-week exercise program that incorporates both aerobics and strength training.
On treadmill
The absolute basic premise of weight loss is that you need to burn more calories than you take in. You need to exercise at least three times a week so that your muscles can burn fat. Choose strength training exercises designed to strengthen the major muscle groups. Start slowly and gradually increase the weight as your strength increases. After all is said and done, you have to come up with a way of life you are comfortable with. You can’t go on fad diets or just exercise sporadically for sufficient results.

Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

How to Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

Enjoy your favorite desserts guilt free with the following tips. Whether your favorite dessert is a creamy cheesecake, frosting-filled layer cakes, or old-fashioned apple pie, use the tips below to help you enjoy it in guilt-free fashion.

Favorite Desserts Layer Cake Topped with Berries
Layer Cake Topped with Berries
  • Check out portion sizes. Before you dig in, read the food package label for suggested serving size. If you cut a double-sized slice of cake for yourself, you’re doing double the damage in terms of calories and fat.
  • Try a smaller serving. Granted, many of these portions aren’t gigantic to begin with. But most can be pared down a bit to save some additional calories and fat.
  • Take your time. Indulgences like these deserve your time and attention. Don’t gulp your piece of cake or pie in a rush. Enjoy it slowly, savoring each bite. It will last longer, plus you’ll be able to fully taste and appreciate each morsel.
  • Make room for dessert. Try to fit in an extra walk or exercise class a few times a week. On down days, when there are no holiday parties on the agenda, follow your best healthy eating routines. This combination can help you fit in a few desserts over the course of the holiday season without weight gain.

Supermarket Suggestions to Help You Enjoy Your Favorite Desserts Guilt Free

  • Cake. One-eighth of Trader Joe’s Opera Cake is 160 calories whereas one-eight of Entenmann’s Chocolate Chip Iced Cake is 330 calories.
  • Cheesecake. Trader Joe’s New York Deli Style Baked cheesecake – one-seventh of the cake – is 400 calories! Consider buying Sara Lee’s Original Cream Cheesecake instead. The strawberry contains 310 calories per one-fourth of the cake. The original version contains 320 calories per one-fourth cake. Learn more about Trader Joes Foods.
  • Pie. Edward’s Banana Cream Pie contains 480 whopping calories per one-sixth of the pie. Take Edward’s Boston Cream Pie instead, and have one-tenth of the pie for only 210 calories.

Our Top 3 Picks: Weight Watcher’s Single Serving Desserts

  1. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Chocolate Eclair: 140 calories, 4g fat.
  2. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Double Fudge Cake: 170 calories, 4g fat.
  3. Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones Peanut Butter Cup Sundae: 170 calories, 5g fat.
Favorite Desserts Cup
Dessert Cups

Speaking of Desserts

You may also be interested in our Homemade Shake Recipes ebook for Diabetics – sweet, cool frozen treats and desserts geared toward a diabetic diet!

Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories

What Fruit Servings Equal 100 Calories?

The following list of fruits are servings of each listed fruit that equal 100 calories. Stick to these portion sizes with your fruits and soon you won’t need the list anymore – you’ll know by heart!

100 Calorie Fruit Servings

  • 1 medium large apple
  • 1 small banana
  • 1-1/3 cups blackberries
  • 120 blueberries
  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe
  • 7/8 cup cherries
  • 5 roasted chestnuts
  • 50 grapes
  • 1/4 of 5-1/2-inch honeydew melon
  • 1 small papaya
  • 2 medium peaches
  • 1 medium pear
  • 100 raspberries
  • 26 strawberries
Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories
Fruit Servings Equal to 100 Calories

Fruit Tips

  • Grapes should be plump and firmly attached to a green stem. Good color for type of grape, not faded. Grapes do not ripen off the vine, so be certain that they are ripe when you purchase or pick them. Buy small quantities. When refrigerated, grapes will last five to seven days.
  • To ripen fruit, place it in a brown paper bag in a dark place for a few days.
  • Pro-chefs swear this is true so here goes! If you slice a banana with a sterling silver knife they will not darken as fast.
  • To peel thick-skinned fruits, cut a small amount of peel from top and bottom, set fruit on a cutting board, cut off the peel in strips from top to bottom.
  • Get only the best fruits. If you purchased your fruit in a box, or can see the box in the store, check the box it came in to be sure there is a government stamp on it saying, “U.S. Grade No.1” or that they have a USDA stamp.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables in cold water to remove any chemicals. Never soak or store them in water. Vitamins B and C are easily lost. Dry all fruits and vegetables after washing.

Did You Know?

Fruit juices have lost fiber from the fruit. It is better to eat the whole fruit because it contains the added fiber that helps you feel full.

See also:

  • Productive Produce – Whether fresh, frozen or canned, we can’t go wrong with fruits and vegetables.

Grapefruit Weight Loss

Grapefruit Weight Loss: This Fruit May Contribute to Weight Loss

Grapefruit weight loss may come from the fruits ability to lower glucose levels, says the results of a test done on 100 overweight people who ate half a fresh grapefruit daily. The study also indicated that grapefruit may help people with metabolic syndrome, as well.

While more research needs to be conducted, these are very promising results.

Nutritionally, grapefruit packs a wallop in flavonoids, is a good source of pectin (soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol) and contains the all important vitamin C.

Keeping in mind that more brightly colored fruit tends to have more antioxidants, pink and red fleshed grapefruit pack a more nutrient punch than white grapefruit.

Grapefruit is available year-round. However, they are best in winter and early spring. Since winter is looming – and cold – for many of us, we hope you’ll enjoy the following recipe meant to warm you up with baked grapefruit.

Sizzling Grapefruit Weight Loss Dessert

Grapefruit Weight Loss

1 large pink grapefruit
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the grapefruit in half around the middle (not end to end). With a grapefruit knife, cut between the flesh and the shell around the circumference, then cut between the sections. Try not to pierce the skin. Place the grapefruit halves on a baking sheet. Dot each grapefruit half with 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Sprinkle brown sugar over the tops. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, then broil until the top is bubbly. Remove the grapefruit from the oven
    and place each half in an individual bowl.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition information per serving

68.6 calories, 15.2 g carbohydrate, 0.7 g protein, 1.3 g fat, 2.1 g dietary fiber

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with 1/2-cup low fat cottage cheese
  • Serve with a soft boiled egg as a breakfast

Did You Know?

Grapefruit seeds have been shown to have an antibacterial effect.

Grapefruit Seeds Food Fact
Grapefruit Seeds Food Fact

Physical Activity Controls Weight

How Physical Activity Controls Weight Gain

Regular physical activity controls weight gain via exercise, chores, etc. Activity helps to control your weight by burning excess calories that would otherwise end up being stored as fat.

Control your life

Regulation of Body Weight

Your body weight is regulated by the total number of calories you consume and use each day. Everything you eat contains calories. Everything you do, including sleeping, breathing, and even resting, burns calories.

Any physical activity controls weight when you do it in addition to your normal everyday activities. You will burn extra calories. Balancing the calories you use via physical activity with the number of calories you consume will help you manage your weight.

If you have been inactive for some time, you can start out slowly. Take a 5 minute walk two or three times a day. Stretch a little, too. Slowly build yourself up to longer periods of physical activity. Get some five pound dumbbells and gradually add basic muscle toning exercises. As you build more muscle, you will burn more fat! It is a win-win.

The key to successful weight management when physical activity controls weight is to make physical activity a part of your daily routine.

Keep these simple rules of weight management in mind:

  • Calories in Food > Calories Used = Weight Gain
  • Calories in Food < Calories Used = Weight Loss
  • Calories in Food Calories Used = Weight Maintenance


Simple Rules of Weight Management
Simple Rules of Weight Management

You may also find of interest…

  • Muscle Strengthening – Besides regular aerobic activity, good health and wellness comes from doing exercises to strengthen your muscles at least two days a week.
  • Aerobic Activity – You can do moderate or vigorous intensity aerobic activity, or a mix of the two each week.

The Breakfast Thing Again!

Breakfast: A Diet Helper

Breakfast is considered by many to be the most important meal of the day. Sadly, the morning meal is the meal that is most often skipped. This is especially true for people in a rush to get out the door every morning. It is so easy to grab a muffin, piece of toast, or just a cup of coffee.

Healthy Breakfast Foods

Some people don’t make time for their morning meal because of a misguided dieting effort. They feel that skipping breakfast is a benefit because it eliminates calories. In reality, they are missing out on a lot more than that.

Eating a healthy meal each morning plays an essential role in keeping you full and satisfied. Breakfast promotes a healthy metabolism, which is important for weight management. To learn more about metabolism, visit Metabolism 101.

Expert Studies Say…

  • According to the American Dietetic Association, starting your day by eating a healthy meal can help you lose weight or maintain weight. In fact, you can do so better than people who choose not to eat breakfast each day.
  • The National Institutes of Health recommend eating breakfast every day. People who do are less likely to overeat later in the day.
  • Regular morning meal consumption is a common characteristic of people who have successfully lost weight. More importantly, they were more likely to keep it off. (American Dietetic Association)

Breakfast Trimming Tips

  • Substitute Canadian bacon, turkey bacon or sausage for regular bacon or sausage.
  • Top waffles or pancakes with fresh blueberries and a dollop of lemon flavored yogurt. The protein boost of yogurt turns a favorite treat into a complete meal.
  • Watching fat and cholesterol? Use egg substitute made from real eggs, such as Egg Beaters.

See also: Enjoying Eggs