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Cycling and Mindfulness


By Laurel-Lea Shannon A few years ago I took up meditation again after a hiatus of almost two decades. After first trying Zen, then mindfulness meditation I finally settled on Vipassana or insight meditation.

Meditation involves two practises: a formal one that happens while you’re sitting still on a meditation cushion or

Read more . . . Cycling and Mindfulness

Road Cycling Keeps You Young


By Laurel-Lea Shannon


Recreational cycling, arguably the best sport in the world, just got better. A study published in the Journal of Physiology claims that serious road cyclists may be able to turn back the clock on aging.

The story Recently, researchers from King’s College London and the University

Read more . . . Road Cycling Keeps You Young

The One-Minute Workout


By Laurel-Lea Shannon No matter how good you are at scheduling your time, work deadlines, family obligations and unexpected events (for example, sleeping through the alarm clock) can throw a wrench in your well-planned day. When that happens, don’t dump your all-important workout. Instead, consider going harder for less time, also known as

Read more . . . The One-Minute Workout

Exercise And Your Brain


By Laurel-Lea Shannon

We all know that exercise is good for us. As well as reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes, it lowers blood pressure, elevates mood and helps us maintain a healthy weight. But there’s more good news.

In a recent study at the University of British Columbia researchers found that

Read more . . . Exercise And Your Brain

Foam Roller Quick Start Guide

By Sarah Bonner

You’ve heard about the benefits of foam rolling and may have even purchased a roller but now what? Here’s a quick start guide to self myofascial release with a foam roller.

When should I use a foam roller?

There is debate over when to perform SMR, before or

Read more . . . Foam Roller Quick Start Guide

Introducing the Foam Roller

By Sarah Bonner

Foam rollers have been increasing in popularity over the past few years, and they are popular for a reason! Foam rollers allow you to perform self-myofascial release (SMR) which is soft tissue therapy similar to what a massage provides, minus the high cost. SMR helps release tight muscles, knots, speed

Read more . . . Introducing the Foam Roller

Seven Best Weight Loss Tips for Cyclists

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Over the winter months I lost ten pounds, which puts me at my leanest weight since I started road cycling. I can already feel the advantage of carrying less weight up steep inclines. I hadn’t intended to lose the weight; it was an unexpected outcome of changing my diet.


Read more . . . Seven Best Weight Loss Tips for Cyclists

Be Your Optimum Weight This Spring

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Okay, so maybe you’ve put on a few pounds over the winter. No big deal. It’s easy to do. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice, not to mention hot chocolate, lattes and desserts are very appealing and easy to load up on in the cold weather. But

Read more . . . Be Your Optimum Weight This Spring

The 7 Best Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

As anyone who suffers from sleep deprivation knows, there’s a world of difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one—feeling energetic versus feeling fatigued, even-tempered versus irritable and moody. Why does a good night’s sleep make such a difference to how you feel the next day? Sleep

Read more . . . The 7 Best Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

How to Enjoy the Festivities and Avoid the Muffin Top

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

If you gain weight easily, navigating your way through the Christmas holidays is like picking your way through a calorie-laden labyrinth. Office parties, neighbourhood parties, family get-togethers—everywhere you turn there are sugary, butter-and cream-packed Christmas goodies, not to mention calorie-dense hors d’oeuvres, wine, spirits, and that glorious triple-digit-calorie punch: eggnog.

Read more . . . How to Enjoy the Festivities and Avoid the Muffin Top

When You Cycle Does Your Nose Run?

What You Need to Know About Your Nose and Exercise By Gillian Scobie, snot disturber

Do you ever have this problem? You’re out cycling—doing something very healthy—and your nose keeps running, or dripping, as the case may be. Ack, do I have any Kleenex with me? Don’t worry—you’re not alone.

Read more . . . When You Cycle Does Your Nose Run?

When Chamois Cream Isn’t Enough: 6 Steps to Chafe-free Riding

By Sarah Bonner

Chafing is a common problem for cyclists but how much chafing is normal? And what do you do when chamois cream isn’t enough? Many people can ride for hours on end and go their whole lives without being uncomfortable in the saddle. That isn’t everyone’s experience, nor was it my

Read more . . . When Chamois Cream Isn’t Enough: 6 Steps to Chafe-free Riding

Cycle Safely in the Sun

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

To stay healthy, cyclists need to eat well, get enough rest and protect their skin from the sun. If you spend long hours in the saddle, you get your tan lines early in the season, and by mid-summer you’ve probably already soaked up plenty of rays—maybe too many.

Read more . . . Cycle Safely in the Sun

Cycling Tan Lines: Love them or hate them?

By Sarah Bonner

Every cyclist has an opinion on tan lines. To some, tan lines proudly represent hours of dedicated training and sacrifice. To others, tan lines are a social death sentence that additionally point out hours of spandex-clad activity. These two extreme views are opposite ends of the spectrum. You may be

Read more . . . Cycling Tan Lines: Love them or hate them?

The Flu Busters

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

It’s flu season again, and don’t I know it. While putting together this newsletter I’ve been fighting a flu bug that my partner has had for ten days. What’s worse is that we have plans this weekend to cross-country ski in beautiful Gatineau Park,Quebec. What to do? A friend tells

Read more . . . The Flu Busters

How Many Calories Do You Burn While Cycling?

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Did you know that carrying extra weight has a detrimental effect on your health and your cycling? Imagine how much more difficult it is to climb hills when you’ve got a few extra pounds riding along in the caboose. If you’re like me, those extra pounds land on your hips,

Read more . . . How Many Calories Do You Burn While Cycling?

Yoga for Cyclists

By Whitney Mah

Western society puts an emphasis on keeping in shape and staying active by lifting weights and spending hours doing cardio but there is a lack of interest in the benefits of stretching. Finding a balance between stretching, building muscle and strength, and increasing flexibility and mobility means practising not only

Read more . . . Yoga for Cyclists

Your Bike – Your Brain-Part 2

How Riding Your Bike Makes You Happier

By Clair Cafaro

So now we know that riding our bikes increases brain fitness (Your Bike-Your Brain“). And you already know that riding your bike makes you feel great (those bugs in your teeth are evidence of your ear to ear smile).

Read more . . . Your Bike – Your Brain-Part 2

Your Bike — Your Brain

How Riding your Bike is Good for your Brain -part 1

By Clair Cafaro

It’s obvious how fantastic you feel after a long ride or a tough race, quads throbbing as you challenge friends to the top of a climb or sprint against rivals to the finish line. What you may

Read more . . . Your Bike — Your Brain

6 Stay-Lean Tips

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

The transition from cycling 6 to 8 hours or more each week in the summer to cycling a lot less in the fall can be tricky. As the outside cycling season winds down, the pounds can ramp up. Continue eating the same amounts you did in the summer, and you

Read more . . . 6 Stay-Lean Tips

Hydration for Cyclists

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

It’s complicated being a recreational cyclist these days. Questions about what to eat, and what to drink, before, during and after a ride used to be the territory of the pros. Not anymore. If you ride frequently and for longer than 1 ½ hours, knowing how to

Read more . . . Hydration for Cyclists

Cycling Safely in the Heat

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

The return of summer is especially welcomed in northern climes where long months of winter leave you craving hot weather and unbroken days of sunshine. But, like most things in life, too much of a good thing can quickly turn bad—stay out too long in the summer heat and the

Read more . . . Cycling Safely in the Heat

Cycling in the Sun: Protect Your Skin

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

For most of my life I’ve eschewed sunscreens. The long list of chemical ingredients in them concerned me, and I always felt that using a sunscreen would encourage me to stay out in the sun too long. Instead, I got out of the sun when I’d had enough or I

Read more . . . Cycling in the Sun: Protect Your Skin

Want an Exercise Afterburn? Get Intense!

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Does exercise provide a calorie afterburn effect? The question has been debated for decades with no clear answer, until now. Recently, the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise published a study by Dr. Amy A. Knab at Appalachian State University on the afterburn effect.

The study comprised 10

Read more . . . Want an Exercise Afterburn? Get Intense!

Cycling with Diabetes – Don’t Despair!

By Sheila Ascroft

When the doctor told me I had type 2 diabetes, it was a relief! Suddenly, several months of feeling oh-so-tired made sense. Things got even better as the medication kicked in, and I was almost my old self again.

But despite my booming morale, the first

Read more . . . Cycling with Diabetes – Don’t Despair!

How To Get a Good Night’s Sleep—and Live Longer

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

If you spend hours every night tossing and turning trying to get to sleep, or regularly wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, you know how important a good night’s sleep is. Not only do you feel better when you’ve had enough zzzzzs, you

Read more . . . How To Get a Good Night’s Sleep—and Live Longer

Exercise Keeps You Young

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

We all know that exercise is good for us. It keeps us trim, fit and healthy. But did you know that it also keeps you young? A recent study by German scientists took four groups of men and women and measured their cells’ lifespan. Two groups were young adults

Read more . . . Exercise Keeps You Young

Are You Getting Enough Light This Winter?

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Photo: Gillian Scobie

Many people suffer from seasonal sleep and mood disorders in the winter months. The usual cause of this is lack of light. On a bright summer day, the sunlight measures 100,000 lux (the standard measurement of illumination), but during winter days in Canada or the northern

Read more . . . Are You Getting Enough Light This Winter?

10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

With numerous nasty cold and flu bugs flying around during the winter months, washing your hands frequently may not be enough to stay healthy. To outfox viruses you’ve got to keep one step ahead of them by keeping your immune system humming. Here’s how:

1. Exercise but don’t

Read more . . . 10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity

Do Women Sweat Less Than Men?

By Dr. Gabe Mirkin

Yes. A study from Japans shows that women need to work much harder than men to start sweating during exercise. (Experimental Physiology, October 2010). You start to sweat when your body heat reaches a certain temperature. Men start to sweat earlier than women do because they start to sweat at lower

Read more . . . Do Women Sweat Less Than Men?

Time to Recalibrate Your Workout

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Do you monitor your heart rate while working out? If so, you may be setting your pace too high. A recent study of 5,500 women at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago found that the time-tested formula for calculating maximum heart rate for women is, uh . . .wrong!

Up to now,

Read more . . . Time to Recalibrate Your Workout

Beat The Heat

By Diane Stibbard

Now that summer is well underway, some parts of the country are hitting record high temperatures, with humidity levels running between 60 and 100 percent. Hot weather is a challenge for cyclists but don’t worry, your body adapts to these conditions quickly.

How? Within ten to twelve days you’ll start

Read more . . . Beat The Heat

BPA-Free Water Bottles—2010 Update

After last year’s foofaraw about the health risks of BPA (bisphenol-A), two companies, Polar and CamelBak, have come out with new insulated water bottles designed for cyclists. Insulated water bottles keep water cooler twice as long as standard plastic bottles.

Polar’s water bottle is made of LDPE, low density

Read more . . . BPA-Free Water Bottles—2010 Update

A Delicate Matter: Cycling and Genital Problems

When Cycling Hurts – OUCH!

By Laurel-Lea Shannon

Cycling and male impotence is a familiar topic but we seldom hear about the long list of gynecological problems women cyclists can encounter.

It’s well known that time spent in the saddle can affect your sexual health. Male cyclists suffer everything from occasional numbness

Read more . . . A Delicate Matter: Cycling and Genital Problems