Connect with us

Fitness

Bike safety 101: Things newbies should know before hitting the road

Since launching its Ride Safe campaign last year, Allianz PNB Life has been hard at work promoting bike safety and green mobility across the metro, partnering with the San Juan City government to make San Juan one of the most bike-friendly cities in Metro Manila. They collaborated on new bike lanes around the city, as well as set up the country’s first solar-powered pit stop for cyclists.

Published

on

Photo by Max Bender from Unsplash.com

With the ongoing pandemic, transport options have narrowed down for many Filipino commuters. Due to limited transport options as well as strict health protocols that make public transit more difficult, a number of people in the metro have turned to biking as an alternative means to get around.

Since launching its Ride Safe campaign last year, Allianz PNB Life has been hard at work promoting bike safety and green mobility across the metro, partnering with the San Juan City government to make San Juan one of the most bike-friendly cities in Metro Manila. They collaborated on new bike lanes around the city, as well as  set up the country’s first solar-powered pit stop for cyclists. 

“At Allianz PNB Life, we want to encourage more Filipinos to think of cycling as an alternative and more sustainable means of transportation,” said Gino Riola, Chief Marketing Officer for Allianz PNB Life and an avid cyclist himself. “A very big part of that is of course safety, which is why we put a primer on promoting and spreading awareness on bike safety and education.”

Riola shares the following tips to help new commuters-turned-bikers navigate the busy streets of Metro Manila safely:

  1. Find the right ride. The right bike ensures comfort and safety while cycling. Hybrid bikes or road bikes are usually an amateur’s best bet for navigating a mix of bumpy to paved roads and slow-moving traffic. Additionally, a bike with the correct size should correspond to a rider’s height. 
  2. Gear up. When it comes to cycling gear, the first and most important one to get is a safety helmet. A proper fitting helmet should cover the forehead about an inch above the eyebrows and not tip forward or backward. Bright, reflective clothing is another must while riding. Neon or fluorescent-colored wear such as hi-vis (high visibility) jackets or stick-on reflectors is recommended, especially when biking during early morning, cloudy days or evenings. 
  3. Practice biking techniques. Practice is key to building confidence on the road. Ascending, descending, keeping balance when turning corners, and looking over one’s shoulder without swerving are basic skills to master. Even knowing how to change flat tires using a patch kit could come in handy. In San Juan, riders can actually rest and repair their bikes through pit stops.
  4. Check equipment. Before setting off, it’s important to ensure all parts of a bicycle are secure and working. Tires should be properly inflated, and the seat should be adjusted to and locked at a proper height, ideally at the same level or just slightly lower than the handlebars. 
  5. Follow traffic rules. Bicycles are vehicles, and obeying traffic rules is a must, not just out of respect to drivers and pedestrians but also to avoid any accidents. Cyclists are more vulnerable than their driver counterparts, and should be extra careful. Riding a bike does not mean one is exempt from following stoplights.
  6. Know hand signals. Signals are another key aspect to following traffic rules. When turning, cyclists are urged to signal left or right. The same is true for slowing down or stopping. Learn more basic hand signals here.
  7. Join a cycling group. There are many cycling communities in the Philippines where new riders can learn valuable knowledge from their more experienced counterparts. Riding in a group is also a lot safer than riding solo. Plus it’s just more fun to ride with buddies.
  8. Enjoy the ride! Last but not least, it’s important to enjoy the ride! Biking is a great way to get exercise, spend time with family and friends, and reduce carbon emissions. Much like insurance, biking is a long-term investment for your health, your loved ones, and the environment.

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

Fitness

6 Exercise safety tips

Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Published

on

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are more aware of their health and wellness. Now, as social restrictions ease, you may find yourself stepping up your workouts, whether you’re training for an event or working to improve your game in a recreational league.

Sprains, strains and injuries can happen to even the most seasoned athletes. When you’re testing your limits, even a minor injury can alter your performance. Consider products and supports like these from the CURAD Performance Series product line, available at Walmart and Amazon, to help you get back in the game quickly and safely.

Find more resources to support your fitness journey at CURAD.com.

Keep Dirt and Germs Away

The more active you are, the harder it can be to find a bandage that stays with you all day or all game long.

Spray Away Sore Spots

Controlling mild pain can help keep you at the top of your game, and a topical analgesic works fast to heal common pain brought on by fitness and exercise, such as pain in knees, feet, shoulders and backs.

Put Pain in the Past

When recovery becomes the name of the game and pain relief is needed after daily workouts or bodily injuries. Cold packs work to heal bruises, reduce swelling and relieve headaches and general pain points while microwavable heat packs provide satisfying heat therapy to address sore and stiff joints, muscle cramps and tension.

Reduce Impact of Knee Strain

Weak, injured or arthritic knees can come from many sources, including tendonitis and a wide range of conditions that result in strain or overuse. An adjustable band can provide support for on-field sports and during workouts or everyday activities.

Manage Pain and Relieve Pressure

If you participate in endurance and strength exercises or certain sports, you may ask a lot of your joints. Kinesiology tape can be configured a multitude of ways to help reduce pain and improve blood circulation, as well as relieve tension and pressure.

Control Back Strain

When your back is strained, your body and performance can suffer. A mild or moderate sprain can benefit from strong support and compression.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Exercise can provide relief for dry, itchy eyes

A significant increase in tear secretion and tear film stability after participating in aerobic exercise can be another remedy for relieving dry, itchy eyes.

Published

on

Photo by Quinten de Graaf from Unsplash.com

A team led by researchers from the University of Waterloo discovered that a significant increase in tear secretion and tear film stability after participating in aerobic exercise can be another remedy for relieving dry, itchy eyes. 

Every time we blink, our eyes are covered in tear film—an essential protective coating necessary for maintaining healthy ocular function. Healthy tear film comprises three layers–oil, water, and mucin–that work together to hydrate the ocular surface and protect against infection-causing irritants like dust or dirt.

When any part of the tear film becomes unstable, the ocular surface can develop dry spots, causing eye symptoms like itchiness or stinging and burning sensations.

“With so much of our activity tied to screen usage, dry eye symptoms are becoming increasingly common,” said Heinz Otchere, a PhD candidate in vision science at Waterloo. “Instead of having to use eye drops or other alternative treatments, our study aimed to determine if remaining physically active can be an effective preventative measure against dryness.”

Fifty-two participants were divided into two groups—athlete and non-athlete—to participate in an exercise session. Participants in the athlete group exercised at least five times per week, while non-athlete participants exercised no more than once per week. Researchers, which included experts from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, performed visual examinations before and five minutes after each exercise session, where tear secretion and tear break-up time were assessed.

While participants in the athlete group showed the largest increase, Otchere says all participants experienced a meaningful boost in tear quantity and tear film stability after the exercise session. 

“It can be challenging for people to regularly exercise when the demand is there to work increasingly longer hours in front of screens,” Otchere said. “However, our findings show physical activity can be really important for not just our overall well-being, but for our ocular health too.”

The study, Differential effect of maximal incremental treadmill exercise on tear secretion and tear film stability in athletes and non-athletes, was co-authored by Otchere, the University of Cape Coast’s Samuel Abokyi, Sekyere Nyamaah, and Michael Ntodie, and Ghana’s Our Lady of Grace Hospital’s Yaw Osei Akoto. It was recently published in the Experimental Eye Research journal.

Continue Reading

Fitness

Late-life exercise shows rejuvenating effects on cellular level

Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging.

Published

on

Photo by Caley Vanular from Unsplash.com

For people who hate exercising, here comes some more bad news: it may also keep you younger. Not just looking younger, but actually younger, on an epigenetic level. By now, the benefits of exercise have been well established, including increased strength of bones and muscles, improved mobility and endurance, and lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

But younger?

A study recently published in Aging Cell, “Late-life exercise mitigates skeletal muscle epigenetic aging,” suggests this could be the case. The paper was written by a team of seven researchers across three institutions, including Kevin Murach, an assistant professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation at the U of A. Murach’s grant from the National Institute of Health funded the study, and he was one of three co-first authors.

Bootcamp for Mice

While the paper is dense with data, reflecting the use of several analytic tools, the experiment that generated the data was relatively straightforward. Lab mice nearing the end of their natural lifespan, at 22 months, were allowed access to a weighted exercise wheel. Generally, mice require no coercion to run and will do so voluntarily. Older mice will run anywhere from six to eight kilometers a day, mostly in spurts, while younger mice may run up to 10-12 kilometers. The weighted wheel ensured they built muscle. While there isn’t a direct analogue to most human exercise routines, Murach likened it to “a soldier carrying a heavy backpack many miles.”

When the mice were studied after two months of progressive weighted wheel running, it was determined that they were the epigenetic age of mice eight weeks younger than sedentary mice of the same age — 24 months. Murach noted that while the specific strain of mice and their housing conditions can impact lifespans, “historically, they start dropping off after 24 months at a significant rate.” Needless to say, when your lifespan is measured in months, an extra eight weeks — roughly 10 percent of that lifespan — is a noteworthy gain.

Methylation, My Dear Watson

The science behind this, while complicated, hinges largely on a biological process known as DNA methylation. A recent New York Times article discussing Murach’s work on muscle memory described methylation “as a process in which clusters of atoms, called methyl groups, attach themselves to the outside of genes like minuscule barnacles, making the genes more or less likely to turn on and produce particular proteins.”

As the body ages, there tends to be increased DNA methylation, or even hypermethylation, at promoter sites on genes in muscle. “DNA methylation changes in a lifespan tend to happen in a somewhat systematic fashion,” Murach explained, “to the point you can look at someone’s DNA from a given tissue sample and with a fair degree of accuracy predict their chronological age.” Due to this, researchers can use one of a number of “methylation clocks” to determine the age of a DNA sample.

DNA Methylation, Aging and Exercise

While the paper strengthens the case for exercise, there is still much that needs to be learned. Though the connection between methylation and aging is clear, the connection between methylation and muscle function is less clear. Murach is not yet prepared to say that the reversal of methylation with exercise is causative for improved muscle health. “That’s not what the study was set up to do,” he explained. However, he intends to pursue future studies to determine if “changes in methylation result in altered muscle function.”

“If so, what are the consequences of this?” he continued. “Do changes on these very specific methylation sites have an actual phenotype that emerges from that? Is it what’s causing aging or is it just associated with it? Is it just something that happens in concert with a variety of other things that are happening during the aging process? So that’s what we don’t know.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.