Get Healthy on the Bike!

Hello Loyal Soup People! This week I’d like to talk about a healthy habit I’m noticing around town, that comes with some inherent dangers – biking! I’m so happy to see people choosing bikes over cars to commute to work. The bike share programs that are popping up all over the country are great for people’s health, as well as the planet’s! However, I do not like seeing so many people biking around without helmets. To put it bluntly, riding without a helmet is irresponsible and dangerous. Seventy-five percent of bike fatalities are due to head trauma. So many of these fatalities could have been prevented with a proper helmet. I use the word “proper” because in order for a helmet to provide adequate protection, it must be correctly fitted. Otherwise, the helmet is not likely to help you in an accident. Keep these tips in mind when choosing a helmet:

– Choose one that has the stamp of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These helmets will be more expensive. Do you really want to look for a bargain when it comes to protecting your head? If it doesn’t have the CPSC stamp, do not buy the helmet.

– Choose a bright color. Make a fashion statement. A black helmet might look cool, but you can’t see it after dark, making it difficult for drivers to spot you.

– Make sure your helmet fits. Ensure that it is comfortable, sits mid-forehead, and comes within one to two fingers’ width of your eyebrows. Don’t let it tilt back on your head (something I see too often). The helmet shouldn’t move much if you try to rotate it or shake your head. Adjust the straps to make sure it is properly attached to your head. A helmet that is not snugly fitted to your head will do little to help you in an accident. Double check the fit every time you put it on.

– Don’t leave your helmet out in the heat. This can cause damage to the helmet.

– Replace your helmet every few years or after an accident. You might not see visible damage, but a helmet is usually good for one big impact.

A few years ago Soupergirl was in a bad accident. She was thrown off her bike and landed on her head. Thanks to her helmet, she was absolutely fine, and in fact, continued with her bike ride.

Happy and safe riding, everyone!

*NOTE – Soupermom is not a licensed dietitian, doctor, personal trainer, or anything like that. She’s just extremely knowledgeable about healthy living!! But if you slip and fall while taking her advice, it is not her fault!