Join Pro Athletes During National Bike Month

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LeBron James Biking

Want to squeeze more conditioning into your training but don't have enough time in your schedule? Try bicycling to work or school. We're nearing the end of National Bike Month, so it's a good time to join professional athletes like LeBron James (pictured above), who incorporate biking into their daily routines by riding to work.

Biking is not only a clean air form of transportation, it's also a reliable cardio workout. It strengthens the legs and upper arms, increases lung capacity and lowers blood pressure. Endorphins surge during a good cardio workout, increasing happiness and an overall sense of well-being. And unlike treadmill running, it's easy just to coast for a bit if you need a breather.

To get started, cycling advocates recommend certain essentials like visible gear (e.g., lights, plus bright or reflective clothing), a U-lock, rain gear and, above all, a helmet. Don't take your bike to the street if you're not sure how to "share the road" properly. Learning the right hand signals and obeying traffic laws will keep you safe and respected by motorists. The League of American Bicyclists has an excellent resource on sharing the road.

Of course, sometimes it's impossible to safely bike all the way to your school or work, but biking part of the way is usually a viable option. Most public transportation systems allow cyclists to mount their bikes on racks or bring them onboard at no additional cost. You can also use public transportation to save the workout for the afternoon. Take your bike on the bus in the morning so you don't show up at work all sweaty, then bike home.

Public transportation and dedicated bicycle lanes make biking to work or school easier than ever, so there's no reason not to try it. Take advantage of the great weather this month and choose the bike over the car.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock