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Go Red (and Ride!) for Women

Across the country today, people are wearing red to call attention to a sobering fact: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women. Every year, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign recognizes Wear Red Day to raise awareness about the “silent killer” and its staggering casualties among women.

Our prescription to address this nationwide epidemic: Make bicycling more accessible and appealing to women.

According to the AHA:

  • Heart disease is more deadly for women than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease.

One of the best ways to beat the disease? The AHA recommends that women get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week — and we certainly believe that bicycling is a convenient and FUN way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, as we highlighted a wealth of compelling data that supports the impact of bicycling in our Women on a Roll report last year…

  • Bicycling just 20 miles per week reduces women’s risk of heart disease by 50 percent.
  • Active commuting reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease among women by 13 percent (compared to 9 percent for men).
  • Women with an active commute of just 30 minutes were half as likely to suffer heart failure as women without an active commute.
  • Women who bike just four hours per week are less likely to gain weight than women who don’t ride. 
  • More than 80% of bicycle commuters report their health has improved since they started riding.
  • More than 2/3 of women ride for fitness.

Heather Towers is a great example. The resident of Salisbury, Md., got her wheels turning on an “old rusty discount store bike” but got hooked on the economic savings — and, more importantly, how she felt. Soon she bought a new hybrid built for city riding and the transformation began.

“From cycling, I’ve experienced better cardiovascular health, energy, and overall strength,” she says. “I arrive to work in a better mood too. For someone who used to get the majority of my fitness in a gym, cycling is so much more fun. It’s liberating and exciting – every day brings a new adventure on my bike. I lost fifteen pounds last year and gained a hobby I just can’t seem to get enough of!”

Has your health been transformed by bicycling? Share in the comments — and visit our Facebook page and Twitter feed to help us raise awareness about the heart benefits of bicycling today!

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