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Exercise Your Heart: Biking In and Around Wisconsin

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Bike Paths in Wisconsin
Learn about the many scenic bike paths around Wisconsin from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Two people bikingMADISON - The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day five times a week to stay healthy.
Start with 15 minutes at a time and work your way up to 30 minutes, or break the 30 minutes up into two 15-minute segments.
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise is proven to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, back pain and osteoporosis, while improving your mind and spirit.

Biking In and Around Wisconsin

Leaves whip past, the ground races underneath and the sounds of birds are heard singing cheerily from the left and right side of the path. These are the sights and sounds of many of the bike paths in Wisconsin.

An average person burns about 400 calories per hour biking at a speed of about 10 mph. For speeds of 12-13 mph, an average person burns over 500 calories per hour and for speeds of 14-16 mph, about 700 calories are burned per hour.

Biking is a low-impact sport, which means people are less likely to suffer any long-term damage to the legs than in a high-impact sport such as running. However, make sure your bike is properly fitted before you start riding. A bike that is not properly fitted can result in knee or back injury. Visit your local bike shop for a bike fitting and tune-up before you start riding.
For optimal comfort and safety while riding, use the following guidelines:
  • Your knee should be slightly bent at the bottom of each stride to ensure maximum comfort and stride efficiency.
  • Position the seat so it is parallel to the ground to provide maximum comfort to the rider.
  • The handlebars should be positioned so the rider's hands are slightly wider than the width of the rider's shoulders.

Stretching before and after a ride can help reduce injury and strengthen muscles. You can also stretch your neck and back during rides to reduce stiffness and tension.

You can ride your bike to work, to the grocery store, to the park or just around your neighborhood. If you have not exercised for a while, you should start out at a leisurely pace. Each week you can increase the distance and intensity to pedal your way to better health!


Date Published: 05/15/2009

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