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Cyclists, runners route courses to keep fit

Published: Monday, July 16, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

Summer heat waves seem almost non-existent to avid runners and cyclists in Bryan-College Station. Despite fears of heat stroke, there are those who fight past it toward the hope of fitness and well being.

Runners are in full swing this summer. Whether it’s 6 a.m., high noon or midnight, students are throwing their leg muscles into gear.

“In the summer, I usually do most of my longer workouts [in the] early morning or late at night after it has cooled down a little bit,” said Robert Dao, junior kinesiology major and president of the Texas A&M University Triathlon Team.

Cyclists aren’t seen as much because  they tend to stick to the scenic, back road routes.

As far as health goes, both running and cycling have their pros and cons.

“[Running] promotes fitness quickly and efficiently and burns more calories than other activities, making it attractive to people who want to control their weight,” wrote best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil, on his website. In order to eliminate the risk of injury, never run on concrete. It is best to run on cinder tracks or dirt paths.  Runners should always wear running shoes designed to minimize shock to the joints.

Although running seems like an easy and effective way to exercise, runners have to consider the risks. Running increases impact on joints and bones, which can cause problems later in life.

Junior supply chain management major Madison Scherrer said she loves running because it gives her time to think and is a great stress reliever.

“It’s my favorite way to exercise because you can push yourself as hard as you want, and you can really see how much you improve over time,” she said.

On the flip side, besides potentially getting run over by a vehicle while commuting to class, there are far less injuries associated with cycling compared to running.

Dao said stretching is a key component of avoiding injury. He said a lot of people don’t stretch as much or as long as they should.

“It’s an easy way to exercise that is gentle on your body. It’s also beneficial for your coordination skills due to the constant circling of your feet while steering with your upper body,” said sophomore wildlife and fisheries major Sarah Turner.

Turner said she prefers running instead of cycling.

“It’s interesting to view the campus from a different perspective. When I walk around campus to go to class I don’t really look around because I’m so preoccupied, but when I’m running and have a clear mind set, I can really appreciate the beauty and serenity of the campus.”


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