A Healthier U

CYCLING SAFETY

Every sport has its own unique set of challenges and cycling is no different. However, cycling is definitely unique in that it shares space with moving vehicles and can even match speed limit speeds. For that reason it is important to know a few basic safety concepts.

Understanding cycling etiquette and traffic laws are of the utmost importance. By being respectful to motorists and understanding that no one wants to cause an accident is important. Basic etiquette and traffic laws are:

  • Always ride with traffic on the right hand side of the road. By riding with traffic, motorists behind you are better able to gauge your speed and act accordingly.
  • Use hand signals remembering that bicycles do not have brake lights so you will want to communicate with motorists as best as you can.
  • Obey traffic laws as if you were driving in a vehicle. It’s the law. Not only can you receive a citation from not obeying traffic laws, but accidents happen on a bicycle in the same way they cyclecould happen if a motorist ran a red light.
  • Use bike lane routes when possible. Roads with bike lanes are wider to accommodate the space a cyclist needs, providing a safe buffer between the cyclist and motorist.

Paying attention to visibility is important. Not only should cyclists pay close attention to their visibility to motorists, but also any negative effects that weather may add. Visibility tips:

  • Wear brightly colored clothes or accessories. Motorists can be distracted, so anything that you can wear to bring attention to yourself is important.
  • Equip your bicycle with a headlight and taillight. Lights are most necessary dusk, twilight, and during the night, but could help catch the eye of a motorists during the day as well. Stronger solid lights are far more effective than dim or flashing lights, especially on the front of a bicycle.

Clothing choice can dramatically influence the quality of your ride and will keep you safe from the elements. Clothing tips:

  • Dressing in layers is important during coolers seasons. Overdressing can result in sweating which can ultimately make you too cold for comfort. The extreme case being hypothermia. Having layers allows you to shed before becoming too sweaty.
  • Wearing bright colors can increase visibility and save your life.
  • Cycling specific clothing isn’t necessary, but the more time you spend on the bike the more this type of clothing can help you. Cycling shorts include padding to decrease soreness and cycling jerseys have pockets to hold food or bike tools to use.

There are a multitude of resources available to the cyclist, including local bike shops as well as the SLC Bicycle Collective. BikeSLC.com is another great place to read more safety tips, and learn where both paved trails and bike lanes are located throughout the city!

 

HealthFeed

BLISTERS & SOCKS: IS THERE A CONNECTION?

We’re going the distance!
We’re going for speed…

We’re racing and pacing and plotting the course—&%*$

*Queue scratchy record sound*

We’re experiencing a burning sensation under foot is what we’re doing, specifically on the balls of our feet. This wasn’t mentioned in the song lyrics*, nor as a side effect on the app/tracker/wellness program we signed up for. But there’s only a quarter mile left, so it’s all good.

An hour later you are hobbling around and cursing the day someone set up 10,000 steps as a daily goal for health and wellness. (Also, this sort of thing didn’t happen when you were younger. Did it?)

What gives?

Click here to read the full story.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.

DIVORCE MAY INCREASE RISK OF HEART ATTACK

The idea of “dying of a broken heart” might sound like a cliché, but a new study from Duke University finds that, at least when it comes to divorce, matters of the heart can affect your actual heart.

According to BBC News, the study showed that divorced women were 24% more likely to have a heart attack than married women who had never been divorced. The figure jumped to 77% after multiple divorces. The heart attack risk for the men in the study came in at 10% higher for one divorce and increased to 30% for two or more divorces.

Researchers found that while remarriage lowered men’s risk for heart attack, it did not lower women’s risk.

“Like a job loss or the death of a loved one, divorce is a stressful event that can take a toll on your heart’s health,” says John Ryan, M.D., a cardiologist at University of Utah Health Care.

Nobody gets married expecting the union to end in divorce. Fortunately, there are ways people can protect their heart if they part ways with their spouse. “Find a healthy coping behavior, such as walking or gardening, rather than watching TV or eating ice cream,” Ryan says. “If exercise is a good coping mechanism, than that’s a win-win.”

Ryan adds: “Staying in an unhappy marriage is also bad for your health. If you’ve had a divorce, be mindful of your increased risk and try to mitigate it by improving factors you can control, such as increasing exercise, decreasing your weight or stopping smoking.”