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The USA Pro Challenge Pedals Cycling Enthusiasm — and its Health Benefits — in Colorado

We are in the midst of the American version of the Tour de France, a seven-stage trek that began Monday in Durango and culminates in Denver on Sunday, August 26. It pits the best of the best in the cycling world against one another on Colorado’s high-altitude terrain and twisting mountain roads.

On the heels of the Olympics, the Pro Challenge is a home-grown testament to what humans can do when they exercise (in copious amounts), eat right, and push themselves to the limit. In addition to bringing things like training and nutrition to the forefront, it inspires us “average Joes” to jump on our bikes and get moving.

And in doing so, we reap the benefits that cycling has to offer.

Here’s the short list, pulled from both AdultBicycling and Discovery:

  • Cycling builds strength and increases muscle tone.
  • It builds stamina and improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • As the wheels turn, you’re burning up calories and shrinking that waistline.
  • It improves heart health, according to the British Medical Association. Biking as little as 20 miles per week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%.
  • It’s a stress reducer, and thus good for your lifespan. It’s regularly been associated with increased “life-years”, even when adjusted for the risks inherent in cycling.
  • It’s good for your coordination.
  • It’s good for your mental health.
  • And it’s good for your immune system.

So get on those road bikes, mountain bikes, and cruisers! If you don’t have a bike, Denver Bcycle makes it easy to rent one through the many stations they have around town.

Events like the Pro Challenge bring an excitement with them. One that makes people want to exercise and eat well. The trick is to keep that going long after the pelaton has left town.

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