Conquering the Sidewalk: 3 Ways to Get Moving this Summer


The bicycle, or bike, is a tried-and-true way to become active and cover some serious distance. According to, there are more than a billion bikes worldwide – that’s twice the number of automobiles. The country with the most number of bikes is China, followed by the United States.

Riding a bike is a highly effective exercise. Not only does it increase your heart rate and provide a cardiovascular workout, biking also works many muscles in the body. Many people think that biking just works out your legs; this simply isn’t true. Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves are the primary muscles worked, but the upper body also must perform. If you maintain an upright posture, with abs held tight, the muscles in your arms, shoulders, upper back, and abdominals will also get toned while you ride.

Ready to bike your way to health and happiness? The cost of a bike ranges from $80 into the thousands. If you live in a large city or are traveling, consider renting a bike to get from place to place. Remember to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road!


Roller Skates

Roller skating is much newer than biking. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that technological innovations made outdoor “rollerblading” possible. The early roller skate designs are almost laughable compared to the sleek designs of today (see photo below).


1910 – A Swedish man sporting Edvard Petrini’s “pedaled roller skates” (Public Domain)

According to, roller skating is unique because of the balance and coordination that is required to remain upright. It works many of the same muscles as running – without the constant pounding on your joints. These muscles include those in your thighs, hip, butt, and calf. Try adding some uphill climbs to your next outing to increase endurance.

A quality pair of inline roller skates will set you back (or bring you forward) around $150. However, an investment in your health is never a waste! As with the bike, bring along the helmet for safety.


Elliptical Bike / StreetStrider

Do you love the benefits of the elliptical but hate the confined atmosphere of the gym? Check out the StreetStrider! This is the world’s first mobile elliptical trainer – though many copycat elliptical bikes have since hit the market. These hip fitness toys are not cheap though – they’ll cost you anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000.

Like the regular elliptical, the mobile version works the hamstrings, quads, glutes, triceps, chest, and abdominals.

If you want to plan ahead, check out the UNC Campus Rec listing of club sports to bring your fit summer lifestyle into the school year!

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