5 Important Health Benefits to Cycling

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Are you looking to change your life in a seemingly minimal way, but with major health benefits? Have you considered cycling? If you already live an active lifestyle and are looking to change up your current routine, cycling could be the activity for you. Even if you’re just beginning to look for ways to ease into an active lifestyle, cycling is something that can easily be incorporated into your day-to-day. There are many health benefits to cycling and today, we’re highlighting the five we feel scream "reason enough” for you to jump on the cycling bandwagon.

Low-impact Exercise for All Ages

It doesn’t matter what age you are, high-impact exercises can affect anyone at any time with risk of injury. Maybe you’ve been a runner all your life or you’ve just begun taking dance classes; next thing you know, you’ve developed arthritis in your joints or you have a stress fracture in your foot. Low-impact exercises—like cycling—are great, because they take away the weight bearing down on your joints and muscles. Cycling can still give you that heart-pounding high, while allowing you to push as little or as much as you need to.

Mood-improving Workout

Studies have shown for years that physical activity helps to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and simply improve overall mental health. You know the feeling…when you've pushed yourself to the point of exertion only to feel—moments later— an overall sense of elation. Do you want to experience that everyday? Jump on a bicycle. Even cycling for a mere 30 minutes can greatly improve your subjective mood. 

Easy to Incorporate into Daily Life

No one is saying you have to cycle like a pro to reap the health benefits of one. You don’t have to sign up for cycling races or follow the same trails your neighborhood cycling club does if you don’t want to. Maybe you’re in a position where you can cycle to work. Not only is that a great way to ensure cycling becomes a part of your daily routine, think of how much you’ll be saving on gas and parking—score! Work isn’t the only reason you leave the house, right? Run errands by bike. You’d be surprised how much a installed bike rack can support. If sitting in the school carpool line is of little interest to you, cycle with your kids to and from school. Find ways to incorporate cycling into your life that suit your lifestyle.

Boost Brain Power

Just as cycling can improve your subjective mood, it can also improve your cognitive capabilities. A study from the University of Illinois showed that walking or cycling regularly can improve memory, attention, and problem solving skills. “While we know that [cycling] can have positive effects on cardiovascular disease and diabetes, we have found it can bring about improvements in cognition, brain function, and brain structure,” said lead researcher, Dr. Art Kramer.

Keep Diseases at Bay

Sadly, cycling isn’t a curer of disease, however, it can most certainly help protect you from developing serious ones. Cycling is a great aerobic activity for controlling or reducing weight to protect you from obesity. Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease can be prevented by cycling daily. With cycling being a low-impact activity, chances of bone injuries and arthritis are greatly reduced. 

Don’t wait. Make the change to incorporate cycling into your daily routine today. Please share in the comments section below other health benefits to cycling. 

Best Stops Along Greenville's Swamp Rabbit Trail

Whether you’re a tourist in town for a few days or a local looking for a great way to spend the day outside, a day on the Swamp Rabbit Trail is the way to go. Greenville, SC, known for it’s cycling-friendly community, is home to one of the country’s top rail-to-trail paths: The Swamp Rabbit Trail.

This paved 22-mile trail opened in 2009 and connects the cities of Greenville and Travelers Rest. Trailgoers are exposed to a multitude of sights along the way from stunning forestry to curious critters to local art installations. Numerous restaurants, breweries, boutiques and picnic areas are also positioned mer feet away and make for ideal pit-stops. Have we convinced you yet? Great! Check out our breakdown of stops to make along the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

Coffee Stops

It doesn’t matter if they’re first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, coffee breaks are meant to be enjoyed at any point of the day.

Food Stops

The food scenes in both Greenville and Travelers Rest are to die for. Fortunately, many delicious eateries sit on or in close proximity to the trail.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Dave edwards

PHOTO CREDIT: Dave edwards

Scenic Stops

As you make your way down the trail, be sure to stop and take in the stunning scenery. Don’t be surprised if a few curious critters grace you with their presence.

  • Furman Lake

  • Medusa Tree a.k.a “Root Tree”

  • The Children’s Garden at Linky Stone Park

  • Reedy River

  • Cleveland Park

Drink Stops

You can’t go wrong with a few cold brew - or cocktail - stops along the way.

Retail Stops

You won’t find these shops anywhere else, so pop-in and see if you find any hidden treasures.

 PHOTO CREDIT: Dave edwards

PHOTO CREDIT: Dave edwards

Art Stops

Enjoy a variety of art installations, positioned along the trail, by local artists brought in to create a compelling public art collection.

  • “The Runner” statue

  • Danny Kyzer’s trail benches

  • Steel mesh rabbit and beaver statues

  • “The Tortoise has a Spare” wall mural

It doesn’t matter which end you start at. Enjoy any of these stops as you make your way up or down the trail. If you have any suggestions for stops along The Swamp Rabbit Trail that we didn’t mention, share with us in the comments section below!

Holiday Gift Guide for Cyclists

The holidays are here folks! If you’re looking for the perfect present to gift the cyclist you love - or add to your own list - then we’ve got the gift guide for you. Check out our slideshow below. Images are linked to purchase sites.

If you have any gift suggestions for cyclists, we’d love to hear them. Feel free to share in the comments section below. Happy shopping!

Metal Work with Ryan Calloway of Creative Ironworks

Wendy chats with Blacksmith Artist Ryan Calloway of Creative Ironworks and Artistry Workshops & Gallery about how he got into metal work, living in New Orleans, and coming home to Greenville.

Introduction to Metal Work

Upon graduating high school, Calloway knew two things: one, he wasn’t necessarily motivated to attend college and two, he liked to use his hands. Greenville Technical college is where Calloway was introduced to the world of industrial welding which then led him to ornamental ironwork. Afterwards Calloway headed to New Orleans where he spent seven years learning about restoration and the ins and outs of welding from a local artist. “He kinda, you know, showed me that way,” said Calloway. “How to deal with clients, and reach out to people, and laying projects.”

 Photo credit: Creative ironworks

Photo credit: Creative ironworks

Return to Greenville

When Calloway, his wife Amy and their son Miles decided to leave New Orleans, they originally had Asheville in mind, but Greenville won in the end. “Greenville was so hip and cool at the time, and we knew it was coming, so we decided to play some stakes here and it’s been really fun,” said Calloway. Calloway knew he wanted to change up his business; focus more on high-end work, interiors and art work. The Artistry Workshops & Gallery was founded in an effort to create and make metal parts, which made it a perfect place for Calloway to setup shop.

Be sure to check out Calloway’s works around town and at upcoming events hosted by The Artistry Workshops & Gallery which you can find here.

Mentioned in Video

Creative Ironworks

Artistry Workshops and Gallery

Artisphere

Greenville Technical College

Vulcanalia

Wasted Wine

Marvin King Revue

Tallville

Why Travel by Bike

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Why travel by bike you might ask when someone tells you this is how they plan to get around on their upcoming trip. If you’re not accustomed to cycling the thought of this might never have crossed your mind. To a cyclist, however, they know the benefits of getting around on two wheels.

“I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.”

-Unknown

Essentials Only

Everyone who has ever traveled before has muttered the following phrase: only pack the essentials. Easier said than done when you have a spacious suitcase or all the room in the world in your car. Well, your space is rather limited when traveling by bike. Not only are the necessities a must they are literally all that will fit, so leaving behind those extra “just in case” outfits is not a big dilemma. Only having to rely on your bike, your basics and yourself allows you freedoms that everyday travels can’t provide you.

Change in Perspective

Most of the time we’re so focused on getting from one place to the next we end up missing out on the experiences that pass us by. The rhythmic tunes of native street bands, the sweet smells from local bake shops, scenic back roads, wall murals in hidden alleyways, etc. On a bike, your senses are heightened and able to experience that which would otherwise be blocked off on planes, trains or automobiles. Enjoy the freedom to control which paths to take and when to stop and smell the roses.

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Time to Yourself

There’s something to be said about traveling alone. Having the opportunity to be completely selfish with your time is quite liberating; nothing and no one, but you and the world around you. Traveling by bike allows you to be flexible with your schedule, stop when you want to stop, and allow you time alone with your thoughts without disruption. It’s also a great opportunity to get to know yourself better, both physically and mentally.

Healthy Living

You know how you always plan to hit the hotel gym while traveling, but never actually do? Well, if you travel by bike you won’t have to worry about missing your daily workout. On-top of the necessary miles you’ll put in getting from one place to the next, you’ll be able to push your limits on new terrain. Let’s not forget the fact that cycling promotes positive mental health as well. I don’t know about you, but what could be better than stress-free travel?

Don’t knock it before you try it. Traveling by bike may be just the thing that transforms you from a tourist into a traveler. If you have traveled before by bike, share your tips and destinations with us in the comments section below.

Tammy Johnson of High Spirits Hospitality Talks Entrepreneurship With Wendy Lynam

Wendy sits down to chat with entrepreneur Tammy Johnson, CEO of High Spirits Hospitality, about her success as an entrepreneur and her latest business venture here in Greenville.

Who is Tammy Johnson?

Like many here in Greenville, Johnson is a transplant coming all the way from Houston, TX. Back in 2005 while working in Charleston, an old co-worker convinced Johnson to come check Greenville out for herself. “I drove down Main St. on a Friday night, a Friday right before Christmas,” said Johnson. “Drove into town and drove down Main St. and I saw the lights and I just feel in love with this town.”

Since opening her first business here in Greenville back in January 2011, Liquid Catering, Johnson has transformed into quite the successful serial entrepreneur, adding three other local businesses to her repertoire.

Johnson acquired Old Cigar Warehouse back in 2013 after having her own wedding reception there. This event venue is located in the West End and holds over 150 events a year. Venturing into this new sector, Johnson understood that security was an absolute. After having fired three security companies, she decided to simply start her own.

In late 2014, Johnson partnered with a friend who had recently retired from the Greenville Police Department and they started Bravo1 Protection. This private security company provides both armed and unarmed security guards to protect people, places and assets.

“I love how you see a need and then you fill it and then, you expand and again, you see another need and you expand,” I praised. “That’s entrepreneurship,” replied Johnson. Johnson is a great example of someone who isn’t afraid to take leaps and make things happen. We can’t wait to see what this entrepreneur ventures into next!

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Topside Pool Club

Did you know their was a rooftop pool right in Downtown Greenville? Well now you do! Topside Pool Club opened in July 2017 and is located right above Jianna restaurant on South Main St. Although it is primarily an adult social club, they do have sanctioned swim times for kids; making them, as Johnson would say, “an urban country club environment.” For a monthly fee starting at $60, members can enjoy all-day pool access on the weekends, happy hours Thursday – Friday starting at 3:00 p.m., a swim-up bar and access to numerous member events like The Bachelorette finale viewing party.

To join, you can go to topsidepoolclub.com/membership to fill out a membership application. Once you apply, they’ll check out your background (confirm you’re no creeper ), pass it along to the membership committee to approve, have you sign a membership agreement then BAM, you’re all set!

Mentioned in Video:

Topside Pool Club

Jianna

Lululemon

Swamp Rabbit Inn

Liquid Catering

Old Cigar Warehouse

Bravo1 Protection

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