NSUH Bike-Fest Highlights Health Benefits of Cycling

MANHASSET, NY – Injured bicycles rolled into North Shore University Hospital Wednesday for free tune-ups at the hospital’s first-ever Bike Fest, the North Shore-LIJ Health System announced. The event, which coincides with National Bike Month, is part of a wellness effort to encourage the hospital’s employees to pursue an active lifestyle.

“In healthcare, prevention is linked to wellness,” said Alessandro Belluci, MD, executive director of NSUH and an avid biker who competed last year in the 100-mile Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York cycling race. “An important step toward the road to wellness is exercise.”

According to the League of American Bicyclists, just three hours of biking per week can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by 50 percent.

By noon, more than 40 bikes stood in various stages of disrepair awaiting some TLC from employees of Brickwell Cycling & Multisports, one of the event sponsors.

For Ashley Balabanoff, a medical records coder, the event offered a chance to resurrect her 4-speed racer and her 7-year-old daughter’s bike, both of which had seen better days.

“This means I don’t have to invest in new bikes,” said Ms. Balabanoff. “Rather than throw these out, I can put them to good use riding with my daughter.”

In addition to bike repairs, employees took advantage of free-throw basketball games and mini golf, got their groove on with Zumba classes and fitness demonstrations by trainers from Vivo Health gym in Lake Success, and even relaxed with chair massages provided by Massage Envy, also Lake Success.

Runner’s Edge in Farmingdale, The Walking Company in Roosevelt Field, and energy bar maker PowerBar were also on hand throughout the day with fitness tips and discount wares.

“This is a great way to thank the staff for what they do and promote their health and safety,” said Paul Wright, MD, NSUH director of neurosciences performance improvement, and a triathlete.

“Events like this make people think about fitness, no matter what their fitness level is,” added Dr. Wright, who is also president elect of the NSUH Medical Staff Society which funded Bike Fest.

For a video of the event, click here.

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