By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
When Chris Figureida leaves Deadhorse, Alaska, on Wednesday on the 3,000-mile bicycle visit to North Park, he’ll share the lonely road with moose, musk oxen and also the periodic grizzly bear.
Yet his best adventures will occur inside. Throughout his 78-excursion, Chris will pull off course, walk his Trek 520 bicycle right into a junior high school and provide a fitness center filled with kids an initial-person lesson in exercise, diet and heart health.
“I never tell the children how to proceed … I simply play the role of a genuine-existence illustration of the advantages of an energetic, healthy way of life,Inches stated the 36-year-old. “I’m attempting to inspire them compare unique car features, beginning with themselves.”
Like a two-wheeled, mix-country ambassador for that American Heart Association, he’s inspired greater than 70,000 students during countless school presentations in the last decade.
The roots of Chris’ Cycle for Heart mission started in Africa in the year 2006, where he’d traveled within his quest to become professional mountain climber. During Kenya, he visited a camp dedicated to eradicating Aids/AIDS and it was left without words by all of the volunteers who’d traveled from around the globe to assist.
“These people had quit their loved ones, buddies and careers to volunteer time … I recall feeling like half an individual standing alongside them,” stated Chris. “At time, I had been 25, and also at that age, all you’re considering is yourself. However I returned from that trip thinking, ‘What can one do to help individuals?’”
He found his purpose at his local AHA chapter near Ventura, California, where he functions as a theatrical prop builder and lives together with his wife, doctor Alison Shuman. Inspired with a study rising weight problems rates among children, Chris partnered using the AHA to educate students about a healthier lifestyle during a number of mix-country cycling journeys.
“Chris literally will let nothing stand it his way with regards to trying compare unique car features of these kids,” Alison stated. “As a doctor, I can’t consider a far more important goal rather than improve the healthiness of our kids. Whatever it requires to achieve that may be worth your time and effort.Inches
Speaking in class gyms and classrooms within the U . s . States, Canada and Africa, he will get kids flexing their biceps to exhibit the way the heart is comparable to their arm muscles. He’s them run in position after which teaches them how you can measure their heartbeat. He quizzes them regarding their favorite vegetables and fruit and explains how, every day, his body can burn to five,000 calories — the same as eating five feet-lengthy sub sandwiches.
“I prefer to joke will be able to consume a pint of frozen treats an evening but still lose 1 lb per week because I’m burning a lot of calories cycling,” he stated.
He doesn’t recommend kids attempt to follow their own pedal steps, acknowledging that his mix-country treks are “very extreme.” But he is doing spread the gospel of standard exercise.
“In a contemporary non-agrarian society, we must supplement something into our lifestyle that keeps us active,” he stated. “Nutrition is essential, however, you can’t have diet without exercise.”
Cycling is among the best types of exercise, he stated, but safety factors are essential — particularly in a global filled with more and more distracted motorists.
He informs students about the significance of putting on head gear and vibrant clothing rather than cycling with earphones or earphones. “You’ve got so that you can hear the traffic approaching behind you,” he stated. “You can’t take that risk.”
Granted, he’s found themself in lots of dangerous situations throughout his epic bike journeys, including being paralyzed by heatstroke for hrs after cycling in 131-degree heat in Africa. He discusses long lasting a lengthy, frightening night within the snowy tundra of Canada after not having enough food: Because he sitting weak and helpless inside his tent, a pack of howling baby wolves came nearby.
Its keep were the alligators — a large number of them, crawling along the side of the street because he biked with the Everglades in southern Florida.
“I nearly ran over one’s tail,” Chris stated. “I needed to ride lower the center of the street for the following 40 miles simply because they were everywhere — and a number of them were ten or fifteen ft lengthy.”
Yet for those his breathtaking adventures in two opposites, Chris will get equally excited while speaking concerning the people he’s met throughout his journeys.
When he is not on the highway or in a school, he frequently brings his bicycle inside to satisfy with government officials and advocate for CPR learning schools, bike-friendly roads along with other health initiatives.
“I’ve seen 100 senators in suits cease working on a tight budget in the future over and let me know concerning the time they rode lower towards the river on their own bike to fish using their buddies,” Chris stated. “It’s an incredible focus along with a useful gizmo: Everyone’s ridden a motorcycle, so everybody can connect with it.”