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Cycling To Heal The Body And The Mind

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Warm weather is finally here, and it's time to get outside and get moving. As an exercise physiologist, a former Olympic Coach for USA Cycling BMX, and a fitness fanatic, I can personally attest to the many benefits of being active -- both physical and emotional.

Especially for America's veterans, programs that focus on physical wellness are incredibly powerful tools for healing the body and the mind. A prime example is a signature Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) event, Solider Ride. In 2004, civilian Chris Carney cycled more than 5,000 miles coast-to-coast in support of WWP and Soldier Ride was born. In 2005, Carney repeated his cross-country ride, this time, accompanied by several combat-wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since then, Soldier Ride has become more than just a cycling event -- it's evolved into a life-changing opportunity for recovery. It's open to warriors of all ability levels and is often their first event, and first time out of their homes, post-injury. The exhilarating, four-day cycling opportunity allows veterans to engage with fellow service members with whom they can easily relate -- something most have missed since leaving the military. Soldier Ride unites wounded veterans and shows them that they can lead active and healthy lifestyles.

Check out this graphic to see how cycling is making a positive impact on our nation's wounded servicemen and women -- and then share it with others.