Cancer Awareness & Screening

April 24, 2014 • Written by

2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and about 1 in 4 Canadians will die of cancer.[1]

Apr - daffodilIn 2013, it is estimated that 187,600 Canadians will develop cancer and 75,500 will die of cancer. [2] April is Daffodil Month. The daffodil is considered a symbol of strength and courage by the Canadian Cancer Society. Funds raised during Daffodil Month are used to lend a helping hand for families and those receiving treatment for cancer, fund lifesaving clinical trials, advocate for cancer patients and provide access to services in your community.

For more information on Daffodil Month, check this information from the Canadian Cancer Society.


There are a number of factors that contribute to whether you are susceptible to cancer. You can help minimize your risk by[3]:

  1. Quitting smoking and limiting your exposure to second hand smoke.Apr - runner
  2. Eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit and fibre with little fat and sugar.
  3. Maintaining a healthy body weight.
  4. Keeping physical activity as an important part of your day with at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.
  5. Reducing your alcohol intake.
  6. Being safe in the sun by covering up, wearing sunglasses, using sunscreen and staying hydrated.
  7. Getting the right amount of Vitamin D.
  8. Monitoring environmental factors such as what household cleaners are being used and what residues are left behind especially if you have young infants and toddlers who spend an ample amount of time on the floor.


You know your body better than any one else as you will know what is normal for you. When cancer is found early, it is often easier to treat. Having regular checkups with your doctor will help reduce the risk of a health problem being ignored.  Screening tests help find some types of cancer before you have any symptoms. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your risk of cancer and what screening tests you should have. Be sure to mention any family history of cancer.

Benefits and risks of screening[4]:


  • Better survival rates
  • Better quality of life


  • False positive results
  • False negative results
  • Over-diagnosis
  • Increased exposure to harmful procedures

Upcoming Events

There are a number of events throughout the year all over Manitoba in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.

  • Relay for Life – numerous dates based on location from May to July across the province.
  • River City Dragon Boat Festival – June 6th and 7th at the Lake Shirley Water Ski Park

If you enjoy the intrinsic benefits of being a volunteer, consider supporting the Canadian Cancer Society and volunteering your time and skills to a wonderful cause. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities available.

For more information about fundraising events and to access the volunteer application form, please visit www.cancer.ca.



[1] Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013. www.cancer.ca/statistics. 2013.

[2] Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013. www.cancer.ca/statistics. 2013.

[3] Canadian Cancer Society. Prevention & Screening. www.cancer.ca. 2014

[4] Canadian Cancer Society. Prevention & Screening. www.cancer.ca. 2014

Don’t let finances frustrate you

March 25, 2014 • Written by


Many students struggle with budgeting and managing their finances while going to school. It’s a normal part of student life as not many students can pay for their education without taking out a loan or line of credit, or working at least part-time during the school year.

This can be a significant source of stress for students and certainly does nothing for our focus and concentration!

If you’re worried about your finances, here are some ideas for helping you take control of the situation so you can feel less stressed (preferably sooner than later!):

  • Create a plan. 

When it comes to finances, information is power. So take avoidance off the table as a coping strategy. Make a date with yourself to sit down and go over what you spent in the last month and plan a budget going forward. Force yourself to look at the hard numbers and keep in mind that money comes and goes. You will (presumably) be working and making money eventually so you can worry about the details of paying back any money you owe then. For now, you need to think about how much money you have to work with for the remainder of school.
  • Enlist the help of an expert. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed going through your finances (or even just thinking about starting to), see if you can make an appointment with a financial advisor where you do your banking. Don’t be nervous — they meet with clients all day, every day so this is hardly something new for them! Just be honest about your concerns. You will likely feel much better after talking with them and coming up with a plan.
  • Look into student-specific resources

. Red River College’s Student Awards and Financial Aid office offers a number of scholarships and bursaries that you may qualify for. If you don’t have a student loan already, it could be worth looking into Manitoba Student Aid (you can apply for a student loan throughout the year). Manitoba Student Aid also offers grants and loans that don’t require immediate repayment while you are a full-time student.
  • De-stress. 

After trying one or all of the above, it’s a good idea to do something fun or relaxing to help reduce your stress levels. There are lots of things that you can do that don’t cost money. It can be as simple as getting some fresh air with a friend or using the fitness facilities at RRC. You can also check out the free entertainment and events happening downtown or in your area.
  • Talk about it

. Don’t ignore the stress you’re feeling. The problem and your uncomfortable feelings won’t go away until you work through them. If you need some help figuring out what steps you should take first, the Counselling and Accessibilities Services can help. To book an appointment, fill out the online intake form and someone will contact you to set up an appointment.

Lauren MacLean: talking helps take care of my mental health

March 16, 2014 • Written by

LaurenLauren MacLean is president of the Red River College Students’ Association. She is completing her second year of Business Administration with an accounting major. After receiving her RRC diploma she plans to continue her studies towards a Commerce degree. 

When Lauren MacLean, president of the Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) started feeling stressed out, she didn’t hesitate to do something about it. She called her friends and talked to them about what was going on in her life. When that didn’t translate into her feeling much better, she made an appointment with a counsellor.

“At one point, talking to my friends was actually making things worse for me because I was feeling guilty about going on and on about the same things, said Lauren. “It was a relief to talk to a counsellor because there were no expectations and I didn’t feel like I was burdening anyone.”

Reaching out for help

Lauren started seeing a counsellor in Counselling and Accessibility Services once a week. After working through her feelings and coming up with a plan for minimizing stress and other negative feelings, she didn’t need to visit as often. Now, she simply checks in when she feels she needs to — about once a month.

“I’m in a good place now. It’s not often that I have intense feelings of anger or frustration or lots of stress that I need to work through like I did when I first started going,” said Lauren. “What I get out of sessions now is mostly feedback about whether I’m on the right track with something or that my goals are realistic.”

Sometimes a fresh perspective from someone we aren’t close to is exactly what we need to move forward. It was, and still is, something Lauren finds helpful.

“When I talk to my counsellor, Chad, he asks questions and points things out that I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of on my own,” said Lauren. “This is great because in my role with the RRCSA, I need to examine issues and decisions from many angles and think about how they affect different people. This kind of thinking also comes in handy when I’m working with other students on group projects.”

A great resource for students

For Lauren, Counselling and Accessibility Services is a vital resource that more students should take advantage of.

“I don’t want any student to feel ashamed or weird about seeing a counsellor. The counsellors at RRC are free and honestly, they’re awesome. There is no one solution to coping with mental health issues — some people will find solace in drawing or spending time with their dog — but counsellors are one great resource that I highly recommend.”

Interested in scheduling an appointment?

If you’d like to make an appointment with a counsellor, complete the online intake form. Someone will be in contact with you to schedule an appointment.

Perception is not reality

February 9, 2014 • Written by

Perception is reality

Post written by Lauren MacLean

Back in high school, I was very interested in fashion and design, so of course I bought tons of magazines, tried lots of different styles and played with makeup. I had some majorly weird outfits that I’m happy I never took photos of! (This was before the selfie made it big). Think pink eye shadow, furry lace-up boots with miniskirts, mixing patterns and trying on my mom’s clothes from the 70’s. Yeah.

Teen Vogue was one of the magazines I bought religiously. Every month, waiting for the newest issue was almost painful. Once I got it, I’d read it cover to cover, advertisements and everything. If you’ve never read this magazine, it contains lots of picture stories (editorials), articles on the latest health trend (or scare), a spotlight on a trendy starlit and lot and lots of ads. All the clothes and accessories featured are horrendously expensive, and most of the fashion editorials are really out there.

Looking back, It’s hard believe I wanted to be like the thin models with their bones sticking out of their clothes because now, I think having muscles is so much more attractive. But it’s true, I was no exception to those who fell for the media’s messages about beauty. I remember thinking about how being able to fit into small, expensive clothes like the models was a measure of success.

As I read these magazines, I soaked up all the latest fashion tips and tricks like a dry sponge. I also found myself vulnerable to believing everything in the articles. There were articles about everything from prescription drug abuse to date rape to one on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) that particularly stuck out to me. BDD is a condition where the person becomes excessively worried about one body part. I remember finishing the article and thinking, “If so many people have this, I wonder if I have it too”.

Over the next few weeks, I became convinced that I had BDD. I eventually went to my mom and confided in her. She was dumbfounded that I would self-diagnose myself using Teen Vogue. She forbade me from ever buying another Teen Vogue.

It seemed harsh at the time, but as the weeks went by, not looking at those images or reading those articles was a relief. I even started to notice how phony the media can be sometimes. It took a little while but I was able to stop comparing myself and my ailments to others and just focus on doing my own thing. I continued experimenting with my hair, makeup, and accessories, of course, but I didn’t need anyone or any magazine telling me what to do or believe. I started concentrating on what matters — just being me.


About Lauren

Lauren MacLean is president of the Red River College Students’ Association. She is completing her second year of Business Administration with an accounting major. After receiving her RRC diploma she plans to continue her studies towards a Commerce degree. 

Don’t sweat a visit to the counselling office

February 2, 2014 • Written by

ChadChad Smith is a counsellor at Red River College in Counselling & Accessibility Services. He holds his Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from the University of Manitoba.

So you’ve heard Red River College (RRC) offers free counselling to students and you think you might want to give it a try, but what should you expect at your first visit? And what types of things can a counsellor really help you with anyway?

Well, we spoke to Chad Smith, one of the counsellors at RRC’s Exchange District Campus, and it turns there’s a lot they can help you with!

Here’s the lowdown on everything from what you can talk to them about (anything), how often you can visit (as often as you need), who will know you’re going there (nobody) and much more.

mind it!: What types of things can counsellors help students with?

Chad: We can help students work through a wide variety of issues. We offer personal counselling, career counselling and academic counselling — there really isn’t any topic that’s off limits. From homelessness to addiction to childhood traumas such as sexual abuse, we can talk about anything the student feels we need to address.

mind it!: What can students expect the first time they come to your office?

Chad: The first time we meet with a student we will do what’s called an ‘intake’ where we ask them lots of questions to determine what they’re looking to achieve through counselling. It’s really just an opportunity for us to meet the student and for the student to meet us. It takes approximately an hour.

mind it!: What are the most common issues that come up during sessions?

Chad: The most common reasons students seek counselling is for depression and anxiety, stress and relationships troubles.

mind it!: How do you help them work through these issues?

Chad: Let’s take a student experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety for example. First, we’ll explore what it means to them when they say that they’re feeling stressed and anxious. This is because there’s normal stress and anxiety that students can expect while in school, but then there’s stress and anxiety levels that are unmanageable.

After we’ve established the level of stress and anxiety, we’ll take a look at different ways that they have coped in the past and try to determine what has been helpful. We’ll also talk about environment, because it’s often not about the student but their surroundings. For instance, if you live in poverty and you’re constantly worried about safe housing, that stress is going to impact your success in school.

Lastly, I’ll connect the student to other resources, if necessary. If I’m working with a student living in poverty for example, we may talk about student loans, grant programs, or bursaries and awards they may be eligible for.

mind it!: How long will a student usually see you for? Once? Many times throughout the year?

Chad: It really depends on what the student is going through. We see some students once and others regularly throughout the year. On average, I’d say we probably see students for about eight sessions, but if it makes sense to see them more often then we’ll do that. If a student needs longer-term counselling or more specialized counselling we may refer them to a community resource or agency. But we can still be that students’ on-campus support person.

mind it!: Will my instructors and peers know that I’m seeing a counsellor?

Chad: Counselling is completely confidential. We will never disclose information about a student without their consent. So in other words, no one will know you are seeing a counsellor if you don’t want them to.

mind it!: What if I’m in crisis, can I see someone right away?

Chad: There’s always one counsellor available to meet with students who are in crisis. Sometimes the student won’t get in to see someone right that minute, but we always do our best to get them in and they will definitely see someone that same day.

mind it!: What if I’m in crisis when your office is closed?

Chad: There are some great resources in the community including drop-in counselling at Klinic, the mobile crisis unit and a few different 24 hour crisis help lines. Students can call these resources anytime to talk with someone at no cost.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call:

Klinic Community Health Centre
(204) 786-8686 or toll free 1-888-322-3019 or TTY (Deaf Access) 204-784-4097

Got the winter blues?

January 21, 2014 • Written by

winter blues

If you’ve been feeling down lately, there may be more to it then the fact winter break has come to an end.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects people starting in the fall and throughout winter. This is because as the days get shorter and the weather colder, we spend less time outdoors soaking up sunlight and our much-needed Vitamin D.

On average, SAD affects 2-3 per cent of Canadians. Living in cold climates like ours (yay for Manitoba!), we’re especially susceptible to developing SAD. Some of the symptoms include irritability, moodiness, fatigue, a lack of motivation and increased appetite.

“The two things people notice most is that they want to sleep longer and eat more often”, says Tessa Blaikie, youth mental health promotions worker at the Canadian Mental Health Association Winnipeg. “This is because our bodies are lacking the energy we typically get from the sun and is looking to get it from somewhere else. It’s one reason people experience weight gain during the winter.”

Think you might be experiencing SAD? There are a couple surprisingly simple ways to feel better fast.

Since the best way to absorb sunlight in the winter is through your eyes, one of the ways to do this is by spending at least 10 minutes outdoors (I know, I know — it’s freezing!) without sunglasses on. Another possibility is to take a Vitamin D supplement each day.

For people who may be experiencing more severe symptoms, there are lamps that recreate the same light waves the sun does called SAD lamps. The lamps are easy to use (you wear them on your head) and the light is always in your peripheral so you can read, walk around, make lunch — whatever you need to do. They start at about $70 each and are widely available at health stores.

Looking for more information on SAD? Read this article from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

The link between food insecurity and mental health

January 9, 2014 • Written by

Rebecca puts together a package of food for a student at the RRC Campus Food Bank. Photo credit: Jessica Botelho-Urbanski.

Rebecca Trudeau is a second-year student in the Community Development/Community Economic Development program. She is Red River College’s food bank coordinator, an active volunteer in the community and was the recipient of the 2014 Premiere of Manitoba Volunteer Service Award.

Food insecurity

There is a direct link between mental health and ‘food insecurity’ (not having regular access to food). This is because many people with mental illnesses continue to be stigmatized when applying for jobs or in the workforce, making it difficult for them to gain employment or hold down a steady job. In 2013, approximately 90 per cent of Canadians with a diagnosed mental illness were unemployed leaving many of these people to rely on a food bank.

Any registered dietician will tell you that mental health is impacted by diet. When people who are unemployed are not eating a nutritious and well-balanced diet, their mental health is also affected in a negative way, perpetuating a negative situation, especially for people vulnerable to mental illness. Being food insecure also generates feelings of depression, guilt, shame, anxiety, stress, anger, and decreased energy — all without a doubt having a negative impact on overall mental health.

My experience

I have quite a bit of experience working with people dealing with mental health issues and food insecurity. This past summer I worked at Food Matters Manitoba. I also run Red River College’s Campus Food Bank and am a long-time volunteer turned employee with Winnipeg Harvest.

Growing up, I also experienced firsthand the impact mental health and unemployment has on food insecurity. Many of my family members have been diagnosed with mental health issues including my mother who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and has substance abuse issues. I grew up on social assistance, which had a significant impact on my family’s ability to access nutritious food on a regular basis. In fact, there were times where we didn’t have any food at all.

Typically, a single mother on social assistance receives about $12,300 per year, which is supposed to cover rent, utilities, transportation, personal care items such as clothes and food. However, there is often little money left over for food after paying bills. This means many Manitobans have to turn to Winnipeg Harvest — the main distribution centre for more than 380 agencies in Manitoba. These agencies supply food to approximately 64,000 clients every month — 47 per cent of them children. Other clients include seniors, individuals with physical disabilities, newcomers, single mothers, and highest of all, people with mental health issues.

Changing our perceptions

Even though one in five Canadians will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives, there is still a stigma attached to having a mental health issue, especially for people who are unemployed. We need to change these negative attitudes and perceptions because with understanding and the right help, people with mental health issues can build skills, confidence and contribute greatly to our society.

Red River College helps about 70 families every two weeks at its food banks located at the Notre Dame and Exchange District Campuses. The people accessing this food could be your classmates, friends or the student sitting next to you in the library.

So before you make assumptions about someone with a mental health issue or who visits a food bank, I ask you to consider about how complex their situation is. I ask you to please be considerate and show kindness because most of the time, they are just doing the best they can.

More information:

Please visit RRC’s website to find out more about the Campus Food Bank.

New Year’s Resolution? I THINK NOT!

December 10, 2012 • Written by

It is that time of year again when many of us start to think about our New Year’s Resolutions and what we can do to improve our relationships and well-being going forward.  Some are thinking about nutrition, others weight management, while others may be thinking about exercise, spirit, finances, work, retirement, addictions, and enhancing family relationships.  Our list is ever changing!  I think by now, those of us “seasoned” New Year Resolutioners have come to realize that relying on an annual New Year’s Resolution is folly and somewhat demoralizing at best.

I know firsthand that when making simple and sustainable reality based life style changes, self-education is the first step to long term changes.  Simply attending a workshop on “Emotional Intelligence” and “Personalities” created “life changing” realities for me. The truth is that no one is as responsible for our reality but us and decisions we make; no matter how difficult some of these decisions may be.  We also may decide to do nothing, but that is certainly still a decision which may or may not come back to haunt us in the coming months or years.

What is important for me is the awareness and understanding of the potential impacts such decisions have on my well-being going forward.  Too often, many decisions are made without enough support, information or education.  This is where our RRC Wellness Program supports can provide a light in the tunnel.  Your Wellness Committee is actively identifying and promoting wellness related activities, events, education and services, and also planning for many more to come.

The good news is that the decision is ours! Consider checking out what our Wellness Program has to offer:

Remember, baby steps are most often the way to giant leaps.  Can’t get any easier than this – check out my previous YouTube video blog on “Better Health in 30 Minutes”.

 “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” (Maria Robinson)

A French Wellness Lesson

June 17, 2012 • Written by

For the last two weeks my morning ritual has been to walk up the narrow lane from our rented house in the French port town of Marseillan to the bakery, sometimes first strolling to the harbor to catch the sun rising over the Mediterranean. A short walk back home, I fill the French press with coffee and wait for the others to get up, the bread still warm. Next is a leisurely breakfast of goat cheese Brie (75% butter fat!) and confiture d’abricots (apricot jam) or mousse au canard (incredibly smooth duck liver pate) on a baguette or pavé au lin (artisanal flax bread), or perhaps a croissant or pain aux raisins,. And whether we settle on a medieval walled town, a twelfth-century abbey, or a trendy shopping district as our main destination, no French itinerary is complete without a lunch or dinner adventure. France is food country, and enjoying it is de rigueur.

Yet I was reading yesterday that despite a diet stuffed with cream, butter, cheese, wine, and foie gras (literally, fat liver), only 11% of French adults are obese (compared with 33% of us). The French also live longer and have lower death rates from coronary heart disease. They don’t diet and they don’t spend hours panting round the gym. Go figure!

So how do those alcohol-guzzling, croissant-munching gourmands manage to stay slim and healthy while we health-obsessed North Americans are comparatively fat and coronarilly challenged? Simple:

  1. Food for pleasure
    Not surprisingly, a recent study revealed that France is the country where food is the most associated with pleasure and the least with health (the US was the opposite). The French take their pleasures very seriously. Research confirms that they eat more slowly and enjoy their food more than we do. The French are in fact not gourmands (gluttons) but gourmets.
  2. Red wine
    Did you know that moderate alcohol drinkers live longer than abstainers or heavy drinkers? For the French, a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine. Flavonoids, natural antioxidants found in red wine, are thought to promote health of the heart and blood vessels. As Louis Pasteur (the Frenchman we can thank for pasteurization) put it: “Wine is the healthiest and most hygienic of drinks.” King’s Head anyone?
  3. Smaller portions
    People tend to eat as much as is put in front of them, even when only mildly palatable. Research has shown that French portions are notably smaller than ours and that, although the French enjoy a wide variety of very rich foods, they still consume fewer calories. I can’t imagine finding a 32-oz (about a kilo) steak on a French menu like I did at a steak house in Dallas (I opted for the 9-oz “Lady’s Fillet”, with red wine, of course.).
  4. Eat fresh
    Granted, the 100-mile diet (167 km?) may be  a little easier to swing in the south of France than in Winnipeg. Not only can they grow just about anything down here, even the smallest French town will have an open-air market, a fromagerie for cheese, a boulangerie for bread, a boucherie for meat, a lingerie for lingering (ok, just kidding on the last one). Sure, markets and speciality food shops may be more time consuming and expensive, but what you get is usually far fresher and of better quality. I remember one restaurateur in Provence beaming as he explained that he didn’t even own a freezer.
  5. Real food
    Ever seen that old TV commercial: “This is soup just like my mother used to make. My mother used to make Campbell’s.”? The French eat fewer processed foods and cook (not just reheat) at home more than we do, taking the time to choose the right ingredients. Home cooking is the best way to reduce your intake of preservatives, salt, sugar, additives, artificial colours & flavours, trans-fats, and who-knows-what else. Our over-processing even spoils otherwise healthful choices. Take peanut butter, for example. Most commercial brands suck out all the peanut oil, substitute cheaper hydrogenated oils, add salt and sugar or other refined sweeteners, and then homogenize the lot so it won’t separate. Holy cacahuètes!
  6. No snacking
    The French tend to snack much less than we do. Instead, they try to eat more regularly. More substantial, richer foods have been shown to keep you satisfied longer, reducing that urge to snack. And less snacking on sweets and refined carbohydrates reduces our glycemic load and the risk of heart disease.
  7. Une carafe d’eau, svp!
    Research confirms that drinking a good amount of water daily suppresses appetite, is good for the heart (one study showed that increasing from 2 to 5 glasses per day reduced by 41% the likelihood of dying from a heart attack), boosts energy (even mild dehydration of as little as 1-2% of your body weight makes you feel tired), has good effects on your skin, aids digestion (and with fiber, cures constipation), helps the body flush out toxins and waste, and can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45% and bladder cancer by 50%. One study showed that the French drink over three times the water that we do.
  8. Naturally active life
    Daily walking is part of the French lifestyle. Their streets are much more walker friendly and full of pedestrians. Higher population densities and the number of multi-storey old buildings with no elevator also make for a lot more stair climbing. The French, especially in cities, walk, cycle (like your rrrr…), or use public transportation much more than we do.
  9. Self-discipline
    It is true; the French deny themselves very little when it comes to food. But they also tend to eat very little of it: like a piece of dark chocolate after a meal rather than a big piece (or two) of cake. They know that denial isn’t healthy and favour moderation. And if they do slip into excess one day, they are more careful the next.

So, after my flight from Paris reaches Toronto and I am asked by a Canada Customs’ agent if I have anything to declare, I am tempted to say, “Why yes! I am going to adopt a more French lifestyle when I get back to Winnipeg and thoroughly enjoy my food!”Mille feuilles aux tomatesCanal du Garonne

Good RRRReasons

June 4, 2012 • Written by

Still not convinced of the merits of biking to work? Here are 10 good reasons to start:

  1. RRRRewards
    June 4th is the Commuter Challenge Kick Off. Riding to work this week could win you a custom-built bike or an extreme bike makeover (a $700 reward!). Register at www.commuterchallenge.ca or contact Sara MacArthur (632-2166) for more information
  2. RRRRigs
    Any bike will do, even that old 3-speed in your garage (especially if you win the make-over above!). A commuter bike doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. My hybrid cost $700 in 2002 (with fenders) and I have put about 25,000 km on it. I get a tune-up every year ($60-70) and have had to put in maybe $100 in parts (1 chain, 1 set of rear gears, cables, a few brake pads). Total over 10 years: about $1,500 – just over $100 per year, not much more than a single month’s bus pass or dinner for two at a nice restaurant (with wine, of course).
  3. RRRRubles
    If you live 15 km from work and drive a car that gets 10 litres per 100 km (about 25 mpg), cycling daily to work could save you 15 litres and $18/week. And parking a bike is free! With an office downtown I save another $25/week. Add in the savings for reduced wear and tear, fewer oil changes, etc., and I’m sure I am $200 (600 rubles!) per month richer! And don’t ignore the long-term financial benefits of being healthier. Any way you look at it, bike commuting saves you some serious cash.
  4. RRRReducing
    Bike commuting is an ideal way to shed some girth without setting aside extra workout time. My 30 km round-trip burns 900 calories and takes 50 minutes one-way, same as the bus and just 30 minutes more round-trip than by car. And bonus: the U.S. EPA estimates that every mile pedaled rather than driven saves a pound of CO2 (every 10 km saves three kilos)!
  5. RRRRelief
    OK, Rush hour in Winnipeg isn’t quite what it is L.A. But who enjoys sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic twice a day? Give my a fresh sunny morning cycle and a late afternoon cruise home at my own pace any day.
  6. RRRRoutes
    Biking still requires you to be predictable and maybe even a little paranoid on the roads. But with cycling’s increased popularity, bike lanes are becoming more common, many of them dedicated, and even buffer zones between cyclists and motorists are starting to pop up.
  7. RRRRegard
    Your bike commuting may so impress your co-workers that they will be inspired to join you. And if they do, the planet gets double the protection, they get in better shape, and all of a sudden, your positive contribution to world wellness is even bigger.
  8. RRRRoutine
    It’s addictive. What other explanation is there for those fanatics who cycle through the dead of a Winnipeg winter? But even if you only opt for fair-weather riding, with all the bad habits in the world, bike commuting is a very sensible routine. Driving your car to work will soon just sound like a terrible idea.
  9. RRRRejoicing
    Whether it’s a sticky bun, a black-bottom cupcake, or a berry crumble, I look forward to that now guilt-free reward at the end of a long ride. Just make sure your calorie expenditure exceeds your intake. 
  10. RRRR…
    Well yeah! You’ll be in shape to be a Red River Rebel Rider in the September MS Riding Mountain Challenge. A summer of bike commuting will swell your calves to the point where you might consider joining the team (you have to commit to raising $250 yourself). Or, just be a kindred spirit and send a donation our way.

So, convinced? Dig out that old bike and join the growing community of Winnipeg cyclists. Your wallet, your waist, your planet, and your legs will all be glad you did.

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