Noom vs. Weight Watchers: Which Is Better for You?

Article by By Kelly Plowe, MS, RDN for

One thing we’ve never had a shortage of is weight-loss diets. And while it seems that each year there’s a trendy new diet vying for your attention, it can be hard to determine which — if any — is right for you.

Caesar salad with chicken

With both the Noom and WW weight-loss apps, no food is considered off limits. Image Credit: gbh007/iStock/GettyImages

Noom vs. Weight Watchers: Which Is Better for You?

NoomWeight Watchers
What Is It?A weight-loss app that uses a color-coding system and calorie tracking. It focuses on diet, exercise and behavioral changes and enlists a personalized coach.A weight-loss app that uses a point-based system, similar to calorie counting. It focuses on diet and exercise and offers a coach in one of its membership options.
How Is It Structured?There are green, yellow and red foods. Each day you log your food intake, track motivation and work out. The goal is to stay within the established calorie limit.You’re assigned to a blue, green or purple group, which determines the number of points you should eat each day. Similar to calorie-counting, you want to stay within your “point budget.”
Foods Allowed/Not AllowedNoom’s color system helps guide you, showing you which foods you should try to eat more and less of. No foods are off the table.Like calorie-counting, you can eat whatever you want within your point allotment. That said, foods are assigned points to help guide you toward healthier choices.
CostThe fee is currently donation-based for a 14-day trial, and the price after that is $129 for three months.For the digital option, the cost is $3.22 per week. For digital and virtual workshops the cost is $6.92 per week, and for digital and a personal coach the cost is $12.69 per week.
Additional SupportCognitive behavioral therapy techniques and a personal coach.A three-tiered membership program, virtual workshops, a rewards program, WW cruises and their own food line.
Results15 published clinical studies backing the diet’s long-term weight-loss success.Promises you’ll lose 1-2 pounds per week.

So, Which Is Better for You?

Noom is probably best for someone who is interested in losing weight and is committed to tracking every meal. In the November 2016 Scientific Reports study, researchers found that while the rate of sustained weight loss was high, people who failed to track their dinners were not as successful. It’s also smart for someone who’s interested in learning more about their behaviors and how to make long-term changes, but it may be cost-prohibitive for some

Weight Watchers is also for someone looking to lose weight who wants flexibility in their diet. That said, you have to track your meals and be committed to tracking for success. It’s not overly complicated like some other diets, so it might be a good option for someone who just wants to get started and not have to worry about learning the ins and outs of a new diet. It’s not as costly as Noom (for the basic digital membership), so it may be appropriate for those on a tighter budget.

Neither Noom nor WW is appropriate or recommended for anyone with a history of disordered eating or an eating disorder. If you have a chronic medical condition or disease, you should consult with your doctor before adopting any new diet plan.


Embrace your gray hair

Slide 2 of 9: Martin's transformations take 8-15 hours depending on the length of the hair, the thickness, how dark it is, and if he's going for a salt and pepper look (which takes longer).
Jack Martin

A celebrity colorist’s amazing hair transformation photos will inspire you to embrace your gray

  • Jack Martin is a celebrity colorist encouraging women to embrace their gray hair.
  • He posts stunning transformation photos on Instagram that show just how beautiful silvery locks can be.
  • Martin told Insider that gray hair should be seen as something positive and no longer connected with aging, plus it’s very low maintenance.
  • The ecstatic reactions from his clients afterward are, Martin says, his “true fees.”

The LA-based hairdresser, who’s responsible for the hair transformations of Sharon Osbourne and Jane Fonda, posts before and after transformation photos on his Instagram account to encourage women to ditch the dye.

And Martin told Insider that the coronavirus lockdown has “absolutely” led to even more women around the world deciding to go gray naturally.

“Now, many women have about four to five inches of a new regrowth so they’ve started to see how beautiful their gray is naturally,” he said.

“Being quarantined at home for three to four months, seeing how much gray hair they have and how beautiful their gray hair is, many women have changed their minds and decided that they want to go this way.”

Even before the coronavirus lockdown, however, Martin was seeing an increasing number of women growing tired of endlessly dyeing their hair to disguise their gray.

“The way we looked at gray hair 10 or 20 years ago is different than now,” he said. “We are becoming more liberal.

“Ladies are more liberated with their looks, they want to go more natural, ditch chemicals on their scalp, enjoy freedom, and not to be trapped by a color touch-up every two or three weeks.”

For some women, Martin’s transformations provide the the turning point in how they think about their own hair, he said.

“I know some ladies, once they see the gray, their mental health goes down,” he said.

“It’s like a desperate need to color their roots. So when they see the results on my Instagram, they love the idea.”

Martin believes gray hair should be seen as something positive and no longer connected with ageing, so it has nothing to do with being old.”

He believes gray hair should be embraced.

Martin’s transformations take 8-15 hours depending on the length of the hair, the thickness, how dark it is, and if he’s going for a salt and pepper look (which takes longer).

Slide 3 of 9: If he gets the impression the client is nervous during the consultation, he won't go ahead.
Jack Martin

If he gets the impression the client is nervous during the consultation, he won’t go ahead.

Slide 4 of 9: "They have to really want this 100%," Martin said. "If they have 20% doubt, I tell them to think about it. It's a big investment and big commitment."

“They have to really want this 100%,” Martin said. “If they have 20% doubt, I tell them to think about it. It’s a big investment and big commitment.”

Slide 5 of 9: But most of the clients Martin sees have been waiting for a long time and cannot wait to be transformed, he explained.

But most of the clients Martin sees have been waiting for a long time and cannot wait to be transformed, he explained.

Slide 6 of 9: Many women love how much lower-maintenance their hair is after going gray.

Many women love how much lower-maintenance their hair is after going gray.

Slide 7 of 9: "You only have to use purple shampoo and keep trimming your hair," Martin said. "So the visit to the salon will be either to tone your hair every four to five months, to get a trim, or to get a conditioning treatment."

“You only have to use purple shampoo and keep trimming your hair,” Martin said. “So the visit to the salon will be either to tone your hair every four to five months, to get a trim, or to get a conditioning treatment.”

Slide 8 of 9: The reactions he gets are, Martin says, his "true fees."

The reactions he gets are, Martin says, his “true fees.”

Slide 9 of 9: "Oh my God, the reactions," he said. "They're often crying, saying 'I can't believe this is my hair.' The words I hear, it's overwhelming."

“Oh my God, the reactions,” he said. “They’re often crying, saying ‘I can’t believe this is my hair.’ The words I hear, it’s overwhelming.”

It really is !


Want to get away ?

I had no idea these existed!! - Album on Imgur

Some comments by readers:

I just googled these, and each one costs more money than I paid for my car.

Why is this better than a tent?

They’re a requirement camping in Australia, so crocodiles don’t eat you

Anyone seeing this going wrong

Pretty sure car roof racks are meant to carry a few suitcases at most, not People…

This is in-tents…

If the tent is rock’n, don’t come a knock’n.

Can fat people use them?

Thanks but I don’t weigh 80 lbs. And I don’t want to cave in the roof of my car.

Great if it’s raining and there is no higher ground or if there’s snakes, spiders or other dangerous crap aka any Australian animal.

Well you just can’t please everyone, can you.


Chicago: 104 BLM: 0

104, that’s how any people were shot in Chicago last weekend. Of those shot, 14 were killed, including 5 children. This is the same city that has a black mayor, and a black chief of police. What the city doesn’t have, but surely needs, is BLM.

Where are you guys ? Marching somewhere safe, I suppose. Going to build another safe zone for yourselves. In some safe city, I suppose. Going to preach to us, how much you matter ? While you hide away someplace safe, there’s some real discrimination happening. Not white against black. Try black against black. Discrimination and killing.

I challenge you to get your caravans together, from all over the country, and come to Chicago. I dare you to establish a safe zone in Chicago’s West Side. I dare you to disrupt the flow of drug trafficking that goes on there. Just be prepared for some serious discrimination. And it won’t be from us whites.

Succeeding with self-seeders

There’s so much to celebrate about footloose and fancy-free self-seeders. These plants are annuals, biennials or perennials that simply scatter copious amounts of seed. For this reason, they pop up everywhere and, once you’ve planted them, you find that you tend to have them forever.

Most gardeners are grateful to self-seeders for their ease. They produce free plants, and they position themselves in inventive places that can lead to an unexpected display. However, they are like mischievous children who do whatever they choose and on occasion must be controlled. Control is the key to having success with these plants. It’s up to you to edit out those that overstep the mark.

Many of these efficient plants have picked up a bad reputation for being invasive, but without them our gardens would be very contrived. A few self-seeders mixed with your better-behaved ornamentals will create full borders where plants merge and cushion each other in a natural way. It is these we must thank for the large drifts and swathes of natural planting that so many of us aspire to create.

Right plant, right place
If a self-seeder has germinated and formed a healthy plant, it is likely to have found the perfect place to thrive. This explains why, in some gardens, a plant will become very prominent and in others not so. When I gardened on a sandy soil in Dorset, Verbena bonariensis sprung up everywhere, but in my heavy clay border in Herefordshire I can’t get even one plant to survive.

My garden is made more enchanting thanks to self-seeders. Over the years the fritillaries have created enviable drifts near the pond and the giant Inula racemosa stands like a row of soldiers along the edge of my garden path. In this gravel path erynguims self-seed and I quickly whip them up and pot them on before they get trodden on.

Rooting power
When choosing to grow prevalent self-seeders it’s worth finding out how they root. Many are easy to lift and pull up, such as Nassella tenuissima, forget-me-nots, Leucanthemum vulgare (ox-eye daisies), primulas and hardy geraniums. All these have fairly shallow roots and can be easily removed, when young, from a border with a hand trowel.

It’s those with a tap root such as Inula racemosa and comfrey that are hard to lift and can become a nuisance. If you decide that you no longer want to share your garden with a particular self-seeder, be aware that the seed can sit in the soil for many years before germinating.

Five tips for success with self-seeders

• Research self-seeding plants before committing to them. Will they be easy to pull up and remove?
• If self-seeders are deep rooted and hard to remove from the garden, cut off the flowers before they have the chance to set seed.
• For those people who have steep banks and inaccessible areas of their garden where soil can’t be turned easily, self-seeders could be the answer. Some will grow in the most inhospitable places.
• Edit out self-seeders that are taking over – the ideal time to do this is in early spring. Learn to identify their seedlings so you can lift them when they’re small.
• Many self-seeders are vigorous in some gardens and not in others – ask a neighbour if they have trouble with a plant before growing it.

6 reliable self-seeders

Verbena bonariensis

FCT9NJ Verbena bonariensis. Argentinian vervain.

The perfect plant for the middle or back of a sunny border. It is more likely to set seed in a sandy soil than in heavy clay. Reaches 3ft 3in (1m) in height. Flowers June-October.

Verbascum olympicum

M4J7D5 Verbascum olympicum, olympian mullein. Image shot 07/2017. Exact date unknown.

A perennial that often dies after flowering and setting seed. Perfect for the back of the border, reaching 6ft 6in (2m) in height. Wonderful yellow flowers in summer.

Centranthus ruber

DH1B2R Red Valerian

Commonly known as red valerian, this attractive perennial can have crimson, white or pink flowers mall summer. Thrives in poor soil and a sunny spot. Height 1ft 8in (50cm).

Erigeron karvinskianus

F57D25 Erigeron karvinskianus. Fleabane flowers.

Easily mistaken as a rather healthy bunch of lawn daisies. Perfect for cracks in paving and flowers June-October. Fully hardy. Reaches a height and spread of 1ft (30cm).


There’s an army of different aquilegias to choose from. They commonly cross-pollinate so, after time, you’ll have a rainbow of colours. Perfect for semi-shade. Average height 50cm.

Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’

EH6A15 Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing' - Dark Stemmed Cow Parsley

A short-lived perennial with deep-purple foliage. The pink-tinged flowers are a wonderful addition to a cottage garden. Sun or semi-shade. Height 3ft 3in (1m).

Article written by Lesley Upton for Amateur



Frozen s'mores are a great way to enjoy all the flavor of s'mores in a cold treat! Keep them in your freezer so you can enjoy them anytime.

I’m Autumn, a mom of five who loves ice cream, and, it’s summer, which means it time for the blogging world (and the rest of the world?) to go crazy about s’mores again. Seriously, smores are like the pumpkin spice of July, right? Let’s make s’mores everything! And it turns out I’m just as guilty as all the other bloggers. This year I’ve already shared s’mores cake mix cookies and s’mores crack (aka Golden Graham bars), both of which are ridiculously delicious.

These frozen s’mores are the perfect treat for a hot summer day because you get all the chocolate/marshmallow/graham cracker taste in a cold refreshing format. They’re easy to make and keep in the freezer so you can hand them out next time you have a bunch of kids running through the sprinkler in your backyard.


Frozen s’mores are easy to put together with just a couple of ingredients. Graham crackers, chocolate pudding, and marshmallow creme, plus cream cheese and cool whip.

Frozen s'mores ingredients

You start by making the pudding and marshmallow layers, and freezing them in a 9×13 pan until they are hard enough to slice. At that point you slice the layers up and sandwich them between graham crackers. Frozen s’mores can then be eaten right away or stored in a zip top bag in the freezer. I like to keep them in the freezer for a few hours because the graham crackers will get a little soft, making them taste a bit more like an ice cream sandwich.

Frozen S’mores

Layers of chocolate pudding and marshmallow creme make these frozen s’mores the best way to enjoy a s’more on a hot summer day!

Prep Time 20 mins Freezing Time 6 hrs Serving 15


  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding 6 serving size
  • 2.5 cups cold milk
  • 16 graham crackers
  • 7 oz marshmallow creme
  • 4 oz cream cheese softened
  • 8 oz frozen whipped topping thawed


  • Line a 9×13 pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing paper to overhang pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until smooth and creamy. Pour into 9×13 pan and spread into an even layer.
  • Chill pudding layer while you mix up the marshmallow layer.
  • In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth. Fold in whipping topping.
  • Spread marshmallow layer over chocolate layer. Cover with foil.
  • Freeze layers about 6 hours, until firm enough to cut through. Use the foil or parchment paper to remove layers from 9×13 pan and place on a cutting board.
  • Break 15 graham crackers in half. Slice pudding/marshmallow layers into 15 squares the same size as the graham crackers.
  • Sandwich layers in between two graham crackers. (Watch the video in the post for an easy way to do this.)
  • Eat right away or store sandwiches in the freezer in an airtight bag or container. Graham crackers will soften slightly if stored in the freezer for a while. After they’ve been frozen, allow them to rest at room temperature about 10 minutes before eating for the best texture.

Personal Development Goals for Your 20s and Beyond

Image result for personal developement

Personal development is a pivotal theme for most people in their 20s, and focusing on this goal can maximize your potential now and later in life. These are the years of forming your adult identity, finding your style of relating to others, and ultimately discovering what gives you meaning in your life, among other important goals. That’s a pretty tall order and one that can take you beyond your 20s, though this is an important time to start. The following research-backed goals can help you to develop as a person (whatever your age), find what can lead you to happiness, and become your best self from this point on.

Find Your Core Values

Finding what your core values are and following them in your career and relationships is something that is most easily done in your 20s. This is the foundation upon which you build your life, and following your core values now can help you to be off and running toward other goals that will make you truly happy.

Following your core values can also help you to avoid investing a lot of time and energy into a path that you’ll ultimately regret because it’s not aligned with who you truly are.

Core values aren’t a simple thing to examine, but with personal reflection, the answers are there for you to find. Keeping a journal and asking yourself what you value most in life can help. Is family the most important thing to you? Or love? What about artistic expression or contributing your time and energy to a cause you care about? These are all values you can put your time and energy into, and values that can inform the work you do in life, as well as how you spend your free time.

Other values can influence who you are as a person and how you interact with others. For example, is honesty one of your more valued traits? Or integrity? How far are you willing to go in a relationship and how much are you willing to sacrifice to maintain these traits in yourself? These are also not only questions to ask yourself, but themes to be aware of.

Putting It Into Action

There are several ways that you can take this concept and work it into your personal goals. Here are a few ideas that can help:

  • Create a personal mission statement. Form a statement that notes what your values are and what you hold most dear, as well as how you would like to put those values into action.
  • Create a simple list of important personal values.
  • Maintain a journal where you examine your past experiences and cultivate the lessons you’ve learned in your life, and the values you hold from those lessons.

Find What Brings You Joy

There are several goals that can bring you happiness in life, but one of the most fun—and still important—goals you can have is to discover what brings you true joy. The experience of joy can help you to stay energized and motivated, but can also help you to build resilience. Consider positive psychology research that shows how lifts in mood that come from joy and positive feelings can actually build resilience to stress and have other positive benefits. It shows how important joy is—more than just a fleeting, fun experience, but something you can build off of.

Because of this, learning what brings you joy is an important goal for your 20s. Or, if you haven’t developed an understanding of what brings you joy by the time you’ve left your 20s, this is an important goal for any time in your life. If you find that what brings you joy changes, it’s important to stay up-to-date on what currently brings you these positive feelings. If your circumstances change, be sure you’re aware of what in your current life brings you joy as well. 

Putting It Into Action

The following strategies are recommended for helping you find what brings you joy:

  • Remember your childhood and the things that made you happy then. What stood out as exciting? What were some of your best memories? Many of those things can still bring you joy, so if you haven’t incorporated them into your life now, perhaps you should.
  • Expressing creativity often sparks joy. Your creative pursuits can be unique to you, whether it involves creating visual or musical art, writing, or even comedic improv. Play around, try new things, and see what you enjoy.
  • Talk to your friends and see what brings them joy. Try some of their favorites with them and on your own.
  • Try something new every day, or at least every week. Sometimes the most joy can come from the newness of an experience, and if you’re trying new things on a regular basis, you’re bound to stumble upon several things that truly make you happy.

Learn Your Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s important to know what you do well and where you struggle. Your 20s can be a great time of personal discovery, and this can mean discovering your personal challenges as well as your gifts. You can use your strengths in everything you do—pursue a career that utilizes them, for example, or remind yourself of your strengths when you need to ask for what you deserve in a relationship or at a job.

You can also navigate life more realistically if you have an idea of what your personal limitations are, whether or not these are common challenges for others. For example, you may find the constancy of paperwork to be comforting and right up your alley, while some others may find it to be boring and stifling; likewise, you may find change to be exhilarating and have a desire to change jobs every few years, while some may find that to be nerve-wracking. Knowing what your strengths are can help you put them to use more easily.

Putting It Into Action

There are several ways you can examine and explore your strengths and weaknesses:

  • Try new things on a regular basis. See what comes easily to you and find out how far you can go with your skills.
  • Focus on areas that are a challenge for you. Without giving up, accept that these areas may always be a little more difficult for you. Then work to be proficient in these areas to the extent that is necessary, while still focusing on your strengths.
  • Look for new opportunities to put your strengths into action. This may involve trying paths you hadn’t thought of before, like taking on a job or internship in a field you didn’t necessarily go to school. Or it could take the form of dating someone who isn’t your “type,” but who may be good for you and challenge you in a positive way. Be open to new experiences and observe yourself in them.

Learn to Prioritize Self-Care

Focusing on self-care in your 20s can be as challenging as it is important. Getting enough sleep, adequate nutrition, regular exercise, and the other sometimes-mundane aspects of physical self-care can be challenging when you have a busy social, academic, or work schedule, but these things matter greatly.

Take sleep as an example: when you don’t get adequate sleep at night, you can be more susceptible to health issues and stress the next day and even face negative consequences long-term. There are many obstacles to sleep in your 20s, including social events that come up, work obligations as you start out at a job, or a rigorous academic schedule. It may seem that your 20s are not the time for sleep, and that can come in your 30s, but your 30s (and 40s and beyond) present their own challenges in terms of sleep. It’s best to learn healthy sleep habits now. The same can be said for maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and more. 

Emotional self-care is similarly important. Learning healthy ways to cope, effective habits for relating to others, and perhaps even getting therapy if you feel it’s needed—these are all important goals that can help you to become your best self in your 20s. Likewise, putting these important things off can lead to greater challenges that can seem to multiply as you go.

For example, if you need to learn healthy communication for relationship care and your own emotional self-care in your 20s, putting off learning those skills can lead to greater conflict in relationships and more emotional baggage to deal with as you move into your 30s. While it’s never too late, it’s best to take care of these things early 

Putting It Into Action

There are several ways you can work toward the goal of maintaining physical and emotional self-care:

  • Start tracking your schedule now using a tool such as Google Calendar, for example. Be sure to schedule sleep, exercise, and meals the way you would schedule any other important appointment, and adjust your other commitments if you can’t make time for basic physical self-care.
  • Make time for important relationships. Be sure you spend time with those who elevate you and bring you joy. Also, know when it’s time to let go of a toxic relationship. Learning to protect yourself from those who continually put you down is part of emotional self-care.
  • Find a form of exercise you truly enjoy and want to continue with. Because of the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, this is important to prioritize, and starting early will only bring greater benefits as you go. Try classes and workouts with friends, as well as solitary physical activities so you really know what you respond to, and then make time for this on a regular basis.
  • When have conflict in your relationships, focus on your own part of the conflict and change what you can. Learn communication skills that can help, and try to see things from the other person’s perspective. You don’t have to make everyone your best friend, but try to use your relationships for personal growth as much as possible.

Find What Brings You Meaning

Discovering what brings meaning to your life is a vitally important goal for anyone at any age. That is because this one goal is connected with happiness and personal well-being in so many ways. For example, positive psychology research has shown that a meaningful life can bring the highest levels of lasting happiness and contentment. Furthermore, those who bring meaning to the jobs they have—who connect what they do to concepts that are important to them and feel that what they do makes a difference—tend to be the happiest and enjoy their jobs the most. This can be true for any profession.

Discovering what brings you meaning and how you can use your personal strengths to follow this path can lead to a meaningful life. This can be an important buffer for stress and is considered an optimal goal by positive psychology researchers and many therapists. There are several ways to bring meaning to anything you do, and the first step is to really examine your life and the meaning you can bring to it.

Putting It Into Action

You can bring meaning to things you are already doing, as well as pursuing activities that inherently bring meaning to your life. Consider the following:

  • Volunteer for a cause you truly believe in.
  • Think about what you believe can make the world a better place. Consider what you might be able to do to contribute to this solution.
  • Examine how your job may help others, even if it just makes their lives a little easier or puts a smile on their faces. Keep this in mind when you go to work—always remember that your job makes a difference. This can be true of the way you interact with others throughout your day as well. Even a smile shared with a stranger might be the needed thing that brightens their day, and you never know who’s had an especially difficult day.

By Elizabeth Scott, MS   Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD

How to buy the right bike for you

By Sara Hendricks for

Call it a return to a bygone era or a fad brought on by COVID social distancing recommendations, but the classic two-wheel bicycle—along with roller skates, inflatable pools, and sprinklers—is trending in a big way.

There are many reasons to get into biking now: Maybe you’re trying to avoid public transportation, maybe you want a new way to exercise, or maybe you simply want to zip around in the sunshine this summer. But if it’s been a while since you tooled around on two wheels—or the last time you hopped on a bike, it was a stationary one of the Peloton variety—here’s what you need to know about shopping for your new (or new-to-you) ride

What kind of bike should you get?

a person riding a bicycle next to a fence: There are a lot of different kinds of bikes to choose from.
© Getty Images / PamelaJoeMcFarlane  There are a lot of different kinds of bikes to choose from.

A quick online search for “what bike should I buy” will show you that there are a lot of options to choose from, among four main types:

  • Road bikes or lightweight bikes with dropped handles and narrow tires that are aerodynamically designed for riding long distances at fast speeds over pavement
  • Mountain bikes, which have heavy, sturdy frames, wide, treaded tires, and shock-absorbing suspension features like springs that are best for technical trail riding
  • Hybrid bikes, which blend the features of a road and mountain bike by having upright handlebars (like a mountain bike) and middle-width, lightly-treaded tires that perform on pavement and well-traveled trails
  • Electric bikes, which can be any style of bike that has a battery-powered motor to assist the rider up hills or for bursts of speed, like when starting from a stop.

Before you opt for one, it’s important to consider what you’re going to use the bike for—the bike you buy should fit your needs, not the other way around.

A good bike for most biking newbies is a hybrid, according to Joe Goodwill, who runs the biking blog Average Joe Cyclist. Road bikes are speedy but don’t absorb much shock and the leaned-forward riding position takes some getting used to. And mountain bikes, with their upright seating position, are comfortable to ride but can be quite heavy, with tires that aren’t well-suited for rolling along pavement. A hybrid is a nice compromise, sacrificing some speed in favor of an upright perch and wider (read: slower) tires that are less prone to flats, but trimming down the heft of a heavy-duty mountain bike frame. E-bikes may be a good option, too, especially for riders who aren’t crazy about the idea of pedaling up a steep hill on their own, but they are expensive and require more maintenance, starting with remembering to charge the batteries.

“[A hybrid bike] has efficiency but more of a capability to absorb those shocks from the road and thus less pressure on your arms, shoulders, and hips,” says Goodwill. Some hybrid bikes have springs in the saddle and other forms of suspension, which will add a bit to their weight but can make riding over bumps, potholes, and gravel feel smoother. But comfort is essential when you’re first starting out on the bike. “If you have a lot of aches and pains after riding, that could put you off forever,” says Goodwill. “ So the hybrid is probably best for a beginner.”

Where should you get your bike?

The best place to buy a bike is in person at your local bike shop or a sporting goods store with a dedicated biking section, like REI. (You can find a local shop by doing a quick map search, or by using the store locator function on a reputable bicycle brand’s site.) Like (almost) anything else, you can buy bikes online, but getting one in person helps ensure it’s the right size for you (frames come in different sizes for different-height humans), does what you want it to, and minimizes the assembly you have to do on your own. “If you can, I always recommend going to a bike store,” says Goodwill. “They’ll give you a proper fitting, make sure you get a bike that’s right for your lifestyle, and talk you through the options.”

This costs money—you can expect bikes in a shop to start at around $400 and get into the thousands-of-dollars range. But bikes are most definitely a category where you get what you pay for—and while a cheapie from a big box store may be appealing for the budget, it isn’t going to be reliable long term, as those cheap components that keep the price down are prone to wearing out or breaking much faster than quality ones from reputable brands. This is a nuisance at best and could be a safety risk at worst.

Still, you don’t need to spend the peak price at a specialty shop to get a decent bike. “I would never tell anyone who says ‘I think I want to start biking’ that they should go and buy that $1,500 Trek,” says Goodwill. “Get the cheaper bike that’s still from a good brand, and you’ll be fine. The ones that come to mind are TrekSpecialized, and Giant, but pretty much all of them have a good entry-level.”

Goodwill says to go to the shop with a good idea of how you plan to use the bike—for recreation, for commuting, for racing, for off-roading. Also ask if it needs to be modified in any way to suit your needs (such as adding a kickstand, a back rack, or a water bottle cage) or your body proportions (perhaps you’ll need a longer or shorter handlebar or a different seat shape or cushioning level). “Try and get everything done at the same time,” he says. “Almost every bike shop will professionally fit [and install] everything for you for free because you’re buying more than one item. If you buy [accessories] later, you may have to pay for installation as well.”

How can you determine if a bike is the right size for you?

The size you need varies based on the kind bike you get, and most brands and retailers will have a size guide on their sites. To use the size guide, you’ll need to know your height and inseam measurements. (Your inseam is the interior length of pants measured from the crotch to the end of the pant leg—you can use a measuring tape on a pair of well-fitting pants to figure it out.) The inseam length helps determine the standover height, which is the distance between your crotch and the bike’s top bar when you stand over it. It should be about two to four inches, though the brand may specify a slightly different number.

When you get the bike, you’ll probably need to adjust your seat, which you can do using a lever located somewhere behind the seat. Your ideal seat height should allow your leg to extend almost its full length—about 80 or 90 percent of it, according to REI’s size guide—at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Another factor is your hand position as it relates to your arm length, which also differs based on the kind of bike you get. But in most cases, you’ll want to ensure a slight bend in the elbows to allow your arms to absorb shock. According to REI’s size guide, it should feel like you can “comfortably play piano keys” when you’re in the riding position—though, again, you’ll want to check with the bike’s manufacturer for more exact instructions and measurements.

Read more about bike accessories and upkeep at:

Daily Language Practice

Good morning or good afternoon to you all wherever you may live. It’s time for DLP. Just try your best to make sense out of these sentences. The answers are on the second page. Remember, it’s ok to get some wrong. Just don’t give up. English is an extremely difficult language to learn, but you can learn it. So, here we go…Good luck !