The human body was made to move. Studies show that exercising for thirty minutes a day can offer significant health benefits. Such benefits include better cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength and flexibility, lower stress levels, improved posture, stronger bones, and weight control.
If you are looking for a way to exercise that is effective and easy for all ages, bicycling may just be the thing for you. Cycling is a pastime, a sport, and a mode of transportation that provides a great workout for people of all ages and fitness levels – not to mention it’s easy on your joints and muscles. Even better? It’s fun.
Why You Should be Cycling…
When you ride a bike, you control how difficult or easy the exercise is. Ride it for a workout, or ride it with your friends for sport. Riding a bike is a great way to fit regular exercise into your daily schedule and get healthy and in shape.
Regular cycling can help manage and even prevent many disorders such as obesity, heart disease, and arthritis. It is also a great way to commute to work or to the store, conserving fuel and money you would otherwise put into your car. If you use your bike to travel, you get the added benefit of exercise without the time spent at the gym. With all these great benefits, you’ll wonder why you never tried it before. But before you do, there are a few important things you must do first.
Buy the right bike. There are different types of bicycles, and you’ll need to determine which one is right for your needs. Will you need a road bike or a mountain bike? You’ll also need to find a bicycle that fits you comfortably and correctly, with the least amount of strain on your back. Have the handlebars and seat height adjusted properly. Get fitted for the bike you want and take it for a test ride before making your purchase.
Buy the right helmet. You’ll need a helmet to protect your head, and you’ll want a comfortable one. Your helmet should fit snugly, but not so tight that it hurts. The straps should reach each other under your chin and hook correctly. If you feel you may need extra protection, there are always kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee guards available at a sporting goods’ store near you.
Drink the right amount of water. Even though cycling can be nice and leisurely, you need to hydrate, just as you should before any form of exercise. Drinking enough water can mean the difference between a comfortable ride and heat exhaustion.
Those are just a few simple pointers to help you on your way, and as always, consult a physician before beginning if you have a history of medical problems or illness. Have fun, ride strong, and live fit!