Sports & Wellness
Cycling Guide: Benefits, How to Get Started, and Tips on Getting Better
Cycling is a great activity for both the mind and body. If you are new, learn how to get started and if you are experienced, check out these tips to get better.
Cycling is one of the most popular forms of sports recreation and exercise. In fact, according to Strava, cyclists logged 8.1 billion miles globally in 2020. Indeed, cycling brings you a wonderful experience. The sense of speed, the wind ruffles your hair, the streets are passing by quickly
So, what are the benefits of cycling and how do you get started? Continue reading to learn tips about the sport of cycling.
How to Start Cycling
Everyone you see on a bike was a beginner at one point. Cycling, especially outdoors, can seem intimidating. However, there are ways you can prepare yourself to be more comfortable on a bike.
Purchasing a Bike
First, you want to make sure you get the bike you need. Start with a search for a local bike shop in your area. Head over to the shop so you can discuss what you're looking for.
Think about what type of bike you'll need. Do you need a city bike or a mountain bike? Bike shop workers can help you find the bike you need. They will also make sure the bike fits you and will show you how to set it up.
Getting Comfortable on Your Bike
You need to feel as comfortable as possible on your new bike. This means setting it up to fit your body type.
Saddle height is important when setting up your bike. If the saddle is too low you risk compression injuries. If the saddle is too high, you risk over-stretching. Don't be surprised if you have to tinker with the height a few times before getting it right.
Invest in Equipment
Outdoor cycling requires a few extra pieces of equipment to keep you safe and comfortable.
- Helmet - One of the most important safety precautions is your helmet. Be sure it fits correctly.
- Lock - Don't forget to lock up your bike when you stop along your ride.
- Bike Lights - If you're night riding you'll need safety lights so people can see you.
- Bike Pump - You never expect to get a puncture or flat tire, but when you do, you'll want a pump close by to fix it.
You may also want to invest in clothing and accessories. Purchase gloves for those colder months. Buy padded cycling shorts to make your ride more comfortable. Invest in cycling shoes and a waterproof jacket for those rainy days.
Join a Club
One great thing about cycling is the global community you're now a part of. As a beginner, consider joining a local cycling club. These clubs will help you with motivation and any questions you may have. You may also make some new friends in the process
Benefits of Cycling
Part of the reason so many people ride bikes is because of the many cycling benefits that come with it. Not only does cycling improve your mental and physical health, but it can also help the environment.
Researchers show that physical activity can drastically improve your mood. The rush of endorphins and adrenaline changes your body chemistry and helps combat anxiety and depression, and negative moods.
Exercise can improve your confidence and cognitive function. It can also alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
Decreases Health Risks
Cycling can help decrease your chance of heart disease, cancer risk, and diabetes. It can improve your lung health because of the cardiovascular work your body is doing. It can also help to strengthen your immune system.
Cycling is also a low-impact workout. This means you can strengthen your joints without risking injuries you may get from other high-impact workouts.
Builds Muscle & Helps With Weight Loss
Riding your bike can promote muscle building and weight loss. The muscles in your legs and arms are working hard to keep you upright, while your core is tightening to keep you balanced.
The work your body is doing while you ride is equivalent to a full-body workout. If you're looking for fitness results, you'll definitely start to see a difference once you begin cycling. As an added bonus, you'll also notice an improvement in your sleep from your new cycling routine.
Not only is cycling great for your mental and physical health, but it can also help the environment. Cycling is known to reduce the global carbon footprint, making it an eco-friendly transportation option.
Riding a bike helps reduce air pollution, overcrowding, and protects the nature around us. By using your bike for transport, you're doing your part to help the environment!
Now that you're no longer a beginner, you'll want to set goals for yourself to become a real pro. Here are a few ways in which you can take your cycling to the next level.
For any athlete looking to improve, it's important to set realistic goals for yourself. Think about what you want to accomplish within the next few months. What is most important to you?
Deciding what bigger goals you want to accomplish will help you work backward and accomplish smaller goals along the way.
Up Your Speed
Upping your speed can not only help you get somewhere faster, but it can help your endurance level. The higher endurance you have, the longer you can stay on your bike, and the farther you can go.
Try upping your speed in small increments, or seconds, to start. Then you can move up to minutes.
Prioritise Your Nutrition and Fitness
Like all athletes, prioritising your nutrition and fitness will help you improve in all other areas of your life. You want to make sure you are fueling your body the correct way before a long ride. Get the protein and carbs you need to energize and recover.
Be sure to also incorporate other types of fitness into your routine to help your body get stronger. Make time for stretch and recovery including yoga and foam rolling.
Hills may seem scary but they are a great way to up your cycling game. Start off with a small hill and work your way up. Be sure to use the correct form so you don't hurt yourself.
Hills are your friend! The more you do, the better cyclist you will be.
Start Cycling Today
There are so many reasons for you to start cycling. Improve your physical and mental health, help the environment, and make some friends along the way!
Any beginner can become a pro in no time. Book a cycling class and get started today!
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