On pleasant days one would prefer going on a bike ride which is a great exercise for the whole body. Biking helps to tone big muscles in the thighs and legs, increases endurance, easy on joints and enhances the capacity of the lung. Biking is a fun outdoor activity one can enjoy a ride with friends and families.
Biking is good for fitness activities and helps to improve health. If you are considering adding biking to your daily or weekly fitness program, then consider these tips.
The right bike: If you are renting a bike then you will have options to select the one that is comfortable for you to ride. If you are buying a new one, don’t just concentrate on color. Women and men have different body frames and so are bikes for both. Get the right frame size bike that feels comfortable. Take a test ride before buying the bike.
Setting bike to road: Once you get the right size bike set up the saddle and handlebars at the right height. Setting up a bike to your physique and needs helps to prevent unwanted injuries as well as discomforts.
Before riding bike:
- Practice bike ride
- Learn to peddle
- Get used to braking
- Practice getting on and from bike
- Any discomfort with the saddle – fix it
Join a club: Get involved in cycling club. Many cycling clubs organize rides for different levels. You can increase your pace and endurance. You will enjoy the ride as it will be inspiring and focused on health. Sometimes the rides might be off road and you will get to see the beautiful nature that relieves stress.
Take bike to work: If you live close to your work, instead of using a car, consider riding bike to work once a while. This will leave less carbon footprint and gives you good exercise. It saves money on petrol and probably on parking too. Keep an extra pair of shoes and clothes to freshen up.
Clipless paddle: Before you go on long ride, practice clipping in and out of paddling. Clipless paddle allows you to ride faster once you get hold. Sometimes paddle clip can interfere in pulling the bike. If you are using clip, remember to clip out in time before you stop the ride.
Safety: Wearing helmet is very important to prevent head injuries. If you don’t have a helmet then get one before hitting the road. Having LED lights in the front and blinking light at back just like for your car, will help big vehicle drivers to notice you on the road. Having a fender will protect you from water flashing from rear tire. Get knee cap pads and gloves for hands. Wearing proper bike sneakers is essential for an easy ride.
Clothing: Just like yoga and Pilates clothing, bikers can also enjoy different brands and fashionable clothing for both men and women. Get a pair of properly fitted cycling bib-short and try it out. It will protect you from rashes and irritation. Proper cycling jerseys with sports t-shirt is good for bike ride. A good jersey will absorb heat, prevents soaking in sweat, zippers will keep rider cool and the pockets will store wallet, phone, and energy bars. Base layer of summer or winter cloth beneath cycling jerseys will protect body in extreme weather conditions.
Maintain bike: Learn how to keep bike clean and maintain different parts. Keeping handles clean, checking tire pressure, keeping drivetrain clean and lubed are few bikes maintenance techniques a biker should familiar with. Keep a spare inner tube, tire levers and a pump to inflate the tube.
Other essentials: Carry a water bottle, mobile phone, your insurance, ID card, map, wallet with you. These might come in handy in case you have to deal any situation that might need these essentials.
Eat right: Before going on ride, eat and drink enough quantity. Remember cycling burns more calories and you will need good amount of healthy food. Carry fruits like bananas, oranges, energy bars, almonds and some small snacks with you. Keep drinking and take a bite during ride break.
While riding bike:
- Give attention to your position
- Look ahead
- Shift into easier gear on time
- Learn to balance in the turns
- Ride with a friend or family
- Begin with an achievable ride. Don’t go too far distance at one time. Remember ‘learn to crawl before you walk’
- Find route with minimum traffic.
- Watch for stopped vehicles, especially cars and jeeps that are on shoulder and in parking place.
- Don’t ride on side walks
- Never try weaving in and out of traffic
Cycling is a fun exercise. It is not a weight-bearing exercise; hence it is good for the joint. Create a training plan to reach your goals and work on them.
Image credit: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1380355 (Free for commercial use CC by 0)
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: December 1, 2020