Taking up cycling is an exceptionally liberating experience that makes for a good hobby, sport, exercise, and alternative means of transportation all rolled into one. Cycling does not discriminate and can be taken up by people from all ages and walks of life.
Cycling as a means of exercise helps to reduce the chances of getting chronic illnesses such as diabetes, and cardiovascular basis. In addition, the regular exercise that cycling can provide as well as the healthy dose of sunshine you get when cycling outdoors will help to boost your sense of well being.
Unlike most exercises, cycling is easy on the joints, and at the same time provides you with a viable and environmentally friendly alternative mode of transportation. Imagine getting your daily commute and exercise rolled into one. In this article we’ll provide you with some useful tips and advice to make your cycling a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Although cycling is highly effective and safe as a form of exercise, just as with any type of physical activity, we strongly suggest that you see a qualified physician if you have any existing medical concerns.
- Considering the various models and brands of bikes in the market today, you might be confused as to what bike you should purchase and use. When choosing a bike, remember to pick a bike that is suitable for the type of road and cycling activity that you will do. If you plan to use your bike for daily commutes and strolling, then a specialized commuting bike, fixed gear bike, or mountain bike will work for you.
- If you have an old bike lying around at home, or if you are planning on buying a second hand bike, then make sure to have it serviced by a qualified bike mechanic before you use it.
- Make sure to have the right size for your height and build. Your bike shop will be able to help you out on this one. In addition, most bike shops have specialized fitting services to help properly fit you on your bike. Bike shops can also help you find the right bike to suit your budget and cycling purposes. Do not be shy to ask questions.
- Make sure to have the proper safety equipment such as helmets, gloves, and weather appropriate clothing. A high quality bicycle helmet is an absolute necessity, and is not an optional accessory. If you plan to ride in the dark, make sure to have high visibility reflectorized clothing, as well as high visibility blinkers, and headlamps.
- A lot of companies and offices now offer a cycle to work scheme. Check if your office offers this benefit, since they might be able to help you buy a new bike and the necessary equipment at a more affordable price. In addition, some companies even offer incentives to employees who decide to take up cycling as form of daily commute.
Getting Into the Thick of Things
- Practice looking over your shoulder before making any turns. Learn your hand signals as well. You also need to practice riding with one hand so you can make hand signals. These are important safety skills that should not be taken for granted.
- Be knowledgeable about your city or town’s current bike laws.
- To get the most out of the physical benefits that a bicycle can offer, try to cycle for at least 150 minutes at moderate intensity each week, while younger individuals should do at least 60 minutes of cycling at moderate to vigorous intensity every day.
- Remember to progress gradually throughout your cycling experience. There is no need to rush.
- One of the best ways to stay consistent in cycling, is to integrate it into your lifestyle. That means biking to work or when carrying out errands and chores. Determine the best, safest, and quietest routes to take when going to work or running an errand. If you have a co-worker who bikes to work, biking together will also help.