When Mother Nature was planning the human body, she did not take into account that one day we would be spending hours traveling on two wheels while sitting on a small saddle, leaning forward and pedaling aggressively.
There are so many health benefits of bicycling, but riding a bike is an intense physical activity: it can put a lot of stress on major body parts and systems like circulation, muscles and even skin.
We always need to be aware and take preventive action when it comes to bicycling health, so that we never have to spend too long out of that seat.
Tips for Bicycling Health
- Consult with your doctor beforehand – Always consult with your doctor before you start bike riding, and especially when you are about to change your biking habits (that is, increase your rate of physical activity).
- Warm up your body – It is always a good practice to stretch thoroughly before and after each bike ride. This is very helpful in preventing injury.
- Take care of your heart – Even if you are an experienced biker, it is a good practice to begin your ride with an easy speed over even ground. As your biking skills improve, you can choose more challenging terrain and biking speeds.
- Change your handlebars holding position – Change the way you hold the handlebars, and shake your hands downward frequently to get the blood flowing and to prevent pain or numbness in your arms and hands.
- Change your seating position – Long rides are quite demanding on a small saddle. It can cause pain and in rare cases increase the risk of biking impotence. Purchase a comfortable saddle that fits properly.
- Periodic rests – Get off your bicycle and walk around every 30 minutes or so to get the blood flowing to important unmentionable parts of your body
- Be gentle with your joints – Bicycling is relatively kind to your joints, but still demanding. Be gentle, especially with your knees. Stop riding when you feel pain. It may be that your seat is too low.
- Cool down – After biking, stop, get off your bike, and stretch again. Be sure to drink water.
Tip: A healthier body is a better-looking body.
If all these great health benefits aren’t enough incentive to get you started on a rigorous cycling regimen, think about the aesthetic benefits of cycling. You’ll look more ripped and have larger, more toned muscles. You’ll also get a glowing tan from all the time spent outdoors.
What Type of Biking is Best For Me?
Cycling offers something for everyone. Remember, you don’t have to pedal through countless painful miles to enjoy the benefits of cycling. Simply cycling to work or school several times a week will improve your quality of life.
The next time you travel, think about enjoying the scenery on two wheels. Many cities offer cycling tours, which allow you to enjoy the sights at a slower pace – all while you are getting exercise. Who would have thought fitness was this easy?
If you are looking for more adventure, consider mountain biking. Think of mountain biking as hiking on two wheels. Not only can you find yourself winding along peaceful kilometers of single track, but if you are more daring, you can also finding yourself flying down rocky hills and ravines!
Whatever your fitness level or desire, cycling has something to offer you.
Incorporate Biking Into Your Daily Routine
Whatever your fitness level, cycling can be incorporated into your schedule to improve your overall fitness and quality of life. If you are not currently exercising, concentrate on simply making fitness a part of your life. There will be time to improve your fitness level, but don’t forget to enjoy the scenery along the way!
In order to improve your cardiovascular fitness, consider cycling for a minimum of 30 minutes, three times per week. After several weeks you should begin to feel stronger and more comfortable cycling. At this point, think about extending your cycling trips to 45-60 minutes, 4-5 times per week. If you increase the amount of exercise gradually, you will avoid injury and excessive discomfort.
Remember, if you regularly make time in your week for fitness, the health benefits of cycling will become readily apparent to you after only a short while.
Last Word About Bicycling Health
These bicycling health tips will help you stay a healthy biker for years to come, and even take advantage of all the health benefits of bicycling. One quick note: I wrote this page about bicycling health before my Rhine River tour. Now I know that healthy biking is crucial, especially on long trips.
H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance