Approximately three years ago one of my good friends convinced me that I needed a road bike. I knew nothing about cycling as I have always been a runner. However, I figured that since riding a bike was as easy as well “riding a bike” I decided why not. So here I was with a brand new road bike and no expectations. Boy was I wrong. Two weeks after getting use to my road bike this friend of mine decided I needed to learn the ins and outs of cycling. On this “short” 20 mile ride my friend not only taught me how to properly ride a road bike but how much of a workout cycling truly was. Move ahead to this Memorial weekend, my first ride of the season, a 25 mile ride on the High Tressel Trail.
Through sweat, rain, mud and wind I never lost touch of how tranquil a long ride could feel.
Then I got off my road bike and remembered just how exhausted my legs and shoulders felt! Regardless of this temporary, first ride pain was I remembered all the good things this ride did for my body.
Benefits of Cycling:
1. Cardiovascular Fitness: Cycling strengthens heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels.
2. Muscle strength: Cycling is great for toning and building muscles especially your calves, thighs and gluts. It is also a great low impact exercise that doesn’t put added pressure on knees or hips.
3. Waistline watcher: Cycling burns calories. It also helps ramp up your metabolism when you push beyond your leisure pace.
4. Lengthened Lifespan
5. Constant Coordination: Riding a bike is all about coordination from the constant pedaling to the steering and maintaining your body weight on two wheels.
6. Mental Health
7. Immune System
Regardless of your age, cycling is a safe and effective workout. Start slow. Begin by cycling 2-3 days a week at a pace that is comfortable for 2-3 weeks. Once that routine becomes easier, increase either your speed or your distance/length of time on the bike. Try to cycle for 2-4 hours a week for improved cardiovascular health.
Things to Remember:
1. Cycling can protect you from serious diseases such as stroke, heart attack, some cancers, depression, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.
2. Cycling is healthy, fun and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages.
3. Cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine by riding to the shops, park, school or work.
Now all you have to go is go out and try!