You probably learned how to ride a bike when you were a child. That giddy feeling of taking off and riding on your own is hard to match. Once you learn how to ride a bike, you always know. If you have gone for a long while without riding, you may be a little rusty and need some practice. Fortunately, it is easy to pick back up as an adult. And that is good news because you should begin cycling again. Riding a bike is a fantastic way to stay fit and have fun. Not convinced? Here are five benefits of cycling and our top tips for when you decide to ride that first race.
BENEFITS OF CYCLING
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Having a healthy heart is essential for a long, quality life. Cardiovascular exercise helps prevent strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Riding for at least 20-30 minutes per day will help ensure that your heart is in great shape.
Having strong muscles will keep you from becoming injured and give you a nice physique. When you work to ride up hills and push yourself to go faster on a bike, you strengthen and tone your entire lower body.
Helps Control Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to avoid developing diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes. Cycling burns calories and builds muscle, the best way to lose weight.
Cycling is an excellent low impact workout. You get all of the benefits of other exercises, like running, without the painful banging of your knees and other joints. If you are recovering from an injury, then cycling is an ideal way to exercise while healing.
Riding a bike is fun. Remember how great it felt to sail down a hill or explore new places? You can do all of that on your bike now. Having fun will motivate you to get out more and is great for your mental health.
Now that you know how good cycling is for you, you are probably ready to give it a go. Let’s talk about how to train for your first race.
TOP TIPS FOR RACE TRAINING
Ride with Others
Riding with others in training rides is great way to stay motivated and improve your cycling abilities. It will also help you practice riding in a large group. Maneuvering on your own and within a group are very different!
Ditch the junk food and choose healthy foods instead. This will also help you lose weight, making you lighter on the bike. Eat lots of vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. You can also use caffeine strategically to fuel you on your rides.
Invest in an Exercise Bike
Cycling outside is fun, but sometimes the weather does not cooperate. Having a bike at home will help you get your workouts in when the rain will just not stop. You can also easily change the resistance on your home exercise bike so you can do specific workouts.
Mix Up Your Workouts
Do a variety of rides to prepare for any possibility in your race. You can do these while out or on your stationary bike when the weather is bad. Your training should consist of a mix of long, slow rides, sprints, hill work and intervals.
Strength train outside of your rides. Strong muscles will help you power up hills and move you faster. You can also get cardio in through running, swimming and rowing. It will keep you fresh and make you a better rider.
Cycling is a fun, efficient way to get in shape. You may feel intimidated about getting on a bike and that is okay. Start slow and allow yourself time to adjust to the feeling of riding. You can practice at home on an exercise bike to help you get more comfortable out on the road. With regular practice, you will get in great shape, feel good and conquer many miles.