I loved bicycle riding as a kid. We would ride all around town and back and forth to school. After school we got together to ride bicycle and talk about what happened at school, our worries, our dreams. Bike riding kept us healthy, busy and happy. As an adult I realize bike riding offers many benefits for the body, as well as for the spirit. Now that I am in my 40’s I started again to enjoy it. One of the things the doctor ordered was exercise to be in better health condition.
Benefits of Bicycle Riding
Bicycling is a good cardiovascular exercise that could increase the health of your heart. A bike with several speeds will allow you to increase you fitness level as your cardiovascular function improves. Begin by riding at an easy speed over even ground. If what you want is a challenge change your terrain.
Bicycling is kind to the joints. As we get older we experience Joint pain especially in the knees as they Osteoporosis causes joint problems to worsen because of the lack of proper calcium levels in the bones. Bike riding offers exercise without pain. The aerobic benefit is comparable to jogging or running without the strain. Check that the seat height on your bike is adjusted to allow your legs full range of motion with each revolution. Full range of motion also promotes better circulation to the lower extremities which do the majority of the work in moving the bicycle.
Bicycling whips those leg muscles into shape. For muscular endurance, stick to a flat terrain, but adjust the speed of the bike as your strength improves. To avoid cramping, stretch thoroughly before and after each bike ride.
Bicycling increases your balance. Learning to ride a bike is all about staying upright. To do that, you have to find a balance between your body and the bike. Maintaining that balance strengthens the core muscles of the abdominal region. Tightening the core muscles keeps you from falling off of the bike. The lower abdominals pull your legs back towards you body from the bottom of the cycling revolution. The lower back is also kept pain free by a strong balanced core.
It’s also great way to release your stress from daily work either if you work at home or have a regular job. You can do it inside the house with an exercise bike, but also you can take your bike out and enjoy nature. Families, friends, can share the experience which can help you be together and give the opportunity to communicate with each other. I believe that we as families, friends, have to look for common grounds to share with each other as we do with friends. Feeling good with yourself and with your loved ones, is one of the greatest benefits you can get from this exercise.
Bike Repair and Maintenance
Keeping your bicycle at its optimum performance is basic for receiving the benefits of bike riding and riding safely. You can take it to a bicycle repair shop or do it yourself. Couple of things to keep in mind.
Take a good look at all bicycle systems and check for things that need to be fixed.
Brake system: Check that brake cables are not broken, brake pads should be in good condition and brake handles should work properly. Check the brake caliper.
Tires: If they had been flat for some time and look broken, consider changing for new ones. If the tire is all right consider changing the tire tubes. Before buying them check on the side of the tire its number. For example 20 x 1.50
Seat: Seat must be appropriate in size for you and comfortable. Consider cushioned seats.
Safety: Check that the bicycle has lights and reflectors to advice others you are on your way. Consider installing a bell or a horn to let others know you are moving through.
Prepare a small bicycle bag with tube patches or air filler, tools that can help in case you need to change a broken bicycle part when riding. Is recommended to have a frame bicycle pump. Have available a water bottle for hydration. There is one that you can install on the frame.
Other bicycle parts to check: bicycle chain, pedals, bike stand, handles grips,
Riding a bike is not just for kids. The physical benefits increase as you get older. Besides, bike riding is just plain fun. So, get moving!
A Note from Brigadoon Fitness
As mentioned above there are numerous benefits of bicycle riding, both for physical and mental health, as well as for the environment and society as a whole. Here are some more benefits:
- Weight loss: Regular cycling can help you burn calories and lose weight, particularly if you combine it with a healthy diet.
- Environmental benefits: Cycling is an eco-friendly mode of transportation that produces no emissions and reduces traffic congestion and air pollution.
- Saves money: Cycling is a relatively low-cost mode of transportation, as you don’t need to pay for gas, parking, or car maintenance.
- Convenient: Bikes can often navigate through traffic more quickly than cars, particularly in congested urban areas. They can also be easier to park and store than cars.
- Fun and social: Cycling can be a fun and social activity that you can enjoy with friends and family. You can join a cycling club or participate in group rides and events.
Overall, cycling can improve your physical and mental health, save you money, and benefit the environment and society as a whole.
Indoor cycling, or spinning, is a form of exercise that involves riding a stationary bike. While it may not offer the same benefits as outdoor cycling, there are still many benefits to using an indoor cycle, including:
- Convenience: Indoor cycling can be done at any time, regardless of weather conditions, making it a convenient option for those who want to stay active and fit.
- Low-impact exercise: Indoor cycling is a low-impact form of exercise that is gentle on the joints, making it a good option for people who may have difficulty with high-impact activities like running.
- Cardiovascular fitness: Like outdoor cycling, indoor cycling is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, as it gets your heart rate up and works your cardiovascular system.
- Strength training: Indoor cycling can also help you build leg and core strength, as you use these muscles to pedal the bike.
- Calorie burning: Indoor cycling can be a great way to burn calories and lose weight, as it is a high-intensity form of exercise that can help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
- Motivation: Many indoor cycling classes are set to music and led by a motivational instructor, which can help you stay motivated and engaged during your workout.
Overall, indoor cycling can be a great way to stay fit and active, and it offers many of the same benefits as outdoor cycling.
At Brigadoon Fitness we offer many indoor cycling bikes. Here are some of our suggestions: