If you are about to enter the world of Cycling, then you should know a thing or two about cycling. This is a beginner’s guide on how to start cycling.
You can ride a bicycle almost anywhere, at any time of the year and without spending a fortune. There are different types of cycles to choose from, like mountain bikes, road bikes, track bikes and hybrid bikes. My suggestion is MTB or Hybrid. Unless you want to do hard-core racing or high-speed rides then go for road bikes.
Many people are put off from doing certain sports because of the high level of skill that seems to be required. But when it comes to cycling all you need to know is how to cycle. Moreover when it comes to cycling as a sport, all you need is a bike, a half an hour here or there when it suits you and you’re good to go.
Consult Your Doctor
Most people can do cycling. However, it is still best to consult your doctor when thinking about incorporating a cycling activity into your overall fitness program. They shall advise you regarding your limits and capacities.
Cycling Is A Base Training Activity
Once you get a go ahead from the doctor about engaging into cycling as a part of your overall fitness program, what do you do next? Remember that cycling should be considered as a base training activity. Base training activities are those, which provide endurance and aerobic training at the same time. Re-align your fitness program in such a way that biking becomes the starting activity for the week. Other activities such as circuit training should be done in a way that they complement the benefits of cycling.
Try out short rides initially, such as taking rides around your local area for about 20-30 kms. Also where possible, stick to flat roads and paths until you have built up to a certain level.
Your fitness/weight loss journey will be more enjoyable if you start off gently.
You can then increase the distance and speed and try cycling to places you would normally go to by car or bus. Within a month riding a few miles will no longer be a problem and you could even consider cycling to work if it’s a suitable distance.
Start Slowly And Then Increase Your Cycling
Beginners should employ a program wherein cycling is done three times a week. Doing it two times a week is also fine, but this depends on the capabilities of the person undergoing the training.
Increase Speed Gradually
For neophytes it is advised to gradually increase your speed. Try not to beat yourself up too hard during your initial cycling days as cycling can sometimes be strenuous to the body. The key towards successful fitness cycling is to be patient and not to go beyond your limits.
Cycling Builds Strength And Muscle Tone
Contrary to normal perceptions, cycling is not a fitness activity that solely involves the legs. Cycling builds strength in a holistic manner since when you cycle every single part of the body is involved in the activity. When you cycle you work on your glutes, quads and calves which leave you with lean muscles from your ankles all the way up to your lower back. Some of the less obvious benefits include surprising improvement in core muscle groups, which improve your posture, and upper body strength as well – giving you a complete body workout.
Cycling Increases Muscle Tone
With time cycling improves general muscle function. Regular cycling strengthens leg muscles and is great for the mobility of hip and knee joints. You will gradually begin to see an improvement in the muscle tone of your legs, thighs, rear end of your body and hips.
Cycling Builds Stamina
Cycling is a good way to build stamina.
Cycling Improves Cardio-Vascular Fitness
Cycling makes the heart pound in a steady manner and helps improve cardio-vascular fitness. Studies have shown that cycling to work will increase cardiovascular fitness by 3-7%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups of your lower body, raising heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.
Cycling Burn Calories
Cycling is a good way to shed those unwanted pounds from your body. Steady cycling burns approximately 300 calories per hour. If you cycle for 30 minutes every day you would burn a whooping 11 pounds of fat in a year. Since it helps build muscle, cycling will also boost your metabolic rate long after you’ve finished your ride.
Cycling Improves Heart Health
According to the British Medical Association, cycling for just 20 miles a week can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 50%. A major study of 10,000 civil servants suggested that those who cycled 20 miles over the period of a week were half as likely to suffer heart disease as their non-cycling colleagues.
Cycling Improves Coordination
Cycling is an activity that involves the whole body. Therefore, arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination are improved.
Cycling Reduces Stress
Any regular exercise can reduce stress and depression and improve well-being and self-esteem. Cycling outdoors is also a good way to be one with nature and to feel the breath of the earth. It takes one’s mind out of everyday-life stress and rejuvenates his soul.
Cycling Can Help You “Age Well”
As we’re contemplating the passage of time, researchers at King’s College in London have found that older, amateur cyclists aged 55-79 were physiologically and biologically much younger than their peers.
With cycling energy boost doesn’t come at a cost in terms of the impact on joints. More energy, of course, is likely to lead to better productivity and a happier mood.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Cycling is great fun but it is important to get the right equipment for the activity. Head gear, kneepads, elbow pads should all be in place when cycling.
– Make sure your bike is maintained regularly.
– Carry a basic toolkit and a spare inner tube.
– Follow traffic rules.
– Wear bright, visible clothing and don’t forget lights in poor conditions.
– Wear an approved safety helmet, off-road as well as on road.