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Safe Cycling For Fitness: 4 Essential Tips
Cycling makes for a wonderful addition to any fitness regime. It’s great cardiovascular exercise, low impact, and – if you cycle outdoors – it gives you the opportunity to explore nature.
However, cycling can only be truly beneficial if you engage in the activity in the safest possible way. To ensure you get the most from your cycling experience, here are a few tips you may want to keep in mind…
#1 – Choose safe routes
Unfortunately, cycling accidents are commonplace; it’s worth taking the time to read for details on accidents and then allowing this knowledge to influence your choice of route.
A good cycling route is a route that keeps you as far away from vehicles as much as possible. Rural, off-road routes are preferable, though city parks are a good compromise if you live in an urban environment. However, cars are not the only threat; the perfect route will also be even, with a stable surface that won’t slip when ridden on.
#2 – Wear a helmet
We all know we should wear a helmet while riding a bike but think about the last time you saw a cyclist: were they wearing a helmet? Probably not. While wearing a bike helmet isn’t the most pleasant of experiences, it is absolutely essential to protect yourself while cycling.
One of the major reasons people choose not to wear a helmet while cycling is that helmets can be uncomfortable. To avoid this, try on as many helmets as possible prior to purchasing, so you can find the style that suits you best – there’s no “one size fits all” bike helmet that works for everyone.
#3 – Eliminate distractions
It may sound like a minor issue, but distractions can cause serious problems when cycling – whether you choose to venture outdoors or cycle on a static bike.
If you are distracted while riding a static bike, you may not be listening to your body; this can lead to overexertion and even injury. Distractions are all the more threatening for those who cycle outdoors, with the need to monitor traffic and follow road signs meaning that listening to music or talking with a friend is inadvisable.
As you are cycling for fitness, try to keep your focus on the actual cycling activity itself rather than seeking distraction; for example, count your strokes, or focus on maintaining the best possible body position.
#4 – Keep water close at hand
Cycling is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, so there’s every chance you will build up a sweat while engaging with it. While this physical activity is beneficial, the loss of vital fluids and nutrients isn’t – you will need to replenish these frequently throughout your workout. If you’re sweating hard, drinking water – preferably enhanced with electrolytes – is the best way to avoid dehydration.
Most bikes, both static and standard, have a specific slot that is designed to allow you to have a water bottle close at hand at all times – make use of this to ensure you get the most from your workout!
Cycling is a wonderful pursuit that can genuinely enhance your fitness regime, aid you in getting close to achieving your fitness goals, and even improve your mental health – but it’s not without its risks. By taking the precautions above, you can ensure you’re experiencing all of the pros of cycling, without having to worry about any of the cons.
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