There are many different types of exercise for losing weight, if weight loss and a healthier lifestyle is your goal, but cycling is one of the best. For starters, it’s easy, and secondly, it doesn’t put undue pressure on your joints – unlike running. If you are thinking of taking up cycling for health reasons, read on to learn more.
Why Cycling is Good for Your Health
Cycling has lots of health benefits. Let’s review these below:
- Cycling is a cardio workout, which means that it makes your heart and lungs work harder. As long as you cycle at a reasonable pace, you should enjoy a decent workout.
- Regular cycling helps to boost the immune system. People who cycle regularly tend to be ill less and are less likely to pick up viral respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. This means you won’t need to pull as many sickies at work.
- Cycling improves muscle tone and regular cyclists have leaner legs and stronger glutes. The more muscle you have the better, as muscle burns fat.
- If weight loss is your primary goal, cycling is a good workout. Most keen cyclists are leaner than average because of the weight loss benefits, but the great thing about cycling is that anyone can do it, even extremely overweight people. Because cycling is not a high impact sport, it’s kinder to the joints than running and is, therefore, a good sport to try if you are overweight.
- Exercise is good for our mental health, and cycling is a top sport if you want a mood boost. When you go out cycling, whether on your own or with family and friends, you get to see the great outdoors and enjoy some fresh air. Nothing beats a bike ride on a sunny day in glorious scenery!
Now that we have you convinced of the merits of cycling, let’s discuss how to get started.
Choose the Right Bike
You need the right equipment to cycle safely and the most important item is a bike. There are several different types of bicycles, ranging from mountain bikes and road bikes to more specialized bikes such as tri bikes and e-bikes.
If you are new to cycling, start with an inexpensive all-purpose bicycle. This will have a steel or aluminum frame and chunky tires. The more you pay for a bike, the more extra bells and whistles you’ll get, such as lots of gears and suspension forks, but a basic, sturdy bike is perfect for beginners.
The fitter you get the easier cycling will be, but if you live in a hilly area, it might be work investing in an electric bike. E-bikes are great for longer rides and commuting, and really come into their own on hills. Instead of relying on pedal power, you can let the bike do the work. Because an e-bike is more expensive, it’s worth buying a specialist eBike insurance policy to protect your investment. Velosurance is a US insurance company that offers bike insurance for cyclists, including eBike insurance. Their policy covers all risks, including theft and accidental damage.
Invest in Your Comfort and Safety
Choosing the right bike is only the start of your cycling journey. You will also need the right clothing and safety equipment. Spend a bit of money on good quality cycling shorts or leggings. These have padded seats and make cycling more comfortable when you are first starting out. If you live in a cooler climate, waterproof outerwear, and a high-viz jacket for darker days are also advisable.
Buy lights for your bike, as you never know when you might have to cycle at night. Cyclists are vulnerable on roads, as other road users don’t always pay attention. The more visible you are, the better.
Always wear a safety hat when you go cycling. A helmet protects your head if you fall or crash your bike. Wearing a helmet reduces your risk of sustaining a serious head injury. Even minor falls can cause catastrophic brain injuries, so don’t take any chances.
If you are new to cycling, start slowly and get used to handling your bike before you venture out on to the roads or hit any hard-core trails. It takes time to build fitness, and you can’t expect to go from 0-60 in a week. You will enjoy it a lot more if you pace yourself and begin with relatively short rides to allow your body to acclimate to the physical demands of cycling.
Cycling is a sport best enjoyed in company. Go out cycling with your family and encourage your kids to join in. Once you have achieved a reasonable level of fitness, you can start planning longer rides in more scenic areas.
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A fervent champion for holistic well-being, graces this community with her expertise in health and fitness. With a solid educational foundation in physical fitness and a commitment to empowering others, Sara distills her extensive knowledge and experience into actionable insights. Her writing, firmly grounded in evidence-based practices, aims to demystify health complexities and inspire readers to cultivate sustainable habits for a balanced life. As a certified fitness trainer, Sara offers a well-rounded perspective on wellness. Join Sara on this transformative journey towards a happier, healthier, and more vibrant you.