Cycling is a great way to stay healthy, but before you hop on two wheels and start pedaling, check out these tips for better cycling:
Find the right bike and fit. Visit any respective bike shop and they'll make sure to match you with the right bike. Mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, there are different categories of bikes to choose from. Women-specific models are growing in popularity too. These models are designed/customized for a woman's anatomy making for a better bike fit and increased cycling efficiency.
Wear a helmet. Choose a helmet that meets safety standards and fits comfortably. Helmets absorb shock, protecting the head by cushioning impact; effective in preventing brain injuries and greatly reducing risk of permanent injury.
Dress for comfort. Avoid skin irritation by wearing light weight material that will wick away perspiration.
Seat height. Place your foot on the pedal, when you reach the 6 o’clock position – the end of the rotation, you should have a slight bend in your knee. If there is too much of a bend, the seat is too low. If your knee locks when extended, the seat is too high.
Start slowly to build endurance. Start with a half an hour bike ride then gradually increase your time, distance, or choice of terrain.
Use your gears. Pedaling in high gear for long periods can increase pressure on your knees. To get more exercise with less stress on your knees, shift to lower gears.
Relax your grip. To avoid cramping your hands, shoulders or neck, keep your arms relaxed and do not lock your elbows.
Change positions. During your ride, frequently change your hand and body position so different muscles are stressed. For easier breathing, sit upright and open your chest.
Common bike injuries include: low back pain, neck pain, saddle soreness, muscle fatigue and achilles tendonitis. Use these tips to reduce your risk of injury and get the most out of cycling.