Ten (10) Ways to Make Your Bike Ride Relaxing and Injury Free
It is no secret that cycling is one of the best things you can do for your short and long-term health and fitness. It strengthens your cardiovascular system, it is easy on your joints and helps with weight control. But no matter what sport or activity you choose in your life, there are certain things that need to be done to prepare yourself physically so that the activity is as enjoyable and injury free as possible. I hope the Following tips help you achieve this goal.
1. Cyclists tend to get fatigues from squinting into the sun and wind - wearing sunglasses can resolve this issue.
2. Feet tend to swell after riding several miles. This is from the restricted circulation from sneakers - which can cause pain and tightness. Loosening shoelaces or straps near the front of the foot will either alleviate this problem or lessen the discomfort.
3. To prevent a sore neck, don't keep your head in a fixed position. While riding, tilt your head to one side for a while and then the other - it will make for a more comfortable and natural ride.
4. It is very important and beneficial that stretching becomes part of a cyclists daily routine. Cycling is so beneficial to our body, but it does not improve range of motion or flexibility. Stretching on a regular basis can reduce muscle and joint injuries. Additional stretching prior to a long ride can make for a much more comfortable and relaxing trip.
5. To prevent numbness in the handles created by a tight grip on the handlebars for a prolonged period of time, frequently change your grip on the handlebars. Also wearing padded gloves or handlebar covers can help soften the grip as well.
6. To avoid back discomfort, replace the stem on your bike with one that has more rise until the handlebar is an inch below the top of the saddle.
7. If triceps muscles are fatigued and sore, the stem on the bike is too long. If it is too short, your shoulder muscles will be sore.
8. After a strenuous bike ride, for the last ten (10) minutes slow down the ride and avoid hills. This gives the muscles a chance to react accordingly and soreness can be significantly reduced.
9. Don't overdress in cold weather. You may be cold the first mile or two, but your body will warm up from the pedaling. A light hat will also help contain the body heat that is lost thru the head and neck.
10. Dehydration contributes to fatigue. Drinking a swig of water or sports drink every ten (10) minutes during a strenuous ride will help keep your riding in comfort.
As you progress in your cycling and dedicate more time and energy to your rides, additional preparation and precautions will have to be taken. I will be addressing those in another future article for advanced cyclists. But the tips above apply to all cyclists - from a beginner to a racer - and they are important for your own comfort and safety.
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