A regular cycling habit brings countless health-based benefits along. Unfortunately, many people stop as soon as they start it, either because they assume they’re not up to the task, or because they don’t see results as quickly as they might like. Don’t quit before getting fit because of a few common rookie biking mistakes. To help you avoid the same next time around, we’re going to introduce some cycling habits that help you.
As well as being a great way to get from A to B, cycling is a low-impact way to exercise just about every muscle in your body. In fact, with studies revealing that cycling alone stands to cut all risks of death by as much as 40%, there’s really nothing to stop you from getting started here.
Research Your Equipment
A cycling habit that can help you is researching your equipment. Cycling isn’t the only form of exercise reliant on equipment, but it is one of the only outdoor exercises that’s entirely dependent on the safety and functioning of the equipment itself. As such, while research is always necessary before any exercise-based purchase, it becomes especially fundamental when buying a bike. After all, get this wrong, and you could find yourself in a dangerous situation while you’re either on the road surrounded by cars or in the middle of nowhere. Injury and a general lack of confidence as a result of mistakes like these can cost your cycling habit, and fitness hopes, altogether.
It’s therefore essential to research thoroughly before even considering a bike purchase and to make sure that you seek professional assistance at the buying stage to get the best possible bike for your needs. Specifically, it’s important to note that you can’t just buy the bike your friend has or the one that you saw on the Tour De France last time around. Instead, you need to consider everything from your capability as it stands through to where you intend to ride, how often, and for how long. Only then can you guarantee a bike that’s fit for your needs.
Know What to Wear
While it doesn’t count as equipment, as such, you also need to take time to understand what you should wear whenever you head out on a ride. Most obviously, of course, essentials like a reliable helmet, cycling shades, and a decent pair of shoes should get a look in here, but it’s also important to take this further. After all, a surprising amount of cyclists either make the mistake of overdressing or not wearing enough to protect themselves from winds that can get incredibly high during the momentum of a ride.
To ensure utmost comfort, it’s therefore essential to strike the ideal balance between lightweight, flexible outfits, and the heat protections necessary in most instances. Obviously, this is all going to vary depending on when and where you’re riding, but a good guide in this sense would be:
- 70° or over: Bike shorts, short-sleeved bike jersey, bike socks, bike gloves
- 50-65°: Bike shorts, long-sleeve bike jersey, bike socks, bike gloves
- 50° or below: Moisture wicking base layer, insulating middle layer, waterproof outer layer
Plan Your Routes
Another cycling habit that can help you is planning. While it might seem like a good idea to wildly explore on your bike much as you would with walking, many bike-based accidents and setbacks happen as a result of poorly planned routes that either take you outside of your bike’s comfort zone or leave you too exhausted to realistically get home again. Accidental routes that push you too far in terms of fitness can be especially detrimental, opening the way to injuries that may prevent you from being able to get back on that bike altogether.
As such, it’s always essential to plan efficient routes that, unless you’re engaging in road-specific cycling, keep you well off the beaten track. This is especially important considering that many people who hire a personal injury attorney in the wake of a cycling accident do so due to the involvement of other vehicles. By instead making sure to plan realistic, terrain-dependent off-road routes, you both drastically reduce your risks and make sure that you’re able to always work within, and build up to, your fitness capabilities at the moment.
A final word
Cycling can be an incredibly rewarding form of outdoor exercise and is truly second to none when it comes to building stamina. Follow the above healthy cycling habits that help you stick to this great sport and achieve your goals.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor