People are digging up their old bikes and buying new ones to get around town and run errands. About 90 million American adults ride a bike at least once a year, nearly 30 million cycle regularly for recreation. And why not? Bicycling is inexpensive, fun, and it offers numerous health benefits. The activity also it can burn 400 to 700 calories per hour.
Like jogging and walking, biking is an aerobic exercise that, unlike other sports, is low impact, so there’s less stress on the joints.
- Wear a helmet, gloves and bicycling shorts
- A comfortable, gender-specific bicycle seat makes long rides easier
- Specialized gear, such as clipless pedals, are recommended only for those who ride more than 30 minutes at a time
- Make sure that the bicycle fits both your leg length and your torso/arm reach
- Always stretch before riding to prepare your muscles and joints
- After the ride, when your muscles are warm, focus on flexibility and increasing your range of motion
- Don’t pedal in high gear for long periods. This can increase the pressure on your knees and lead to overuse injuries such as “biker’s knee.” Shift to lower gears and faster revolutions to get more exercise with less stress on your knees.
- Change your hand and body position frequently to change the angle of your back, neck, and arms, so that different muscles are stressed and pressure is put on different nerves.
- Drink plenty of water