As a mother in my mid-forties, one of the most rewarding life changes Iâ€™ve made in the last five years was to take up cycling. I was looking for a fun way to get low impact exercise but I soon discovered that there were a host of other hidden benefits. I was surprised to find it is so much fun that I forget I am doing something healthy for me. It has been great for reducing stress, losing weight and increasing my muscle strength. I have also found that I can go at my own pace and still reap the benefits. If you are looking for a fun way to exercise that is low impact and so much fun youâ€™ll forget you are getting exercise, cycling may be right for you.
Cycling is excellent for the environment, as there is practically no environmental impact. You donâ€™t need to burn fuels that generate pollution and you can ride in areas that already exist. So, instead of jumping into your car for the commute to work or to do your shopping, hop on your bike to get the job done.
Another health benefit you may not know is that cycling is also good for your brain. It helps your neurotransmitters to communicate better and promotes concentration. The best part is that cycling keeps your mind active with a fun activity while your body is carrying out all the work.
Choose the Right Bicycle
If you follow a few rules, determining the right bike for you will not be difficult. Start by establishing what type of riding you will do the most. You donâ€™t want a mountain bike to ride around the city. Once you have chosen the correct type, try it out. You will need to have at least two inches of clearance over the top bar when you stand over it. You should have to lean forward a little to grasp the handlebars. Also make sure that when the pedal is at the lowest position, your knees are only slightly bent. Last, you will want to make sure your seat is as comfortable as possible. If you will be commuting to work or shopping, you may consider adding a rack or basket for storage.
Always Be Safe
The most important safety measure you can take when cycling is to consistently wear a helmet. Wearing reflective clothing, even in the daytime, is a good idea and follow the rules of the road. It is important to avoid the driverâ€™s blind spot when approaching a car. If you canâ€™t make eye contact with the driver, slow down and prepare to stop. Never pass on the right side and wait behind a car at a stop light rather than beside it. Itâ€™s also a good idea to take those earbuds out in traffic. You need to hear the traffic around you.
Where to Ride
Your commute to work or shopping is just the beginning. Any trip that you normally take in a car can be taken on your bike. Just pick a direction at the end of your driveway and go. City and state parks sometimes have public bike trails into areas that do not allow cars. Historic sites are much more fun when you see them on a bike. Taking a leisurely ride in the country can be soothing as well. You can enjoy the benefits of riding your bicycle virtually anywhere.