Biking for Fitness

     

    If you want to get healthier, there is nothing better than biking. It is excellent for cardiovascular exercise and to strengthen muscle. You have to do it right, though. You need to have a plan. You may think that because you already know how to ride a bike, it is just a matter of going farther and faster. That is actually a recipe for injury.

    First, you need to be smart. Set up a training regimen or find one online. Have a plan for what you want to accomplish, whether that is weight loss or to ride for a certain length of time or a specific distance. You want to start out at the level you are already at, then gradually work your way up to the place you want to be. You don’t need to go from four miles a day to 15 in a week, and you shouldn’t. You can set a high goal for yourself, but add realistic benchmarks along the way.

    Second, if you really want to improve, you need to increase your intensity. There is a difference between going three km on an easy ride for thirty minutes, or if you take the same amount of time and go twice as far. The best way to track these things are by using an accelerometer and a gps so that you can measure your workouts.

    Another thing you need to be is consistent. You must regularly work your muscles in order to improve or you will be wasting your time. Unfortunately, it is a lot easier to lose fitness than it is to gain. It can be a slog but stick with it to achieve your goals. Especially if you are training on your own, it can be hard to find the motivation. Giving yourself small rewards like some new gear when you hit benchmarks can really help you get where you want to be.

    One thing people overlook, which seems a little contradictory to the paragraph above, is rest. If you do a hard day, it needs to be followed by an easier day. Recovery is actually part of the best training regimens. If even your easy days are high enough intensity, you will be going into your harder days more tired than you need to be.

    Before I go, I want to relay one more thing, because doing that stuff is not all you have to do. You also need to have the right gear – if you don’t know what type of bike you should be riding or if it is adjusted properly to your height, spend some time at a bike shop. You also need to maintain your bike properly – make sure everything is tightened and that everything works the way it should before every ride. Keep it clean and oiled properly. You also need to wear the appropriate safety equipment. Take care of your equipment and it will faithfully help you reach your goals!

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