So, you’re thinking of shaking up your usual fitness routine and taking advantage of the summer weather by adding a cycling program. Initially it may seem daunting but it really isn’t any different from when you were a kid touring around your neighborhood. Here are a few helpful pointers to get you back in the pedals.
The first step is to find the right bike and be sure it fits your body. Seek out professional help as there are a variety of different types of bikes and if it is not correctly fitted you’re going to feel it in your butt, back, and knees. A cycling shop can also recommend the right helmet and clothing to keep you safe and comfortable.
The key to fitness on a bike is keeping a steady rhythm, meaning that you pedal constantly, rather than pedaling and coasting. This will require you to find long stretches of roadway or cycling paths. Find a speed gear that will allow you to maintain a consistent pedaling speed that is not so fast that you’re bouncing around and not so difficult that you tire quickly.
Cycling is a non-impact activity, so ride as much as your schedule and fitness level allow. Gradually build up your distances to increase stamina and, similar to running, only one long ride a week. Add high-speed intervals to increase the number of calories you burn and do incline or hill work to build strength.
To stay motivated with your cycling program set goals for yourself, such as a particular destination with a distance that makes you a little nervous, or a charity ride. Join a cycling club to ride with others on outings tailored to your fitness level and goals. Even on rainy or snowy days, you can maintain your program with an indoor spinning class.