With the warm, Spring weather comes the natural urge to get outside and get moving. However, many people restrict their outdoor exercise to walking and running. While walking and running are great options, riding a bicycle is one of the best forms of exercise you can get and serves as complimentary addition to a running or walking program.
A major cause for over-use injuries with spring exercisers is walking or running too much, too soon. Mixing up your activities every other day with walks, bicycle rides, runs and other forms of activity is a great way to stay active yet free of injury. With boredom being another top cause for exercise inconsistency, having numerous options will help you safely stay in the game. Bicycles have numerous uses from commuting to and from work, mountain-biking, paved trail riding, benefit rides, leisure rides and even competitive endeavors. Assess your needs and choose a bike that fits your style and goals.
Bicycling has become a popular activity for those who have had injuries that prevent them from running and walking programs because of its great cardiovascular benefits yet low impact on their muscles, joints and connective tissues.
If basic fitness is your goal, it doesn’t matter which bike you currently have…just get on it and start riding! Of course, be sure to always wear a helmet and if it has been a while since you have been on your bike, take it to your local bike shop for a basic tune-up to ensure that it is in proper working order.
I include a number of different forms of bicycling into my exercise program and find that by rotating bicycle riding with my running, lifting and flexibility training, I never get bored and keep progressing. I have no doubts that your bicycle will offer the same benefits as well.
As with any other form of exercise, start off slow and work your way up to higher levels of intensity and duration. Mix things up, have fun, be consistent!