How to Get Started with Cycling

How to Get Started with Cycling

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that provides numerous health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, increasing muscle strength and endurance, and reducing stress levels.

Cycling Benefits to Your Health

Cycling can deliver a host of both physical and mental health benefits (as can most types of exercise, of course).

Improved cardiovascular health

Cycling is a great cardiovascular exercise that strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure, and improves blood circulation.

Increased muscle strength and endurance

It primarily works the lower body muscles, such as the quadriceps, glutes, and calves, and can also strengthen the core muscles.

Reduced risk of chronic diseases

Regular cycling can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Weight management

It’s an effective way to burn calories and manage weight.

Reduced stress levels

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that can reduce stress levels and improve overall mental health.

Improved joint mobility

This low-impact exercise can improve joint mobility and flexibility.

Better lung health

Cycling can improve lung function and capacity, increasing oxygen intake.

Increased bone density

This weight-bearing exercise can improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Improved immune system function

Cycling can boost the immune system and reduce the risk of illness and infection.

Getting Started

As with any new fitness endeavor, it’s important to check with your health care provider first if you have any health issues that may interfere with your ability to safely work out.

Once you have the all-clear, begin by doing short rides of about twenty minutes at a time, 2-3x per week. As a newbie, simply being on the bike can be challenging in itself as you’re training your body to adjust to pressure on your feet, groin, legs, wrists and hands. It’ll take time to get used to it and this is absolutely normal.

For the first two weeks of cycling, just focus on getting comfortable on the bike. You will also need to:

  • Choose the right bike. There are different types of bikes available, such as road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Choose a bike that is suitable for the type of cycling you plan to do.
  • Get the right gear. Wear appropriate clothing, such as padded shorts and a helmet. Consider investing in cycling shoes and gloves for added comfort and protection.
  • Focus on proper form. Learn proper cycling technique, such as how to shift gears and pedal efficiently.
  • Find a cycling group or partner. Join a cycling group or find a partner to ride with to stay motivated and safe.
  • Stay safe. Obey traffic rules, wear visible clothing, and use lights when riding at night.
  • Take care of your bike. Keep your bike well-maintained by regularly checking tire pressure, lubricating the chain, and keeping it clean.
  • Consider taking a class or getting a coach. A cycling class or coach can help you improve your technique and reach your cycling goals.

How to Get Better at Cycling

One way to get better at cycling is to do cross-training (other exercise that involves working on strength, range of motion and flexibility). You should also incorporate brief periods of sprinting as this has been found to improve performance. Then do the same on the bike (ie bike sprinting).

A very effective way to get better at cycling is to do it more often. If you started with two days a week, transition to three days a week. The more time you spend on the bike, the better you’ll get at it. You can also enroll in a gym like Soul Cycle so you will always have access to cycling equipment no matter the weather.

Finally, don’t forget to fuel your body. You don’t want your body to become depleted of glycogen (energy source) as this can cause fatigue and injury. Being adequately fueled will also help you enjoy your ride overall. Pay attention to the right foods to eat before, during, and after you ride.

Burn fat fast with this cycling workout:

Category: Featured