Adding bicycling to your lifestyle is beneficial in so many ways. It’s great exercise that strengthens and tones your entire body. Cycling also improves cardiovascular function, which can help combat heart disease, the number one killer of both men and women in the US.
In addition to heart disease, exercising with your bike can help reduce your risk of diabetes, stroke, skin diseases, ocular diseases, cancer, and kidney disease. It burns major calories and helps with weight-loss efforts. Finally, it can reduce stress and boost your mood with the power of feel-good endorphins.
Once you get comfortable on your bike and start reaping the benefits, you may find yourself longing to try something a little more challenging. If you want to try trail riding, mountain biking, or participating in a marathon, that’s great! But remember, these adventures can be quite grueling, so it’s important to prepare properly.
To help avoid injury, you’ll need to take certain precautions. Your bike needs to be in tip-top shape before you leave. Have it tuned and talk with your bike mechanic about your upcoming adventure. They may be able to give you tips on fixing things on the fly or even just anecdotes from their own experiences.
Also prepare a first-aid kit specifically for bikes. Fill it with bandages, antibiotic ointment, your preferred pain reliever, gauze pads, waterproof tape, and a high-SPF sunblock. It’s also a good idea to take a basic first-aid course. There’s not much point in having a stocked kit if you don’t know how to use it.
If you’ve been biking for a while, you’re probably in pretty good physical shape. However, if this is your first big expedition on two wheels, there’s a good chance you’re not totally mentally prepared for the struggle you’re about to face. When it comes to these activities, what’s happening in the mind is just as important as what’s happening with the body.
A big way to boost your mental power is to make sure you eat and hydrate properly before and during your trip. A properly-fueled body means a more acute mind. It’s also necessary for you to keep a positive mindset. Tearing yourself down isn’t going to help you reach your goals. By staying confident and positive, you are mentally setting yourself up for success.
Let’s Get Physical
When you first started out biking, you were probably introduced early on to the pain that can come with it. During big biking expeditions, people experience shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, chafing of the skin, pain in the knees and back, nausea, headaches, cramping, and more.
Develop a training plan so you can work through these issues before you experience them on the trail. You may still feel a bit of pain on your trip, but if you’ve experienced this before, you know you can handle it again.
There are so many great reasons to try cycling, and the sport is only getting more and more popular. If you’re ready to take your cycling to the next level, you need to adequately prepare as best you can. When you go in with the right gear and the right attitude, you’re more likely to enjoy your adventure and keep coming back for more.