Cycling is a popular and fun way to spend time enjoying the outdoors now that the summer weather has arrived. The benefits to our cardiovascular (heart and lungs) and musculoskeletal systems are numerous and include muscle strength and flexibility, increased blood flow to muscles, improved heart function, strengthened bones and improved mood, to name just a few. There are some things to keep in mind when beginning your cycling program since it is a new activity for your body’s muscles, joints and, in particular your sit area, to adjust to if you are new to it or have not been riding all winter.
Begin slowly, gradually increase distance to your ride each week. Progress from flat terrain to more hilly terrain. Take extra caution if it has been awhile since you have ridden a bike. Choose low traffic roads and ALWAYS wear a helmet.
Proper bike fit is essential to preventing soreness and injury and the overall enjoyment of your ride. There are numerous resources on the web, such as www.competitivecyclist.com , to properly fit your bike. However, a trip to your local bike shop to allow the professionals there to make the adjustmens or offer necessary safety or fit accessories, may be a great place to start. Paula Hoffmann, PT, MPT, MS here at Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness (717-790-9994) is also able to assist you with fit, especially if you are having muscle, joint or spine pains.
Try out some of the local rails to trails (www.railstotrails.org/experience-trails/ )to enjoy vehicle free trails and the company of other riders. Get outdoors…stay active…be safe…and have fun!