When you think about the ultimate workout you tend to envision a gym or studio setting, lots of scary equipment and a hefty entrance fee. Your journey to a healthier version of yourself, however, does not have to fit into that box. There are many ways of incorporating exercise into your daily routine that gives you all the same benefits without having to step foot anywhere near a gym. Cycling, for example, dramatically improves your fitness without having to ensure the impact your joints absorb when running. Hopping on your bike can also help you burn up to 400 calories in an hour. When the benefits are that positive why wouldn’t you want to throw on your helmet and hit the road. Continue reading to find out how to incorporate cycling into your fitness routine and take a step towards a new you.
Buy a Bike
The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a bike. Cycling is forever increasing in popularity which means that there’s a huge range of bikes on the market to suit all preferences and budgets. There’s also cycle to work schemes and family discounts that can be applied so make sure you research your supplier before you dive head first into your wallet for that credit card. The first question you’ll be asked when you step into any store is whether you want a road bike or a mountain bike and this will depend on what you intend to use the bike for. If you plan to use your new shiny bike for commuting only, a road bike may be more suitable as they tend to weigh less and have less speed options for a more efficient ride. A mountain bike has more robust suspension, more speed options and is more durable. This makes them perfect for more off road cycling, maybe you’ll be using your bike to explore some nature trails at the weekend or you’re planning a trip with the hope of squeezing in some bike rides along the river. If so, a mountain bike is going to be more suitable for you.
It’s important to consider what additional purchases you’ll need to make once you’ve picked out your new bike of choice. The first one is definitely a helmet. A helmet significantly reduces the risk of serious injury should you have an accident and provides protection for the most important part of your body- your head. Choosing a helmet that fits well is a must, not to mention a legal requirement should you intend to use your bike to travel on the road or public footpath. You should also consider investing in a sturdy bike lock and some lights to make you visible at night. Accidents are more likely to happen at night so make yourself easily seen to drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists.
Reap the Benefits
Now that you have your bike and all the extras you need to make sure you’re safe you can start to reap the rewards of incorporating cycling into your fitness routine. If you’re choosing to cycle to the office and back then you could be increasing your weekly exercise time by up to 50%. This means that your fitness is going to dramatically improve or that you can drop one of your current training sessions and pencil in some time with friends and family. As well as social rewards you’ll see improved muscle tone and flexibility, decreased body fat and increased joint mobility which all contribute to an overall healthier you.
Now that you know just how much cycling can improve your lifestyle what’s stopping you heading to the store, grabbing your dream bike and taking the first step towards a more exciting and healthier life.