We know that physical activity is not just something for athletes or those who want to be fit, but an essential part of a healthy lifestyle at any age or for any body type. However, one major hurdle for people who have tight schedules or spend a lot of time stationary due to work is finding a physical activity that fits their lives. One great match is cycling. Unlike some activities with a heavy barrier to entry, cycling is pretty easy to get into and has a wealth of benefits. Here’s some of the good it can do for you.
Easy To Incorporate:
Certain activities like hiking may be fun, but you have to either live in a certain area or have time on your hands to get started. Other activities, like going to the gym, are more accessible, but you need to go multiple times a week to see real benefit. Cycling offers the best of both worlds. As long as you have a park or bikepath, you’re set—even in urban areas. As an added note, you only need to do it for roughly two to four hours a week to start seeing physical benefits. Also, you don’t need a lot of physical skill to get started. Most people already know how to ride a bike, and even if you don’t, when you do learn it, it’s not a skill you forget.
Certain activities are by nature, high-octane. Cycling, however, can be as intense or as relaxing as you prefer. This means that people who are recovering or smaller children can do a simple ride to get active, then work up to more intense workouts as their fitness improves. This also makes it a great match for people who are trying to lose weight, as they can change their riding regimen to meet their fitness goals.
A major concern for people just getting into fitness and the hardcore alike is pushing one’s self too hard. An injury can derail your exercise plans for a while, and this is one area where cycling is actually better than running. This is because running is a weight-bearing exercise, where cycling isn’t. One study compared the two groups and found that runners suffered 133-144 percent more muscle damage, 256 percent more inflammation and DOMS 87 percent higher. The catch here is that these weight-bearing exercises also build bone density. So, consider doing a little strength training to go along with your rides.
The Social Piece:
Because of the nature of riding, it’s easy to get other people involved without worrying about them being a fit. This means that if you’re looking for a more active way to get friends or family together, this is a great option.
Practicality: For many people, exercise is something that takes time out of their day. Not necessarily the case here. Doing a few errands by bike can save you time and get you fit to boot.
While cycling is a great way to have fun and get some physical activity at the same time, like any physical hobby, there is an element of risk. According to JR Reyna, a personal injury attorney out of Houston, “no matter how carefully you ride your bicycle and abide by the relevant road rules and laws, bicycle accidents can and do still happen. You may be injured throughout the state of Texas when operating your bicycle in a safe manner. If it was a motorist’s negligence that ultimately caused the collision, the bicyclist is well within his or her rights under Texas personal injury law to demand compensation for the harm that he or she has suffered in the form of lost wages, medical expenses and other damages tied to the accident.”
While legal action is useful if you do everything right but sustain an injury while cycling due to someone else’s error, you still want to do everything possible to avoid that situation from happening in the first place. A good start is choosing where you cycle and when, especially if this is a hobby and not a mode of transportation for you. Try to avoid busy driving areas, especially during peak hours. In addition, you also want to invest in safety gear, from a basic helmet and pads to other gear, such as reflective lights and clothing if you plan to ride at night. Remember, you want to use cycling to improve your health, and that only works if you avoid accidents.