When it comes to getting fit, there’s no denying that cycling can be one of the most effective (and one of the most fun) cardio exercises around. However, if you’re not ready, it can also be little more than a casual pedal down a hill. Here, we’re going to share a few tips to make sure you’re getting the workout that you need from your cycling escapades, as well as how to make sure you’re doing it safely.
Get the bicycle ready
First of all, it’s important to ensure that your bicycle is suited to your body shape and size. As such, taking it to your local bike shop and asking them to adjust it with a bike fit to match you in terms of saddle, stem, and handlebar positions will make sure that it’s best suited to your efforts.
Choose the right gear
A decent kit makes all the difference, keeping you safe and comfortable even as you’re pushing yourself to new limits on the bike. This includes a helmet for your security, but you should also look at upgrading to a proper cycling kit that can keep friction to a minimum, preventing soreness for repeat rides. Keeping a basic cycling repair kit on you, including a puncture repair kit, pump, spare inner tube and the like can help you quickly fix most of the common bicycle malfunctions, too.
Try HIIT cycling
If you’re getting used to your riding route, it’s important to make sure that you’re pushing yourself so that you’re not atrophying instead. To that end, biking in high-intensity intervals will make sure that you’re always pushing yourself to new levels of performance. Data from wearable fitness tech can show you how your heart rate changes during each journey, allowing you to see when you’ve started taking things too easy.
Go the distance
Aside from pushing yourself harder, you can push yourself further, as well. Cycling is fantastic for building up your cardiovascular strength as well as your stamina, which is why most long-term cycling fitness programs will focus on increasing your cycling distance. A long ride every week is recommended, with the length usually starting at one hour, but you can start pushing that up a minute at a time. Just be sure to pay attention to when your body says enough is enough.
Find more challenging routes
Even if you’re pushing your harder and farther than you usually would, it’s important to also make sure that you’re switching things up to add a little more variety. Keeping things fresh can also make it a lot easier to keep yourself motivated, after all. To that end, you can look at some of the cycling apps that allow you to check out different routes that other cyclists have tried.
With the tips above, you should be ready to cycle in a way that’s safe, effective, and still fun. Keep challenging yourself further as you go, making sure that you pump up the difficulty if you find yourself getting too used to your routine.