Cycling is a great way to lose weight, build endurance and get around. This type of exercise develops blood circulation and tones your body. People that cycle regularly have a decreased risk of coronary heart disease. It also strengtheners the immune system and protects against cancers. If you want to know how to start cycling, here are the basic steps you need to take:
Step 1 – Buy a bike
Because there are so many types of bicycles available on the market, making the right decision can be a difficult task. Before you purchase a bike, think about where you are going to ride it and how much you are willing to spend. Road bikes are lighter with thin tires and strong frames. Other important factors are your height and your weight. Cycling shops sometimes offer a free fitting service for new and old bikes.
Step 2 – Wear proper equipment
You don’t need fancy equipment to get started, but there are certain essential items. Never ride without a helmet and make sure it fits well. Attach a water bottle to your bike to stay hydrated during long rides. A repair kit and a pump are necessary in case your bike breaks, or you get a flat tire. Other important items are cycling padded gloves, glasses and lights. Wear bright clothes and layer them so you can remove certain items if you get hot.
Step 3 – Start slow
Cycling uses different muscle groups than other types of exercises, so you need to start slow and allow your body to get used to the movement. Take into consideration your training age, the amount of time you can comfortably ride a bike without overtraining. Warm up and stretch for 10 minutes before each workout and don’t push yourself too hard. Ride 3-4 miles for the first couple of weeks and increase the volume gradually. Choose a flat road with less traffic.
Step 4 – Stay safe
Many wonder how to start cycling with so much traffic and irresponsible drivers. It is important to always be safe and respect the laws. Being aware of the common causes of accidents can help predict them. Make yourself visible and wear bright colors and reflectors. Always wear a helmet and brake with the back pads first. Signal with your hands and make eye contact with the drivers. It is better to ride during daytime, especially if you are a beginner
Step 5 – Stay motivated
After you learn how to start cycling, make sure you do it regularly so it becomes a habit. Riding your bike to work is a cheap, easy way to exercise. You can find a cycling partner and train together. Get some free cycling maps from your local council and find the best routes.