One of the most diverse sports out there is cycling or bicycling. The word itself, “cycling” conjures up different images for many people. One person might think of someone riding through a neighborhood, another might think of someone cruising down a mountain, and another might picture someone pedalling to the finish line in a race. All three of these ideas are correct – which makes cycling one of the best and easiest sports to partake in. Still unsure if you want to become a cyclist? Read below for more information.
Benefits of Cycling
There are many reasons as to why a person should start cycling. The most obvious being it’s a great way to exercise. Below is a list of Zensah’s top five benefits of cycling.
- It’s good for your heart: Cycling has been shown to decrease the risk of coronary heart disease and improve cardiovascular fitness Why? Cycling is an aerobic exercise so you’ll be giving your heart, blood vessels, and lungs a workout. Thus, decreasing your risk of heart problems.
- It’s good for your muscles: Cycling for a few miles a day will result in trimmer and toned muscles. As you cycle, you will be using your upper thigh muscles, backside, and calf muscles. Contrary to popular belief, cycling does not only involve working out your lower half your body, but it also includes working out your arms.
- It trims your waistline: You’ll burn a lot of calories putting your pedal to the medal. This especially works if you keep a consistent pace rather than pedaling and coasting on repeat. Cycling also has the benefit of speeding up your metabolism even when you’re done.
- It relieves stress: In general, any sort of physical activity is a great way to relieve stress. With cycling; however, it balances your body’s inner equilibrium. You’ll satisfy your body’s need for movement or exercise and you’ll balance out increasing mental and emotional strain. Cycling is an instant stress reliever!
- It’ll help you live longer: Imagine a week without exercise. That week will result in a reduction in strength of your muscular system of up to 50%. Now imagine a month or year without exercise. That would result in long term damage to your muscles. This is particularly dangerous for the elderly because as you age, your muscles will start to shrink. Cycling will combat this helping to build stamina. It also helps to know that cycling has been associated with increased life years.
Now that you’ve received a dosage of why cycling is good for you, here are some tips to getting the right cycling gear.
The Right Bicycle
There are many types of bicycles out there ranging from road bikes, rickshaws, mountain bikes, etc. However, the three main types of bikes are listed below:
- Road: Road bikes are characterized by its light weight, thin high-pressured wheels, and dropped handle bars which offer a multitude of handling positions. These bikes are perfect for biking on paved roads. There are various types of road bikes; some are designed for speed and other for comfort. These bikes are ideal for racing, recreational riding, or commuting.
- Mountain: Mountain bikes (sometimes called MTB) are heavier in weight with thicker wheels, and straight handle bars. These bike are designed to withstand logs and rocks since mountain biking involves cycling on uneven terrains. Consider getting a mountain bike if you’re interested in off-road cycling.
- Hybrid: As the name suggests, the hybrid is a combination of both the road and mountain bicycles. Hybrids have upright handlebars, slightly wider high-pressure tires (not as thin as road bike tires), and the weight is between a road bike and a mountain bike. Hybrid bikes are sometimes called “fitness” or “lifestyle” bikes because they are perfect for commuters.
There are many bike variations within the three categories listed above. To find the right bike for you, you can visit your local bike shop.
The Right Cycling Gear
Getting a whole new outfit just for cycling may seem ridiculous, but there are added benefits to getting specially-made cycling gear.
The first and most important piece of cycling gear you should get is a helmet. Helmets may seem uncool and unfashionable, but they are very important for your well-being. Wearing a helmet will help to prevent fatalities and head injuries. Most injuries from cycling result from the rider not wearing a helmet. In addition, in some places in the U.S., not wearing a helmet if you’re under the age of 18 is illegal. To make your helmet more fashion forward, try decorating it, match the color to your cycling gear, or get the same helmet as your favorite competitive cyclist.
Consider getting a pair of compression bottoms. There are many different types, but overall, compression bottoms provide support to the upper leg which allows for unrestricted mobility in the lower legs. They also prevent chafing and rashes on the inside of your thighs. Your legs will also be kept warm and loose as these bottoms aid in increasing oxygen and blood flow. High compression bottoms such as shorts, tights, and capris offer a greater level of compression during activity and are helpful for recovery. Base layer compression bottoms have a mild level of compression. Choose the right type of compression bottoms for you by considering the intensity of cycling that you will be doing.
Another great addition to your cycling gear is compression arm sleeves. Cycling sleeves helps to keep the blood flowing to the muscles in your arms and keeps your arms loose and warm. Some arm sleeves such as Zensah’s are made with silver ion technology to keep you cool or warm depending on the climate. Zensah arm sleeves are also made to provide sun protection so you’ll be able to protect your skin while cycling on the hottest days.
Zensah offers a great range of high and base layer compression bottoms. Their cycling gear is a must have for any cyclist. The bottoms are made with a 3D design that will target your quadriceps and provide a massage feel. In addition, they are moisture-wicking which means your shorts, tights, or capris will stay dry and free of perspiration. That’s one less thing you have to worry about while you cycle.
Cycling is a great way to get your body exercising. Now is the time to start! Have fun by cycling with friends or family on a cool summer night. You won’t regret it!
To all the Zensah cyclists out there, do you have any tips to share?