Buckle those helmets and hop on a bicycle. Bicycling is a great way to get in some cardiovascular exercise, and it can help tone the legs and backside. Take it at your own pace, whether you like to ride leisurely and look at the scenery or speed things up and tackle the hills.
Proper form is important. Make sure to adjust the height of the seat so that when you pedal downward your leg is mostly straight with a slight bend in the knee. You should also be able to reach the handlebars comfortably (can bend your elbows easily) where you can lean forward at roughly a 45-degree angle. Stop by your local bicycle shop if you need assistance with proper form.
Many cities now have bike share programs (like New York City’s Citi Bike Program) where bikes are available for transportation throughout the city. The bikes should be durable and safe to ride in a bustling urban environment. Renting a bike is another great way to explore a city, get some exercise, and care for the environment. Think about the impact that a bicycle has on the environment compared to a car!
Not a fan of outdoor biking? Try a spin or cycling class for an indoor biking experience, or use the stationary bicycles at the gym. Many spin studios offer great deals (free or reduced price) for your first class, so try a class out and see if you like it. Spin classes come in a wide variety these days. Some classes feel more like a dance party than a spin class! Or, hop on a bike for a good cause. There are plenty of group cycling classes, such as Cycle for Survival and others, that help raise money for cancer research.
Now go get those wheels turning, and don’t forget to stay hydrated while you bike!
Be sure to speak with your physician and heath care team before starting any new exercise regimen or making changes to your current routine.
Biking for Exercise: Risks and Rewards. Stanislaus County Health Services Agency website. Healthwire June, 2001. http://www.schsa.org/PublicHealth/pages/healthResources/healthwire/2001/06.htm