Summer seems to be the kick many of us need to get into shape – after all it’s much nicer (and more motivating) to go outside and exercise when the sun is shining!
According to many fitness experts cycling is one of the best forms of exercise. Not only does it give your whole body a workout but it also helps to tone your thighs and calf muscles. When you’re going uphill you’ll give your upper body a workout too.
Because it is a low impact exercise, it means that your joints won’t suffer too much as there is less stress on them compared to if you were doing aerobic exercises like running. Cycling also improves circulation so it’s great for the heart, it improves blood circulation and more than that – it’s excellent as stress relief.
Visit the British Cycling website for details on local trails and tracks, local cycling events and top cycling tips to make the most of your cycling.
Of course, to get involved in cycling the first thing you’ll need is a bike! Mountain bikes are the best option for cycling for sport and recreation as it means you will be prepared for going off track (e.g. through woods, down mud tracks and over gravel) and it will give you the support you need.
You should always make sure that you wear a cycling helmet as this will significantly reduce the risk of a head injury if you happen to fall off of your bike – this is as important on a woodland track as it is on a main road. Make sure that your helmet has a snug fit and doesn’t move around easily.
Before you set off make sure that your bike is in good working order – check that the tyres are blown up and that the brakes work properly. Adjust the position of your saddle so that you are comfortable but able to pedal quickly and easily. A good indicator of the right height is when you can stretch your leg to put the ball of your foot on the ground. If your leg is completely straight when the pedal is at its lowest, the seat is too high.
Check out the mountain bike and accessories section here at Very.co.uk for some brilliant deals on mountain bikes and make sure you get all the accessories you need. Once you’ve got everything you need, set off and remember – it might be exercise but the most important thing is to have fun!