Workout of the Week
by Nicole Wilkes
Photography courtesy of EYOF Utrecht 2013 on Creative Commons on Flickr
Pedaling activates all major muscle groups in the leg, so you don’t have to worry about going too hard on one area and leaving the others disproportionate. As those muscles flex to push your foot downward on the pedal, they’re pulling on the nearby bone and therefore increasing bone density.
Cycling is also prime cardio, bringing to the table all the general benefits such as lower fat levels and blood pressure, a stronger heart, and improved stamina.
The low-impact nature of cycling also makes it an ideal exercise for anyone recovering muscular or joint injuries. It even increases joint mobility for those who suffer from general joint stiffness.
Try it because
One of the best aspects of cycling is that, for some, it can be used as transportation and therefore time-efficient and convenient. Biking to and from work, errands etc., not only gets an easy workout in, but can save you money as well. Plus, it’s a lot easier on the environment than most other modes of transportation.
Once you get on a bike, you can push yourself as much or as little as you want. You can bike a hilly, strenuous route at a challenging pace, or you might choose to go for a leisurely ride just to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
When adjusting your bicycle’s seat, set it at a height that allows you to push the pedals down fully with your knees still slightly bent. Avoid forcing yourself to completely extend your legs on the down pedal, as this can lead to serious muscle strains.
And, finally, wear a helmet. This is recommended for cyclists of all levels, but is especially important for anyone engaging in particularly strenuous activity or riding in unpredictable environments.