If you are considering starting a fitness routine but are not sure how to get started, riding a bike may be just the ticket. One of the best things about a bike is the flexibility that they offer. You can take a nice, leisurely ride to enjoy a pretty day or test yourself by riding up steep hills or seeing how far you can ride at one time.
Riding a bike also offers a real treat for your cardiovascular system as well as tests the muscle endurance in your legs. Over time, you will feel yourself getting stronger and more fit. Your heart rate will decrease and your body will become more firm. Understand though that you will need a few items in order to get started riding a bike.
First, of course, is the bike itself. There are many types of bikes available these days. Everything from a road bike to a mountain bike to a racing bike is on the market, some of which go for thousands of dollars. It is important to understand what you are going to use the bike for.
For example, if you plan to ride just for fun, a used road bike will probably suit you just fine. However, if you are going to push it hard, riding in the hills and take the bumps and bruises that go with that, then you will probably want a mountain bike that has a decent set of shocks to negate the effects of the terrain. When you go to actually buy a bike, be sure to test the size of the bike.
You want your feet to be able to touch the ground comfortably when you sit on the seat. Most bike shops will help you pick out a bike that fits your needs and your profile. They will most likely try to upsell you on a more expensive version of the bike you need, but if you know what you want going in, then you will be more likely to stay within your goals. The next item is a helmet.
States began adopting helmet laws in 1987 and most have adopted them since then. Not only is wearing a helmet the law, but it just makes good sense. As any football fan has learned from all the concussion-related rules that even recently been adopted, even seemingly benign head injuries can be very serious.
If you are going to ride, at some point you are going to crash, so get a helmet. The helmet should be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and should clearly be marked as such. The helmet should fit snuggly on your head so that it does not move on your head, but not so tight that it gives you a headache. Another item you should get is a pair of cushioned shorts.
Bicycle shorts are designed for more than aesthetic appeal. A good pair of shorts will have padding that makes your bike seat much more comfortable. The typical bike seat becomes very uncomfortable, even after a short ride.
Long rides will become unbearable without a pair of padded shorts. The seats can actually medical issues as well. Ride for short distances until your body gets used to the bike before you start to set out on longer rides.
Bicycles offer many health benefits, from improved cardiovascular conditioning to increased muscular endurance. However, it is important to make sure that you have the equipment you need to be safe.
Get the right type of bike for your needs. Get a DOT approved helmet and a pair of cushioned bicycle shorts. When you start riding, keep the distance short at first until your body gets used to your bike. If you do these things, your rides will be safer and you will enjoy them more.