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Cycling

Road cycling is one of the best exercises to build cardiovascular endurance

With the bicycle being environmentally friendly and new bike lanes being built across the country, it is not surprising road cycling is fast becoming the favourite exercise of many Australians.

You don’t even need to ride too hard to already feel the benefits. And on the environmental front, bikes are a cheaper and healthier alternative to the car.

The History Of Cycling

Cycling has been a popular mode of transportation throughout the world since the bicycles were first invented in the middle of the eighteenth century.

It is one of the main sports which has always been featured in the Olympic Games since 1896.

Later in 1885, the English inventor, John Kemp Starley revolutionised the world of cycling when he came up with the chain-and-gearing system.

Starley’s safety bicycle was a far cry from the old unstable penny farthing with its large front wheel.

At the same time, in the late nineteenth century, road cycling increased in popularity both in Europe and the United States.

Road racing, as an official sport, began in 1868 and the first world championship was held in Chicago in 1893.

The earliest road bike races, like the first Tour de France in 1903, paved the way for future races throughout the world as it is still one of the most reputable to win.

Ever since, the bike has never ceased to improve as it became faster, lighter and a lot safer and easier to use.

The Benefits Of Cycling

There are many reasons to take up road cycling and once you get started, you can get hooked!

Road Cycling

Add some fun and competition by cycling with a friend or group

The main advantage is you will enjoy the great outdoors and get some fresh air. Because of this, it is a fantastic stress reliever especially if you spend most days working in an air-conditioned office.

Cycling is also easier on your joints than walking or running.  This is why it is so popular with people of all ages and all fitness levels.

And it is incredibly beneficial for mums-to-be. As young and old can enjoy the benefits of road cycling, it is the perfect activity to bring the whole family together.

As you burn calories fast, you will develop killer legs because those quads, glutes and calves work harder than you think.

And, you may not notice, but your core and upper body will also get a workout from moving the bike around as you ride.

Biking is the perfect way to combat fatigue. You will get a real energy increase as your brain releases dopamine. While giving a boost to your immune system, you can reduce the risk of heart disease and strengthen your cardiovascular system.

Cycling will greatly increase your metabolism. So even after a thirty minute bike ride you will still be burning more calories for hours after you stop cycling.

And last, but not least, keep in mind that regular biking can improve your performance at other sports as well.

How To Get Started With Cycling

First of all you will need to find a suitable bike for your size and adjust the saddle so you can sit comfortably at a reasonable height.

Bicycle

A basic road bike and a helmet is all you need to get started!

Your knees should bend about twenty-five degrees on the down pedal stroke. A professional at the bike shop will be more than happy to help you find the correct fit for you.

It is advised that you start with some leg stretches. You will need to wear comfortable clothes and shoes as well as sunscreen and a helmet.

If the weather is cool, it is a good idea to wear layers which you can take off as you warm up.

Don’t forget to carry a small backpack with enough water and snacks which are high in carbohydrates especially if you are out on long rides.

Firstly do some research about cycling paths in your area. This information can be found on the internet or on cycling route maps available at camping stores.

To increase your endurance, consistent riding is the key. As you increase the length of your rides, set yourself a bigger challenge every time.

You will need to up your carbohydrate intake a couple of days before a long ride.

It is important that you breakfast on carbs, protein and fats a couple of hours before you head out and stay hydrated as it will improve your performance.

If you join a road cycling club, you will be able to find riding buddies with similar stamina so you can encourage one another.

So come on, it’s time to dust off the old bike and enjoy the outdoors while you build endurance and have fun getting fit.

Check out Bicycles Network Australia: www.bicycles.net.au