Cycling carries with it a host of health benefits, including increased muscle tone and cardiovascular health. It is low-impact, making it the perfect pursuit for anyone with painful knees, hips or ankles. In addition, the sun and fresh air exposure are good for both your mind and body. However, as with any exercise, overdoing it or not taking proper precautions can lead to injuries. Here are some tips for cycling safely for recreation.
Protect Skin from Sun Damage
Sun exposure is essential to vitamin D production, which allows you to absorb calcium from your food. Like all healthy endeavours, too much of it is not a good thing. Excessive sun exposure has been linked to skin cancer, cataracts and premature aging. Wear sunscreen, choose long sleeves and wear sunglasses. Don’t forget about your ears, the back of your neck and your hands.
Guard Against Dehydration
Dehydration can ruin your cycling trip, even if you’re just going out for a few hours. You should take along plenty of water and sports drinks, either in a knapsack or attached to the frame of your bicycle. Take breaks and drink, especially if the weather is warm and you’re sweating. If you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, pull off to the side of the trail, sit down and sip some water until you feel better.
Perform Routine Bicycle Maintenance
You don’t want to take a tumble, so it’s best to keep your bike in top shape. Oil the chain, check all of the bolts frequently and don’t allow any rust to take hold. If you need replacement parts, plenty of retailers sell bike parts online (www.usjcycles.com). Your brake pads and handlebar brake controls should be inspected before and after every ride, for safety’s sake. Also make sure your reflectors or lights are clean and in working order.
Go Easy at First
Once you get comfortable in the saddle, you may be tempted to spend all weekend rambling about on your bike. However, this can lead to strained muscles and tendons that can be quite painful. In order to get the most out of your rides, work up to long distances slowly. Once your body is used to the activity, you will then be able to go longer and farther than ever before.
Cycling in your leisure time is an excellent hobby. Not only is it good for your body, you may find that it’s quite relaxing as well. These tips will help you to stay safe and get the most out of your rides.