Pedal Your Bike Towards a Healthier You!
As Olympic fever swept across the UK, one man more than most will have felt that 2012 is and will always be a summer to remember. Bradley Wiggins, straight from winning the Tour de France also won gold in the time trial event making him the most decorated British Olympic athlete ever as well as being the only man to ever win Olympic gold and the Tour de France in the same year.
Understandably so the UK has seen an extraordinary spike in sales of bicycles and credit card company VISA have reported an increase of 5.1 per cent spent on bikes on the lead up to the Olympics and a 6.4 per cent increase after the Tour de France. The British Cycling Club has stated that their membership has increased 100 per cent since 2012; it’s highest since its inception in 1959.
The benefits to a person’s health is of course of the main reasons people opt to take the ever popular sport up and our comprehensive guide will offer tips and hints on how to lose weight and stay safe when out on the roads.
WEAR A HELMET
Wearing a helmet is one of the most important things you can do when you begin cycling. Simply put, wearing a helmet could be the difference between life and death and getting a good helmet won’t cost you the earth. A good one will cost around £50.
HOW CYCLING WORKS THE BODY
- Brain – Cycling increases co-ordination and provides momentum. Balancing also works the brain.
- Arms – Become toned through balancing the bike as it moves side to side.
- Stomach – Core strength is required for posture and balance.
- Hamstrings – These are worked as the pedals move towards the seat.
- Calves – Will become more toned as your toes are pointed while climbing hills.
BURN FAT EFFICIENTLY
Cycling is a great way to develop muscle and to burn fat, typically on a one hour cycling trip this will burn somewhere between 400 and 500 calories. By increasing the metabolic heart rate the body will start to appear leaner and more defined, the higher the metabolic heart rate the more calories will be burned, even when resting. Cycling is great for working core muscle groups which help with balance and posture.
WHAT TO EAT
In order to maintain energy throughout the course of the day the body requires quality carbohydrates and protein every three hours when training. Meal times are a notion which need to be gotten rid of. When doing serious training the best thing to do is to eat when possible. Foods such as pastas, brown rice, omelettes and honeys bars will give the energy which is required when a cycling regime is taking place. Porridge before bedtime is important too as it gives the body fuel as well as repairing and growing when asleep.
Following these simple steps is a sure fire way to start shedding the pounds and maintaining a disciplined approach will yield better results also. Getting on the bike and seeing what the great outdoors has to offer will improve your quality of life, fitness and will make you feel great about yourself.
Michael Wood is a cycling enthusiast and often writes content for Health-on-Line and Followhealth.