May is National Bike Month – what a great time to dust off your bike, get it tuned up and take it out for a ride.  Or if you don’t have one, buy one and enjoy it today and all summer.   Riding can be very simple and so enjoyable, as well as very healthy for your whole body.   It’s also a great thing to enjoy with others while is so beautiful outside.

If you think you have to ride like a pro, you don’t need to.  You don’t need to pedal for hours and days.  Just enjoy an moderate pace for about an hour or less when you are getting started.  An hour of  bike riding could easily burn 550 calories – great for leanness and weight loss or just a fun way to be fit.  Plus, it strengthens your core, butt, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

What do you need to get started with Cycling?

  • First, you need a comfortable, snug fitting helmet that touches your head all the way around.
  • To cushion your ride, add some padded shorts – gender specific, also choose a seat that is right for you.
  • Shoes should be stiff-soled, cross trainers work fine or use cycling shoes if you plan to ride more often.  Cycling shoes are great because they are specifically designed to help you get more out of each pedal stroke.
  • Lastly, you need a bike.  Expect to spend $300 as a starting price.  There are 3 types of bikes – be sure to choose the right one for your purpose.

1.  Road:  Lightweight frame, low handlebars, and skinny tires makes it great for roads or paved paths.
2.  Mountain: Wider handlebars and thicker tires; great for off-road and more rugged terrain, although you can use it on the road for a rougher ride.
3.  Hybrid:   Perfect for both groomed gravel trails and paved roads.  This is the best for general cycling.

How to ride?? Be sure to keep your back flat, core muscles engaged and shoulders down and away from the ears.  Your elbows should be bent to better absorb shock and increase your stability.  Hold the handlebars firmly but not tight.  Pedal, concentrating on both pushing and pulling so as to maintain a constant force all the way around the pedal cycle.  Be sure to ride next to traffic, in the same direction using appropriate hand signals for turns.  Take water with you and a map, if you don’t know the area.  Food – about 1.5 to 2 hours before the ride, I like have a shakeology and wow, I have the energy to ride and ride!!

Have fun!  Get out there!  Any questions, feel free to comment.

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