June: tips for cycling
Cycling is a terrific exercise for British Columbians of all ages. Cycling builds toned muscles, reduces joint pain and stiffness, increases stamina, alleviates stress and is a great weight management tool. It’s important to remember that cycling should be about enjoyment not pain.
Unfortunately, some cyclists experience pain in the neck, back, saddle region, wrists, hands, knees and feet. If you feel pain during or after riding, a physiotherapist can help.
Tips for Cycling to prevent injury, alleviate pain and keep you moving for life.
1. Select a bike that fits. An ill-fitting bike causes pain. A bike that fits – frame size, pedal alignment, handlebar position and saddle height – promotes good posture. Your physio can provide tips on correct bike fit and can correct poor mechanics before pain and injury develop.
2. Choose cycling if you have osteoarthritis in your hips, knees or feet. The non-impact, rhythmic motion helps reduce joint pain and stiffness and keeps your muscles strong. Your physio can prescribe a cycling program and help you choose the right bike.
3. The aerobic benefits of cycling help to manage high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Cycling builds stamina. Your physio can help determine the right level of aerobic exercise and develop a program to meet your goals.
4. Stretch and strengthen off your bike to improve on-bike performance. Your physio can create a program to treat muscles that are prone to tightness as well as help you strengthen areas such as your core to dramatically improve your cycling efficiency.
Remember to cycle safe. Always wear a helmet and fluorescent clothing by day and reflective clothing at night. If you are going out after dark, make sure that you have lights that work – white for the front and red for the back. Make sure you know what's around you on the road and always be on the lookout for car doors being opened by motorists.