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Pedaling For Fitness

Date Added: June 19, 2008 12:10:46 PM
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Category: Cycling

Cycling is fun but it's a good way to get fit also. A good cardiovascular workout, riding a bike helps you burn more calories. However the best part no doubt is the total convenience that cycling offers: you can do it anytime, anywhere, on any surface and whatever speed you like.

Your workout

Cycling is a good calorie burning exercise. In fact if you incorporate cycling into your daily routine, you can actually lose all that extra mass in very little time. Besides, cycling is an excellent exercise for your lower body as it strengthens almost all the muscles and shapes your thighs and calves in particular. Regular cycling can help protect from many heart complications. It is a perfect aerobic exercise as it is good for the lungs and enhances the breathing and respiratory systems. What's more the benefits of fitness are all available to the biker whether on a simple street or a hilly road. Even the speed can be adjusted from very slow to moderate to brisk.

Cycling's Three Basics

You cam max your cycling by basically three ways Increase endurance by riding for long distances, increase flexibility and speed by riding fast, and increase power by pulling heavy loads or pulling up and down the hill.

  • Endurance: If endurance is what you are looking for then ride as far as you can. Easy pedaling on flat roads is the best way to enhance endurance. However the trick lies in increasing the distance slowly every day. Just select some tree or lamp-post and keep going to the next one and the one after that day by day. This way you will keep increasing the distance without overburdening your legs.
  • Speed: You can increase your speed as well. Cycling offers a good opportunity for interval training (in which you work out at maximum effort for a set period of time, then minimize the effort and then repeat the same procedure for a specific number of times), which is basically an aerobics concept but works well in cycling also. While you can increase your speed by hard pedaling for a few seconds (20-30 seconds at first and then gradually increase), slow down for the next few and then stop pedaling. Repeat this pattern for 4-5 times and you have the perfect exercise. This will not only make you suppler but also keep injuries at bay. If you continue this alternate pattern of pedaling and resting for an hour you will actually get good interval training in the end. What will be even better is if you manage to increase the speed limit for each pedaling phase you do to extract more out of the schedule.
  • Power: Building power is all about building muscles. To build muscles you can simply pull heavy loads or use lower gears. Even riding on a hilly stretch of road will give you a challenging uphill track to ride on.

Follow these three basic principles of increasing strength, endurance and flexibility and you will be able to extract the most from your cycling routine. And always remember to keep your eyes on the road and be aware of the surroundings just as if you were driving a car.

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