Now that we have established whether you are riding too much with the Exercise Addiction Inventory, it’s time to reinstate how important regular cycling is for everyone.
No matter if you love to cycle or if you never do, there are ways you can improve your cycling consistency and see amazing results.
Even those who are passionate about cycling don’t always have the ability to go for an epic ride seven days a week, as much as they might like to lycra up and cruise the boulevard, being at the office limits their cycling time to three to four days a week. Others might manage a long ride on the weekend, maybe with friends, or the occasional getaway ride to break the routine, however they won’t see amazing fitness or weight loss results. Then there are those who feel they can’t fit exercise into an already packed schedule.
If you are looking to get fit, to lose weight or just increase the quality of your life, then cycling every day is your answer.
Studies show that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can help increase your life expectancy by as much as three to five years.
The simplest way to facilitate this is to leave the car at home and commute by bike to work or school or the shops at least once a day.
Benefits of cycling for commute
If you want to jump on the bike to cycle to the shops, park or local library feel free to get started straight away, the world is your cycling oyster. If you want a bit more of a challenge, say to commute to and from your work or school, allow two weeks for your body to get used to being worked twice a day every day. Start with shorter rides if you plan on going a longer distance and build up slowly from one or two days a week. After that short adjustment period you will find the commute easy. Stick with it and take it slow you will see results in no time.
Ride when and where you can. It doesn’t matter how far or how long for, just feel great about being out there and feeling the wind on your skin. Although riding in the rain is a great experience, sometimes bad weather, the flu, or a work presentation will force you to leave the bike in the garage for a few days. Embrace the rest and get back to cycling as soon as you can. Taking time to rest and recover or have a mini holiday from peddling can be the best thing you can do to boost your performance and results.
If you live a long way from work consider ways you can use your bike by parking your car or getting off public transport early in your trip. 10-20 kilometres each way is very doable but you’ll need to work up to it if you aren’t used to cycling. Start with two or three days a week or ride some short trips to get a handle on your bike skills.
Many commuters prefer to use bike paths rather than tackle traffic, at least to start with. If you don’t have a bike path handy then riding on the road is better for your health than being stuck in traffic, however you might want to spend some time on bike paths while you gain confidence and bike handling. It’s not as daunting as it seems.
Suburban and inner-city freeways and railway lines typically provide a bike path complete with traffic lights to get you access intersections. Google maps also has bike-friendly route options. Most bike paths have good parking access so you can meet the trail no matter where you are.
If there are no bike paths on your commute use the roads and not the footpaths. No matter where you ride wear an approved safety helmet and obey all traffic signals.
There is something really magical about riding in the dark so if you finish work after the sun goes down, biking home is still an option. Be sure to wear appropriate lighting and reflective clothes.
If you are carrying extra weight you’ll need to make some adjustments to your diet as well as exercise in order to be happy and healthy. Before you get set into your seven-day ride pattern cut back on the sugar or alcohol. The last thing you want when you are trying to get used to regular riding is the detox rush that comes with kicking those bad health habits. Start to curb your diet a week or two before you get set on seven days riding. If you are motivated to go all out, just be ready to take it slow and steady to start off with.
You are never too old to cycle. In fact, riding when you are older is easy on the joints and you may find it painless compared to walking if you suffer from arthritis or joint pain.
If you are a bike lover who only gets to ride on the weekends or a coach potato who hasn’t been on a bike since you were ten-years-old, the advice is the same; it’s not about the amount of time you spend riding, it’s about getting out there and doing something every day, even if it’s just a trip to the shops.
Of course a daily ride is only a recommendation, it’s by no means a demand so that means if you want to crash on the couch after a day at work and watch the wintry rain pelt the windows, you absolutely can.
Cycling to work while your colleagues are stuck in traffic? That’s freedom!