Starting cycling is one of the best decisions you could ever make. Cycling is known to improve brainpower, relationships, health and happiness. It helps increase stamina, eats up calories, improves heart health and builds strength and muscle tone. We could go on about the benefits but instead here are some tips on the best way for you to get started…
Number 1 – health check
First things first, before getting started it’s always a good idea to check any health concerns with your GP. This way you can be sure you’re not putting yourself at risk.
Number 2 – getting the right bike
Whether you’re purchasing a brand new bike, buying a second hand one from a friend or dusting off your unused bike it’s a good idea to get it serviced to ensure everything is working correctly and that the bike is the right fit for your height.
Number 3 – getting the right equipment
You’ve got your bike. You know you’re in the right shape. What next? It’s time to get the right equipment! A helmet, shoes, lights and a water bottle are amongst the essentials. A helmet of course is a life saving piece of equipment. All helmets sold in the UK should meet the European Union standard meaning you don’t have to spend a fortune on top range helmets to stay safe.
Buying cycling shoes can drastically improve your pedaling efficiency; it helps on the upstrokes as well as the downstrokes, allowing greater flexibility than normal stiffer soled shoes. Lights are another essential if you’re going to ride after dark. They are needed to make you visible and light the road.
Cycling without water isn’t too much fun, it can lead to dehydration and a lack of performance. Most bike frames should come fitted with a water cage meaning you can easily fit your bottle securely onto your bike.
For more on dehydration, read our: ‘5 cycling hydration tips’
Number 4 – cycle more!
Once all the above are complete its time to get on your bike! It may be a good idea to start off in a traffic free area if you haven’t cycled much before to get used to your bike. The Highway Code will tell you everything you need to know for the rules and regulations of cycling on roads.
The first few times out may be tough as your body adapts to your new hobby. The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness is to slightly increase the amount of cycling you do each week. Perhaps commuting to and from work is a great way to fit cycling around your life. Plus this is one of the cheapest, greenest and easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine! You’ll soon start to feel the benefits. Begin cycling with friends to really help push one another and even exchange tips and where and when the best places are to explore.
For more, read our ‘5 tips for improving your cycling fitness’.