Many people enjoy cycling because it is versatile, fun and good for your health. You can go at your own speed and bicycles can be modified so anyone can ride them. Training wheels can be added for young children and hand pedals or tricycles can be used by people with injuries or other health conditions. No matter what your age or ability, cycling can meet your need for exercise.
Cycling is an aerobic activity – just two to four hours a week can increase your strength and stamina, not to mention the weight loss benefits. It is low impact, so it is easy on the joints, and it can help improve coordination and balance. Regular workouts can also help manage stress.
Here are five tips to help you get started in your new hobby.
1. Be prepared
If you are new to cycling, it is important to make sure you are prepared. Be sure to wear a good fitting helmet that fastens beneath your chin. Wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing that breathes, and dress in layers to avoid getting chilled or overheated. Athletic shoes would be fine, although there is special footwear available for different types of cycling. Tuck your laces into your shoes so they do not get caught in the chain.
2. Find a pedal pal
Take a spin class or join a cycling group in your area. Here in Abu Dhabi, you can head out to the Yas Marina Circuit and enjoy complimentary use of one of the 400 bikes and helmets provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Find out about dates and timing by clicking here.
3. Challenge yourself
There are many different styles of cycling, from simple road riding to mountain biking. Competitive people might enjoy joining an official cycling race or a triathlon, which includes swimming, and long distance running in addition to cycling.
4. Change your scene
Cycling is a great way to get outdoors and explore. Instead of speeding through different neighborhoods in a motorized vehicle, you can take your time and notice all of the finer details. If you are feeling really adventurous, try riding a fatbike over the sand dunes outside Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
5. Stay safe
The best way to ride safely is to be aware of your surroundings. Stay on designated bike paths or follow the rules of the road. Use arm signals to indicate the direction you are turning and call out to anyone you are overtaking. Wear reflective clothing or use lights on your bike at night.