Biking Physical Fitness and Enjoyment

As the winter cold begins to recede and signs of spring emerge, we need to plan our bicycle training schedules. Physical fitness has numerous perks. Aerobic strength provides a good measure of our health, fitness and flexibility, all of which are substantially important to a healthy heart. This generally requires a regular aerobic workout that over a period of time builds the power of our legs and arms. Making our hearts work harder triggers quicker body fat burning and also optimizes our oxygen efficiency. Biking is one of the finest forms of low impact aerobic exercise there is, scientifically proven to be superior to running or the gym for decreasing high blood pressure or treating lower-risk cardiovascular ailments, and is recommended by such august bodies as the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Biking increases our endurance and flexibility, stimulates our libido, reinforces joint support muscles, enhances our listening and memory capabilities, keeps us in good shape, lowers stiffness and pain, boosts our ability to carry out everyday jobs, eases sleep conditions and improves our sleep, increases our self-confidence, aids us in feeling more positive, strengthens our immune systems, and in general just makes us feel excellent.

Being outdoors and in the fresh air improves our Vitamin D uptake, and biking allows not only this, but the dopamines induced by cycling country lanes aids those of us prone to bouts of depression, while all of us without exception will experience that fantastic feel-good high (and natural painkiller) which without fail follows exercise. You’ll actually be smarter after a bike ride too, scientific fact!

Yet it’s not just about working out. Our nutrition is just as important. Make sure we consume sufficient calories, check our protein intake (such as fish, meat, beans and lentils – which will additionally help to reduce our appetites), good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) which reduce cholesterol versus bad fats (saturated, as found in meat and processed meats), and ensure we’re taking the right vitamins and mineral supplements to ensure we do not deplete our body’s resources. We should rather enhance its capacity to handle the physical challenges we face. But don’t overdo the eating as some of us are inclined to do in the name of exercise… Our body will burn roughly 40 – 50 calories per mile we ride. A fitness tracker which estimates calories burned may be useful. Remember after exercise our bodies release hormones which induce hunger and eating, thereby avoiding the reduction of our stored body fat instead. If seeking to lose weight, we must accordingly reduce our calorie intake; but don’t overdo it, otherwise our next ride will become significantly harder due to lack of energy and stamina. After the initial energy boost brought about by consuming carbs, be aware that large amounts will lead to feeling lethargic and therefore less inclined to exercise.

Dehydration, even a very small amount, will lead to a dramatic reduction in our performance, so be sure to take in sufficient fluids when riding. A good method to assess our fluid intake needs is to weigh ourselves before and after say an hour’s ride; if we have lost 500 g in weight, this means we need 500 ml of water/fluid to replace this. Avoid caffeinated drinks if you suffer from hypertension or heart problems; otherwise, some studies reflect a slight enhancement in performance output and focus with a small (1 – 3 mg per Kg of body mass) intake of caffeine.

Biking fitness also involves our confidence mindset and mental abilities. It definitely helps to use affirmations and visualize our outcomes in terms of how we will feel after our rides, how we will push ourselves without pain or discomfort, and without too much effort. Set measurable goals and most importantly, reach these without placing too much pressure on ourselves to do so too quickly. Many champion cyclists will say, “It’s all in the mind”…  Riding alone takes a lot of self-motivation. Try to team up with a riding buddy if possible. Group riding helps increase mental focus. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. And keep in mind, visualizing and focussing on say the next signpost or village might work in getting us through the pain barriers and smashing those goals in ways unimagined.

Choosing Your Mountain Bicycle

The Best Ways to Pick Your Mountain Bike

The very first thing before buying a bike for any reason is to understand what your primary type of riding will be. The majority of bikers at first acquire a double-usage bike, something that can be ridden both on and off road. Eventually, when the bug bites though, it’ll be time to invest in a bike that is all muscle for the mountains.
One of the ways mountain bikes vary from other bikes is that they have very rugged, light-weight frames, tech-loaded features, powerful brakes and wide tires. Comfort bikes, recreational weekend bikes, exploring bikes and cruiser bikes are constructed more for convenience than sturdiness. Within the mountain bike classification there are a number of kinds readily available: the cross country bike; the trials bike; the downhill bike; and the jump/slalom bike.
The highest percentage of mountain bicycles on offer are in the cross country, or XC category. These are good double function bikes. They are lightweight and great for riding over tough terrain. However, they are also comfortable for road riding. Jump/slalom bikes are also excellent dual-purpose bikes. They are really strong and have outstanding front suspension. Downhill and trial bikes are for serious mountain bike riders.
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A lot of riders of downhill and route bikes construct their bikes from scratch, choosing each part individually. You will want to do a lot of reading about different types of bikes, and you should visit as many bike shops as you can. A decent cross country mountain bike will cost between £500 / $600 and £750 / $800, or lots more. Some mountain bikers maintain your first bike should be the best bike you can afford, even if you believe it’s too much bike for you.

Finding the Right Lights for Your Mountain Bike

Fit Lights to Your Mountain Bike

Casual and pro cyclists alike find bike lights most useful, if not essential. We already know that for practical and safety purposes, illuminating your path ahead and making vehicle drivers aware of you on the roadway are critically important factors when conditions are dark. However, with the vast range of bike lights available, how do you select a bike light to suit your needs and style of riding? Bike lights were developed mainly to protect riders. Mountain biking serves many functions in the real world, including transport to and from work, for some children to get to school and back home again, apart from recreational use. Bike lights help keep us safe and reduce stress.

Many trustworthy and robust bicycle light options are to be found online at specialized bicycle equipment shops, other general retail shops, such as Amazon, or sites like eBay. There you’ll discover the ideal bike light for your needs. Before you purchase be sure to check the customer reviews, which will highlight any good or bad points about the lights you have in mind. The prices are similar to or lower than physical stores and shipping is quick. You will probably get your lights within a couple of days, or at worst a week or two after your order has been placed. Alternatively you may find suitable bike lights at your nearest regional bike dealership. The cost might be a little bit steeper; however, if you’re unsure regarding exactly what you want, you might prefer a face-to-face interaction with a salesman to ensure you buy the bike lights best suited to your specific and most practical biking requirements.

Countless people delight in the adrenaline-rush of riding their mountain bikes, some at night, so it makes sense to add more safety and satisfaction to the experience by adding bike lights. LED lights are brighter, more resilient and last far longer than conventional ones. And if riding at night, a head-mounted light is also a good idea, as this will illuminate the areas in the direction of your gaze.

Thanks to the massive popularity of bikes, finding accessories such as lights for your bike is pretty easy with the wide range of online and physical stores available to you. In fact your only difficulty will be choosing the most ideal lights for your mountain bike from the multitude of options being marketed. It is better to pay a little more to ensure you buy a quality lighting kit, with effective head and tail lights; there’s also growing popularity in the trending wheel lights, which light the wheels as you ride for greater visibility to motorists. These are available on Amazon at reasonable prices.

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Good luck in choosing the right light kit for your bike.