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Why It's Time You Start Cycling (And Some Tips You'll Need)

There are many ways that we can get our daily exercise and there are plenty of people that love what they do. However, there are a huge number of people that don't exercise at all which can end up being hugely detrimental to your life longevity and the way in which we live. We can all start somewhere and even if you are exercising already you should try and look for something else to do now and then, even if it's just a little bit of a shakeup. Cycling is an incredible form of exercise and something we should all be doing on a weekly basis and here's why.

Excitement!

Firstly, I think it's important to state that cycling is such an exciting sport, and depending on your skill level you can really push yourself to do some incredible things. Race down hills and climb mountains, or take to the roads and see how fast you can cycle 50 miles. The possibilities are endless and it will excite your mind once you submerge yourself. The one thing you have to be careful of when riding is having an accident, especially if you're on the road. It's known that cyclists have accidents and when they happen on the roads, it's usually down to the driver of a motor vehicle and not the cyclist themselves. If this is the case, then you should take no mercy and get as much out of the situation as possible, lessons need to be learned when it comes to road and cyclist safety and if the only way is by taking them to court after an accident, well so be it. Always seek professional help from someone that's based on the state you are in, whether it's your home state or somewhere else as they will know the law much better than anyone else. For example, if you're on a riding holiday in Hawaii and a driver causes an accident, then finding a personal injury lawyer in Honolulu will be much more beneficial than bringing someone in from Texas. Each state has different laws, so hire the person versed in those particular laws and not a different state. Having someone in your corner that's fully equipped with the skill to win will put you at ease.

Lose Weight

Cycling is a fantastic way to lose weight that's easy to get into. When it comes to sports like running, it can be quite daunting heading out for the first time, unfit and uneasy to see how it's going to feel. Whereas cycling can be seen as something more accessible to all, no matter your fitness level. What a brilliant way to start your weight loss journey, jumping on your bike and cycling to the shops and back! From here you can develop and improve your fitness at whatever rate you like, the possibilities are endless. You never know, you could end up racing.

Build Muscle

Not only are you going to lose weight, but you're going to build muscle at the same time! Cycling can be seen as resistance training, which is usually associated with weight training, but it's all the same when you're on the bike heading up a hill. Your legs will gain muscle without you even realizing it, and over time your routes will become easier and easier, meaning you'll have to up your training. If you've ever wanted to build muscle in your legs, jump on a bike.

You Can Eat More

What's that I hear you say? I can eat more? Well, I should say this is the case for those cycling a decent distance, just because you've cycled 2 miles doesn't mean you get to eat an entire other meal. But if you're cycling to and from work, or heading out for a 10-20 miles ride once or twice a week, then the sheer number of calories you're burning will require you to eat more. In my eyes, it's a perfect exchange, I love eating, but I also really enjoy being out on the bike so it's a win-win situation. Find your perfect scenario and get yourself on the move.

Less Injury

When it comes to sports like running, it's known as a high impact sport that entails a fair amount of your bones, joints and muscles fall under heavy amounts of stress. This can lead to persistent injuries and even stress fractures in some cases, which is awful when you're starting to enjoy training or have a set goal in mind. Cycling doesn't have this issue as it's a low impact sport, you aren't striking the ground every 2 seconds and the amount of effort you put in is completely up to you at any given moment. Because it's low impact means there's much less chance of you receiving an injury unless you're really pushing yourself, and even then that comes when you start cycling 50 miles or more at a time.

Cycling is a fantastic sport, it's social and you get to meet a whole host of people along the way. It's good for your mind and your body and can help improve your attitude in a plethora of different ways. You don't need to be super fit to start cycling, nor do you need a super expensive bike so find something that suits you, and go for it - you'll never look back.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.