If you’re a man over twenty-five, you might want to find an exercise you can keep up with as you get older. Let’s just say it’s easy as riding a bike.
Question: Why cycling?
Answer: Cycling is a non-impact sport. If you’re recovering from an injury or have joint or bone problems such as arthritis, non-impact exercises are perfect. These types of exercises do not involve running, which is very strenuous on the joints.
Because of its easiness on the joints, cycling is ideal for an older crowd. Cycling also involves sitting, which already can take some of the stress off your back and legs. These reasons prove why there are cyclists who are well into their senior years.
Question: What are the physical benefits of cycling?
Answer: While cycling and running are two different exercises, cycling can deliver the same physical benefits of running. It strengthens your lower body, specifically targeting your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. These muscles contract when you pedal. If you want to work on your lower body, cycling is a prime option.
Additionally, cycling greatly improves your cardiovascular health. Benefits of cardiovascular exercise include weight loss, stronger heart and lungs, decreased chance of heart disease and some types of cancer, and better sleep. Cycling helps get your heart pumping because you’re putting the largest muscles in your body at work. Finally, cycling can improve your endurance and speed, especially if you are riding long-distance.
Question: What are the mental benefits of cycling?
Answer: Not only will you reap physical benefits from cycling, but there are several ways cycling boosts your mental health. Any exercise releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings. There has also been some research that suggests exercising regularly can help with stress, anxiety, and depression.
An obvious but overlooked perk to cycling is connecting with nature. Riding a bicycle offers a sense of freedom to explore the great outdoors. While pedaling by, you can look at beautiful trees and valleys while smelling the crisp, fresh air. There are also international biking tours, where you can ride to famous landmarks.
Cycling can increase confidence as well. Once you get the hang of it, you will start feeling more confident in your physical and mental capability. Setting small goals for yourself, even as small as biking around the block once, can promote confidence and a positive outlook once you accomplish them.
Question: I’ve heard cycling causes damage to the male sex organs. Is this true?
Answer: Scientists have tried to make a connection between cycling with a few men’s health problems, such as erectile dysfunction. However, new research suggests cycling causes absolutely no damage to the sexual or urinary functions of men. This new research used a larger sample size to get more accurate and factual results.
These past studies that suggest pressure from saddles can compromise blood flow or cause minor injuries (that could lead to more serious injuries) were not sufficient enough. The new study confirms that cycling only poses a small risk to men’s sexual and urological functions the risk to the sexual and urological function of male cyclists. According to one researcher, the cardiovascular benefits of cycling supports and may even improve sexual performance rather than hurt it.
Question: From races like Tour De France, isn’t cycling difficult, or only for those who compete?
Answer: Cycling isn’t only for the professionals. When watching such long and competitive races on television, it’s understandable to perceive cycling as a difficult sport. However those people train for months, even years, before embarking on a 2,200 mile ride. In reality, anybody can take up cycling as long as he or she has a bike and a desire to commit.
Like any sport, there are varying levels of difficulty. You can ride recreationally before working your way up to riding in long-distance races, if that’s what you wish. Once you get comfortable with riding on a flat road, you can challenge yourself by choosing a route with more hills, or even trying mountain biking.
Question: Great, cycling seems like my type of gig! How do I get started?
Answer: To begin your cycling journey, you should first visit a good bike shop near you. The workers can help select the right type of bicycle and make sure it fits you properly. An improper fit can cause discomfort and future injuries. Don’t shy away from asking any questions you have, such as how to take care of your bike, necessary equipment, etc.
Safety is the most important element of cycling. Helmets aren’t just for children. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as elbow and knee pads, when riding. If you go out at night, wear bright colors or a reflective vest so cars can easily see you in the darkness. Another precaution to take during the evening is by installing a light between your handlebars or on your wheels.
Second, look for trails nearby. When you’re driving to work or walking your dog, keep your eyes peeled for any scenic routes. Official trails will have a sign and a map designating the path as a safe and public bike or walking trail. If you’re creating your own path, make sure it is safe, and is clear of any obstacles in the middle of the road.
Finding bike clubs to join may make you more motivated to ride. Any activity is easier and more fun with others. Soon enough, your fellow riders can become good friends. You can also enter races or rides for charity together as a team. Ways to find a bike club near you is to go online or ask around at the local bike shop, gym, or recreation center.
While any form of exercise comes with benefits, cycling is ideal for men over twenty-five. It is a sport you can practice at age thirty, sixty, and beyond. Whether you decide to cycle for fun or enter races, you will feel better about yourself physically and mentally. So strap on your helmet and go hit the trails!