Bicycle Fitness Tips

Cycling is an effective exercise for cardiovascular fitness because it is low impact and prevents jarring movements on the bones and joints. It is easy to reach maximum heart rates while cycling, compared with walking, and bicycling is easily accessible to anyone for outdoor or indoor exercise. With a few simple preparations and precautions, cycling can provide an enjoyable, environmentally friendly mode of travel as well.

Stay Fit Year-Round

Bicycle enthusiasts who enjoy riding outdoors on streets, tracks or hills should consider keeping a stationary bike for maintaining fitness levels year-round. A stationary bike is an effective complement to a cyclist’s fitness regimen because training can be maintained in almost any weather conditions. Cyclists also can build resistance and endurance on stationary bikes without the distractions often involved outdoors. Stationary bikes are solid and can be pedaled for long periods without resorting to cruising or drifting, which often happens when riding outdoors.

Nutrition

Caloric intake must be properly maintained when cycling, especially on long, multi-day rides. Cyclists who race must be able to eat while they ride, cycling trainers at CP Performance say. To prepare, cyclists should practice eating and riding to find the right combinations of food they can tolerate while riding. Foods high in carbohydrates can provide more energy, but cyclists often need to add additional protein to their nutritional plans to meet the demands of races or long rides.

Rest

Cycling fatigue is a common side effect for bicycle riders. Fatigue can happen if glucose stores become depleted from not consuming enough carbs. Being tired after a long ride is common and often is a sign that you’ve had a good workout from the ride and will be in even better shape the next time out. A good night’s sleep usually resolves the fatigue. Overtraining, or fatigue that manifests from long days of riding and does not immediately respond to rest, can limit your body’s ability to recover, and it does not improve overall cycling performance. Other conditions that can lead to unresolved fatigue include illness, emotional stress and inadequate sleep. Anemia also can cause fatigue, according to USA Cycling coaches at AthletiCamps. Vitamins with iron sometimes can reduce fatigue. Rest and reduced training times also can help prevent the deep tiredness that leads to chronic fatigue.

About this Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience. She has held posts at newspapers and magazines, including the “Greenville News,” “Success,” Demand Studios and “American City Business Journals.” Ray has covered health and fitness, business, sports and people. Ray has a bachelor’s degree in journalism.