Step out of your homes early morning and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the number of cyclists on the roads. Clad in funky cycling gear, this is a mix of fitness enthusiasts, sportspersons preparing for a cycling expedition or just laymen cycling to work daily. They all have different reasons for resorting to the pedal – from challenging the smoking habit and fighting bad cholesterol to tackling diabetes, and of course, getting in shape. It’s is an excellent way to strengthen the body and calm the mind.
However, since cycling is strenuous, it can make you weak.
Eating the right foods before, during and after your ride, helps to replace the fuel your body demands. If you are active for longer periods, it is important to consume carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients that can be rapidly absorbed by hungry muscles.
Cycling is a complete exercise for the body, especially the legs. Just like any other sport or fitness regimen, it helps to improve muscle strength, decrease stress, build better posture and focus. It is a great fat killer and sleep propeller! Yes, cycling induces sleep like very few other workouts can, and is therefore highly recommended for insomniacs.
It keeps your body responsive irrespective of age or gender too. Cycling isn’t just meant for youngsters, it helps you in every age to keep the bones strong and the body in shape.
A cyclist should be flexible, have good stamina, leg strength and should have done good cardio before getting into this sport. Legs and back are the biggest assets on a bike, so people with problems in these areas should secure a doctor’s permission and a preparedness to take to the wheels. A strong core, active involvement in other forms of fitness like yoga, running, sprints, lifting heavy weights should help a person in getting actively involved in cycling. Once into the habit, the level of fitness can be easily attained if one gradually starts with 15 to 20 minutes and then moves to a longer duration and distance.
Carbohydrate is the high grade fuel for your muscles. Having lots of carbs is what lets you ride fast and far. The body is only able to store a relatively small amount of carbohydrate, which is why keeping it topped up is important. So hoard on whole meal breads, bananas and high-fibre cereals. Good fat is another important part of the diet including Omega3. Protein-rich meats and vegetables combined with whole grains will help to restore your muscles while keeping fat levels down. If you face a lengthy drive home following a long bike ride, be sure to have some protein bars and a recovery drink on hand to start the recovery process within the optimal time period.
Raise The Game
Following a disciplined lifestyle is a must for a daily cyclist. Alternating workouts help in building energy and stamina. Skipping is a great way to warm up. Crunches are a great workout for the core and can be performed indoors. One could alternate between picking weights and other cardio-based sports, like running and dancing, including two days of stretches – yoga and meditation (instilling mindfulness). A good sleep and a well-rested body will ensure the body is energised and calm enough to raise the fitness levels.
Water burns fat while cycling, it helps in getting toxins out of the body and absorbs nutrients easily. This helps cyclists to optimise this sport and do long distances.]