Pedal on for power

While we all know the benefits of cycling, very few make the effort to pursue it. Dr Gladson Johnson makes a convincing case.

(Deccan Herald Sep 15, 2012)

Cycling is the new buzz in the town of fitness. It is really encouraging to see many get involved in this eco-friendly fitness activity day by day.

Some corporate houses have come forward with incentives for their employees who come to work on bicycles. Hence, it is understood that this activity is being welcomed and encouraged.

Why should you cycle?

Cycling is a great activity which works on endurance. It forces one’s heart and lungs to work harder to become efficient to meet the demands placed on it. It also burns a lot of calories based on the terrain on which one cycles.

The more the inclination of terrain, the tougher it is on the leg muscles, cardio-respiratory system, and hence, the health benefits are much more. It reduces cholesterol and optimises blood pressure levels and reduces stress. It also strengthens the knee joint as cycling is a semi weight-bearing exercise unlike walking or jogging, which is a full weight-bearing exercise.

What is the difference between cycling indoors and cycling outdoors?

Outdoor cycling is preferred over static indoor cycling because the latter provides no change in environment and the user becomes focused only on pedalling and hence, the activity becomes monotonous for the user.

But outdoor cycling has a continuous change in environment and through that, the five senses are constantly engaged with different inputs, making it a true de-stresser. One gets a mix of various terrains and sceneries to stay motivated and keep the activity enjoyable too.

What does it take to begin cycling?

There is nothing greater than having access cycle and the willingness to start, to begin with. A head gear, a pair of gloves, head light and knee pads are accessories one could add on to the list.

How do I find time to do it?

Folks who have an issue with time need not worry as cycling can be added to your daily activities before taking it up as a serious sport. Daily activities like going to buy milk in the morning, shopping to the nearest grocery store or to pay your monthly bills or riding it to your office, etc are great ways to get into the rhythm of it. Try and manage your lifestyle to accommodate cycling, and you will feel a sense of worth and at the same time, save time and money.

Precautions

Before selecting any terrain for cycling, one needs to have a thorough idea about it.

There can be challenges like uneven surfaces and traffic snarls. Cardiac patients should cycle only on even terrains initially and gradually move onto inclined surfaces.

One should also get a fair amount of stretching, especially for the trunk, arms and lower body because involving in activities like cycling which have repetitive action might end up in muscular and joint strains if the muscles involved are not stretched adequately.

Exercises like yoga would also complement cycling.

So have you decided to go eco- friendly, the healthy way?

Last modified on Monday, 02 March 2015 07:52

Dr.Gladson Johnson

Dr.Gladson Johnson is a practicing Sports Physiotherapist by profession for the past 12 years and a passionate bare foot runner for the past 5 years. He is the founder of Attitude Prime an organization which caters to Sports Injuries and Pain management through “Exercises” . Dr.Gladson Johnson believes that “Exercise Is Medicine

Go to top