How to Start Cycling for Beginners
Last week we looked at our how to start running for beginners and its incredible health benefits. For some of us running may not be a possibility and at Sensilab we want everyone to have the option to get healthy and happy! So, read on to find out why cycling can help you and how to start!
A five-year study looking into the health benefits associated with cycling and walking to work was published this week. Conducted by the University of Glasgow, it followed 250,000 UK commuters and found that those who cycled cut the risk of premature death by 41%, cancer by 45% and heart disease by 45%.
The commuters clocked around 30 miles each week, with those who went further seeing greater health benefits. It was also found that walkers reduced their chances of developing heart disease but only for those covering a distance of at least six miles a week.
There has been no definite cause and effect of why cycling can drastically cut certain health conditions. It is likely a combination of factors including cyclists being leaner, having lower levels of inflammation and usually being non-smokers.
Clearly, swapping four wheels for two is worth the time and effort! Much like running however, starting to cycle as a beginner (other than learning as a child) can be pretty daunting. We’ve got your back though, let’s have a look at some of the top tips on how to get started!
Buying a Bike
If you’re lucky enough, you might have a bike hidden deep in your garage. If that’s the case, dust it off and get out there! If you don’t have a set of wheels then it’s time to start looking for some.
What bike you choose will depend on what type of cycling you wish to be doing. If you want to head off-road on the weekends then a mountain bike is for you. You might be wanting to get into racing in the near future or are a lover of speed, if so consider a road bike. If you’re just looking for a bike to head off to work to and go out on the odd weekend then purchasing a hybrid is best for you.
If you are unsure of what to go for, visit a local cycle retailer and ask a member of staff to help you out. It’s never been easier to buy a bike, especially with second-hand websites such as Gumtree and Shpock. However, when getting your first bike it is best to buy from a retailer where you know you can go back to with any problems. Once you really get into the biking world, consider purchasing some second-hand bikes for different cycling occasions.
Ease into it
Once you’ve got your bike, make sure to ease into riding. If it’s been several years (or even decades!) since you last rode, make sure to avoid high traffic areas when beginning again.
If you have a local park, head their first, or a quiet road if there’s little greenery near you. Practise the basics first then move onto teaching yourself to step off the bike with your left foot, hand signalling, emergency breaking and so on.
If you feel like you need a class or two to help you feel more comfortable behind two wheels, take a look on Bikeability, a government led initiative to help the public learn how to cycle. There are also countless ‘how to’ videos on Youtube focusing on cycling, make sure to use all the resources you can!
Creating a Habit
Much like any exercise routine, you need to turn it into a habit for it to really work. On a cold winter’s morning, it’s easy to swap your bike for the car or you might have had a long week at work and can’t think of anything worse than spending your Saturday exercising!
It’s absolutely vital to set yourself some realistic goals. If you have decided you want to commute to work via a bike, start with cycling two days a week, say Tuesday and Thursday. Then after two weeks of that, go up to three times a week then four and so on.
If you are looking to start a more leisure based routine, start with one ride after work in the week and then another on the weekend. You could then either increase how many times you cycle in a week or up the mileage with two rides you already do.
When creating an exercise habit, it’s important to build momentum but in a controlled way as to avoid burnout and disappointment. Find what’s best for you and you’ll soon be hardcore bike enthusiast!
Cycling is no different to other sports and exercise routines when it comes to getting key nutrients in your diet. This isn’t just the case for competitive athletes, your average cyclist can do with introducing certain supplements into their diet to improve a whole host of things.
Let’s take a look at some of the best supplements available to your everyday cyclists!
Turmeric and Curcuma
Turmeric is a spice which helps to colour many Eastern cuisines including curries. As well as turning our favourite foods into a golden-yellow colour, it has also been used for centuries by the Chinese and Indians for its medicinal qualities.
Turmeric has a naturally occurring compound called curcumin and both work together to provide some truly incredible health benefits. For cyclists, it is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can drastically help with sore bones and joints, a common occurrence when starting out.
Other benefits include prevention against particular cancers, easing depression and relief from arthritis.
Our All in a Day Curcuma uses the powers of turmeric and curcumin to provide you with the above benefits and more. It is 100% natural supplement using only the finest of ingredients, with cyclists using it as a safer alternative to ibuprofen for muscle, joint and bone pain!
Over the last few decades we’ve seen fish oil become more and more popular among the British public. This is for good reason too, just a few of its capabilities include lowering the chances of heart disease, improving brain functioning and helping with depression.
Much like turmeric, fish oils are also fantastic at reducing inflammation. Omega-3 is the essential fatty acid found in fish oil and it is the reason for its huge health benefits.
A study in 2008 found that those who took an omega-3 supplement found it easier to cycle, needed less oxygen and had a lower heart rate than those taking an olive oil supplement.
Our scientists have created a unique fish oil supplement that stands out from the crowd. The Super Omega 3 + Q10combines the incredible capabilities of omega-3 whilst also using Coenzyme Q10. This fat-soluble substance gives key organs in our body the energy to do their job. Once we reach middle age however, our body reduces our levels of Coenzyme Q10 by almost 60%, so it’s vital to get it in supplement form!
Arguable the best supplement any active person can take is a multivitamin. Cyclists need several key vitamins and minerals to keep their body healthy and happy. When taking a multivitamin, you are easing the pressure on your diet and saving some extra cash, as there will be no need to buy a load of different vitamin supplements.
Our All in a Day Multivitamin Sport has been designed and made for those who want to keep fit! Using natural active ingredients, it contains B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, magnesium as well as Siberian ginseng and kola to keep your mental game at its peak too. Perfect for every cyclist, no matter your level!
To help you start cycling this April we want to give all our customers 10% off any product! Just use promocode APRIL10!
If you have any questions or just fancy a chat, please get in contact with us on our social media channels!