Many people use bicycles for a number of different reasons. Children use bikes to play with their friends. There are people that use them for a form of cardiovascular and leg strengthening exercise. Some people use bicycles to get back and forth to work in order to avoid contending with irritating traffic in the morning. Whatever the case, cycling is a common activity all over the world and if done with care and caution, it’s a very effective way to stay in shape.
However, if you don’t take the right precautions for steady bicycling before, after and throughout the day, it can lead to dangerous and painful repercussions on your body. By not doing things like maintaining a good diet, stretching before exercise and letting your heart adjust to upcoming strenuous conditions, there are may injuries that you can get from prolonged cycling. Some injuries could be a bad lower back from being constantly hunched over. Neck pain can be caused by the constant stretching of the nerves and ultimately lead to pain in your arms. Then, there’s the obvious ones. Excessive cycling if not done right can lead to constant pain in your gluteus muscles, pelvic area, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and ankles.
A very important part of making sure your body is equipped to handle cycling is a good diet of making sure you’ve got the proper amounts of the right minerals and vitamins. If your diet is lacking in certain vitamins, then supplements are available to help balance your body out. These vitamins and supplements are available at most drug and grocery stores over the counter.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract can give you a very effective edge in keeping pace. By taking it, you are loosening up fat in your muscles and using it to convert into energy. This will help you to maintain your strength and endurance for a longer period of time. Green tea itself is said to promote healthy living.
Vitamin C is great for killing pain. It helps in the healing of muscles and joints thus, killing pain as you heal. Vitamin C will help your muscles be able to handle longer trips on the bike and make daily training more tolerable. The supplement is available for purchase or, you can get Vitamin C from oranges and other citrus fruits.
Glutamine is a very effective supplement for cyclists because it synthesizes cells in order to boost performance. Glutamine kills free radicals. Free radicals are created in our body from the combination of vigorous exercise and the break down of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They can slow you down pretty bad and drain your endurance. Do not add glutamine to anything you cook because you will destroy it as soon as the heat gets to it. Other than the supplement itself, there are raw foods you can eat for glutamine, like spinach.
Dietary Protein Supplements
Protein is a huge part of a cyclist’s performance. In order for muscles to heal and grow, your body has to be able to fill the gaps created by exercise with protein. Chicken, beans and fish are good sources, but dietary protein is one of the most popular supplements that are bought today to promote muscle growth.
Vitamin B6 will play a big role in cycling. It breaks down protein and helps bring blood cells and oxygen to muscles. Vitamin B6 is also good for releasing serotonin. Serotonin is a substance in the brain that gets released and makes you feel good. You can get supplements for Vitamin B6 in powder form or in bananas.
Other Vitamins and Supplements
These vitamins and supplements are great but, they are just a few of the things that you should be consuming into your body to make you a better cyclist. Calcium for your bones, Vitamin D to keep you happy and Vitamin E to help with stamina will improve your skills as well. And, don’t underestimate carbohydrates and fat. They have a bad reputation but, protein won’t be as effective without them. All of these must be taken in the proper amounts because you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to your diet.
Another important thing to make sure your body has lots of when cycling is water. You can avoid serious heat injury by making sure your body is well hydrated. Heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are very serious if not treated immediately and could cause death. Keep a water bottle with you when you’re cycling for a long period of time. Keep a steady intake of water going but keep in mind, water should be consumed in small sips rather than by drinking excessively.
It’s important to understand the possibly injuries that can occur from cycling. Over time and not handling yourself in a proper manner, it’s possible you could end up with a very serious chronic injury that may not heal. Make sure you take the proper precautions in keeping your body fit so that you can take part in exercise with only positive side effects from it.
Some injuries can happen in an instant even to the most physically fit people in the event of falling. If not careful, you can end up with a very serious injury due to lack of attention towards what you are doing. By avoiding complacency and obeying the basic rules of the road in regards to bicycling, you will avoid any unnecessary and avoidable injuries.
Depending on the severity of a fall, you can break a leg, shoulder or arm. But, these injuries will not be as severe and will heal quicker if you maintain a good diet and workout program. Make sure you’re wearing the right clothing and equipment for the job. And, last but not least, stretch before and after any strenuous activity. These basic guidelines will definitely minimize the effect an injury has on you.