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Should You Cycle Your Way to Fitness?*

If you’re looking for a way to improve your fitness, cycling could be the way forward for you. There are some things you should understand about using cycling as a form of exercise, as well as some considerations that will need to be made. With Vancouver becoming increasingly more accomodating towards cyclist, I thought it would be a good topic to cover—examining all of the things that matter most when it comes to taking up cycling and deciding whether or not to use it as your primary method for getting fit fast!

Are Your Local Roads Accommodating to Cyclists?

The roads in your local area where you’re going to be cycling will dictate how easy and pleasant the experience is for you. If there are no decent cycle paths, it will be more risky and stressful for you as a cyclist. It’s worth doing some research and finding out the cycling paths in your city and see if there are some good ones that take you where you need to go. 

Especially as someone just starting out, you definitely don’t want to be biking to work during rush hour on a busy street with no bike lane. That’s a stressful situation that no one wants to be in!

Understand the Risks on the Road

If you’re going to be riding on roads, regardless of whether there are bike lanes in your city, it’s important to think about the risks this presents to you. Definitely get some practice in and up your confidence before you hit the roads. Accidents are all too common, and even though cycle accident compensation is easy to get, you will want to avoid them. So make sure you understand all of the risks on the road and how you can mitigate them.

It’s a Fantastic Aerobic Workout

Cycling, just like running, is a fantastic form of aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise is a great way to not only strengthen your body, it actually promotes organ health and strengthens your heart and lungs. Doing so can help lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of diabetes, improve your immune function, and lower your blood pressure. It’s also a great way to shed some fat and tone up as it burns up lots of calories too!

You’ll Need to Invest in the Right Equipment

Before you start cycling your way to being fit (and to work), you will need to make sure that you have the right equipment. Obviously, you’re going to need a bike that’s suitable for the type of cycling you’re going to be doing. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Who do you ride with? 
  • What do they ride?
  • What have you had in the past that you liked?
  • What have you had in the past that you disliked?
  • What would you like to do with your new bike?

Even if you’re just considering a road bike, there are many different types to choose from depending on your riding behaviours. Century Cycles has a great summary article that desribes all the different types of bikes to choose from for when you buy your first bike!

Of course, it’s just as important to make sure that you have all the safety gear that you need as well. Wearing a helmet while biking is a law in many cities so make sure you don’t forget to cop one!

It Gives You a Chance to Explore

One of the best things about taking up cycling is the fact that it provides you with the opportunity to explore your local area and understand more about what it has to offer. Sure, you get to know your city pretty well by car, but riding along on a bicycle provides you the opportunity to stop conveniently whenever you want, wherever you want (obviously within safety reason). Once you do this, you will see your local area in a whole new light. And you could even cycle further afield and explore areas that you don’t know much about and have never explored before.

Cycling could be the ideal way for you to get active and get in shape. Yes, you’ll need to get the gear and keep yourself safe, but it’s a lot of fun as well. If you don’t want to shell out big bucks on your first set of gear, check out Craigslist or your local used goods listings to see if anyone is selling! Cycling is a great hobby to pick because it’s a great way to get around and see sights while also working out.

Until next time, 

Angel Zheng

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