How Can You Prevent Injury While Cycling? 6 Tips To Follow
Category: Cycling & Biking
Cycling is a wonderful sport and an excellent form of exercise. But if you are fan of cycling how can you prevent injury while cycling? We are doing to explore this dilemma in this article and provide you with some tips you can follow to safely engage in this popular sport.
From indoor exercise cycling to outdoor cycling, mountain biking and even off-road cycling there are a variety of different types of cycling that you can engage in during good or bad weather – albeit with safety in mind at all times.
While cycling is such a fun and great form of physical activity, it can be actually strenuous and dangerous and the off chance of sustaining an minor or serious, life changing injury is always right around the next turn, jump or pebble. So in this article we are we are going to address some simple ways and steps you can take to avoid injuries while cycling.
How Can You Prevent Injury While Cycling? Follow These 6 Proven Simple Tips
Here are some simple steps you can take to prevent injury during cycling:
1. Purchase the Perfect Cycle for your Body
Selecting the proper bike for your riding style and your body is one of the most important things you can do to prevent injury. Riding the wrong size cycle can cause a number of issues. One of them being the fact that it will be impossible to get proper posture if your bike doesn’t fit you.
A good example of how a bike of the wrong size can cause issues is the distance between your seat and pedals. Improper spacing here can lead to knee pain, foot pain, and over time damage.
If you plan to bicycle regularly, it is important to purchase a bike that fits properly. Purchasing the right bike for the type of cycling you are doing is also important. For example, you don’t want to purchase a city/street bike to go mountain biking, this can easily result in injury from overuse, poor traction, etc.
One good way to do this is to go to a bicycle store and work with a professional to pick the right bike. Most bike stores have knowledgeable staff who are more than happy to spend time with you to find the cycle that is right for you.
2. Establish the Proper Posture on the Cycle
How you hold yourself on your bicycle is extremely important to preventing cycling injury. The position you hold helps to keep your body properly aligned, properly supported, and increases your comfort level. What exactly is proper posture when you are cycle? Let’s break it down.
- Relaxed shoulders
- Elbows bent but not locked
- Bent at the waste with a straight spine
- Knees inline with your bike and feet
Learning to keep this position can be a bit difficult. When you cycle you will have to constantly remind yourself to keep a proper position. It could help to come up with a mantra about proper position to use to help remind yourself.
3. Maintaining a Proper Grip on Handlebars
Positioning and maintaining a proper grip on the handlebars is a good part in how you prevent injury while cycling. An improper grip can lead to pain in the hands and fingers. Over time, this can further result in trouble using your fingers immediately after a ride and ongoing medical conditions. One example of a medical condition resulting from improper grip is carpal tunnel syndrome which is a compression of the median nerve in your hand.
You want to have a controlling grip on your handlebars but you don’t want to squeeze them to death. A relaxed grip that will keep control of the handlebars while maintaining straight wrists is best. At the same time, you want to make sure that you move your hands regularly and stretch your fingers so that they do not get to stressed from holding the same position.
A set of cycling gloves can further prevent hand and finger injuries. The padding on the gloves gives your hands a cushion. Your gloves will also protect your arms and shoulders from shock when going over bumps and navigating obstacles.
4. Engage in Regular Stretching
Before any physical activity you should perform stretches. Stretching helps to loosen up the body and prevents a number of different potential issues such as strains and damage. Performing 10 minutes of stretching minimum before starting your bike ride.
Taking the time to integrate stretching into your daily life and regular workouts can increase your flexibility and stamina, further ensuring you don’t get injured while biking. This is a good way to answer how can you prevent injury while cycling as it gives many parts of your body a good warmup and prepares you to perform better in your exercise.
Learning a number of different stretches is best. You want to stretch out as much of your body as possible. Cycling engages many different muscles and requires endurance in many parts of your body. Taking some exercise classes or working with a personal trainer will help you to get a good collection of stretches to utilize before cycling.
There are a few items you can buy in order to enhance your stretching. Elastic bands are one great tool to add to your arsenal. Elastic bands help you to further engage your muscles and provide a number of new stretches that you can use. A yoga mat or similar padding will also provide you a cushioned surface on which to perform your stretches. Foot stretching tools such as slant boards and rockers can help you to prepare your feet and leg muscles for cycling.
5. Prepare Through Strength Training
Strength training can do more than keep you cycling for longer. Cycling takes a lot of muscle to properly pedal for longer periods of time. Without that strength, you run a higher risk of muscle strain and overuse of your muscles. Many different muscles are engaged during a bike ride from your foot muscles, leg muscles, back muscles, to neck muscles.
Engaging in strength training helps to increase the endurance and power of the various muscles throughout the body. There are many different tools and exercises that you can utilize to strengthen your body. A gym membership will help give you access to those tools as most of them are too expensive for us to have in our homes.
Some exercises can be done at home to help strength training such as pushups, lunges, planks, and jumping jacks. Gym equipment can provide you with more effective strength training and help to engage muscles and body parts that at home exercises can’t.
6. Invest In Proper Cycling Safety Equipment
We have seen a lot of answers to how can you prevent injury while cycling but there is one that is less about how you ride to the equipment you bring with you/wear. According to the NHTSB there were over 800 bicyclist deaths as a result of accidents in 2018. Wearing proper safety gear can help to prevent injury during an accident and even help to prevent an accident in the first place.
All bicyclists should be wearing a helmet while they cycle. Helmets significantly reduce the chance of a head injury during a bicycle accident. Make sure that you have a properly rated bicycle helmet that will protect your head as much as possible.
Visibility gear and equipment should also be used at all times, even during the day. Proper visibility equipment includes: a reflective vest, proper Bike lights, flags, and Bicycle reflectors. You want a car to see you before an accident happens.
We don’t want you to start to fear injuries while cycling, instead we want you to know how can you prevent injury while cycling. Injury is something you should keep in the back of your mind but not be afraid of. This will help to prepare you to have enjoyable bike rides for years to come. Do you have another tip on how can you prevent injury while cycling? Let everyone know in the comments down below.
You can obtain additional resources on cycling injuries and prevention here
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