Riding a bicycle: benefits and harms, training and riding rules

In the past few years, in many European countries, we can observe the rapidly growing popularity of bicycles as a mode of transport. This is due to many factors: convenience, saving (money and time), health benefits, inability to harm the environment. In this article, we will examine in detail what benefits cycling work for men and women, whether there are contraindications to practicing such a sport as learning how to ride and how to choose the right bike.

Bicycle riding

Like any other sport, cycling can both benefit your body and harm it. It is important for every novice cyclist to know how such a method of movement can affect his body.

Benefits

What does cycling give to men and women?

The advantages of practicing such a sport in the following:

1. Prevention of varicose veins. Since during the ride there is an active circulation of blood throughout all the vessels of the legs, it does not stagnate (it is blood stasis that in most cases causes varicose veins).

2. Helps to get rid of depression, improves mood.

3. Increases the overall stamina of the human body.

4. Ability to pump up the muscles of the lower body.

5. Helps to develop coordination and dexterity.

6. Prevents the development of vegetovascular dystonia, and for those who already suffer from it, it helps to cope with it and feel better.

7. Improves joint mobility, which prevents knee problems with age.

8. Strengthens the respiratory system, develops rhythmic breathing.

9. It is an excellent tool for losing weight.

10. Increases immunity. Regularly going for a bike ride, you can protect your body from colds.

11. Helps to cope with periodic back pain, since when driving, not only the buttocks, muscles of the legs and pelvis, but also the muscles of the back are involved.

12. Normalizes sleep.

Important! So that blood circulation is not disturbed in the pelvic area and stagnation does not occur, it is important to choose and adjust the bicycle seat correctly.

Harm and contraindications

However, such a useful and harmless, at first glance, occupation can be fatal for men and women. Among the contraindications for cycling should be highlighted:

1. The presence of serious problems with the musculoskeletal system.

2. Periodic attacks of anemia, accompanied by loss of consciousness.

3. Hemorrhoids.

4. The presence of serious heart disease.

5. The omission of the kidney.

6. The presence of pathologies of the vessels of the brain.

7. Impaired coordination.

8. Elevated body temperature.

9. Epilepsy.

To harm such a sport can not only people with the above problems, but also healthy. Having carefully studied how it affects the body, scientists have found that too frequent and intense cycling can be harmful to both men and women.

 Harm for women:

  • since the bicycle saddle is small, under the weight of the body there is too much pressure on the genitals of the girls, which causes a decrease in sensitivity in this part of the body and the appearance of female frigidity;
  • under load from the position of a woman in the saddle, the blood circulation of organs in the pelvis is disturbed, which can provoke various inflammatory processes of non-infectious etiology.

Harm for men:

  • During riding, a heavy load occurs on the groin area. Compression of blood vessels and nerve endings in this area can cause problems with the reproductive system, resulting in infertility;
  • long cycling with improper sitting in some cases lead to the fact that a man has problems with an erection.

Beginner Learning Plan

Learning to ride a bicycle is not difficult if you take a responsible approach to choosing the transport itself, adhere to some rules and safety measures. Consider where it is recommended to start, in what clothes it is better to ride, how to learn to ride and what precautions you must follow.

How to choose a bike?

All types of bicycles can be divided into three groups:

1. Amateur. They are the best option for beginners who are not yet versed in models, do not know how much time they will spend on such vehicles and for what purposes to use it. They have a low price, have a universal design. Among the minuses of these types, the possibility of frequent breakdowns, which, however, can be fixed independently, should be highlighted.

2. Semi-professional. Suitable for lovers to ride long distances, often move around the city or go to bike training for weight loss. They are more expensive than models of the previous type, but better in quality.

3. Professional. Designed for professional cycling. On average, they can cost like a good car.

Important! When choosing such a vehicle, first of all, pay attention to the seat: it should not be too small so that there is no excessive pressure in the pelvic area.

In addition, bicycles are divided into:

1. Mountain. Used for off-road driving, they are distinguished by the stability and durability of rubber on wheels. It can also be used for city driving, therefore it is considered universal.

2. Urban. Designed for riding on asphalt. There are three types of frames: closed (best suited for men), open (the best option for women), folding (saves space).

Having decided on the type, model and purpose, it is important to choose the right size of the frame, which should be consistent with the growth of the future owner of the bike.

Frame dimensions relative to human height:

Human height in centimeters Frame size in inches (centimeters) Letter size designation
145-155 13-14.5 (33-36) XS
156-172 15-16 (38-40) S
168-182 17-18 (43-47) M
178-190 19-20 (48-52) L
188-200 21-22 (55-58) XL
200-210 23-24 (59-62) XXL

Clothes for riding

To begin with, it should be noted that if you are not in a hurry and are not going on a long bike ride, there is no need for special clothes for this. It is only necessary to take into account that the clothes should be such that nothing could get into the wheel and spin, otherwise you could be injured.

If you seriously plan to engage in this kind of sport, ride a bicycle often, make it your favorite vehicle and want it to be as comfortable as possible, you can buy special clothes, the distinguishing features of which are:

1. Material. These are tissues that let sweat pass and allow it to evaporate, do not crumple during riding and do not pinch parts of individual parts of the body and do not get wet (in case of rain).

2. Form. The back of such clothes is sewn longer than the front, because during the ride a person bends forward. Thus, the back remains covered. Sleeves are also sewn long to protect your wrists from wind while riding. The lower part is tight to the legs, it can be shorts or leggings, always with a high waist.

Bike shoes should also be comfortable for riding. It’s better to choose sneakers from lightweight, breathable material.

Fundamental rules

To make your trips efficient and safe, follow these guidelines:

1. Before you sit on your bike, take a break. Warm up is an integral part of any kind of sport, as light, non-intense exercises help warm up the muscles and prevent injury during their performance.

2. Do not put too much strain on the body.

3. Be sure to bring a bottle of water with you.

4. Do not exercise with a full stomach. Eat at least 30 minutes before the bike ride.

Did you know? In modern developed countries, the bicycle is the favorite mode of transport of the rich. They drive it 2.5 times more often than people with less income.

 Step by step instruction

Learning to ride a bike is much better in childhood. In children, as a rule, this comes out easier and faster. If you did not have time to learn this at an early age, follow the instructions below:

1. First, you should “adjust” the transport for yourself: adjust the height of the steering wheel and saddle (the height should be such that at the lowest point of the pedal the leg is almost bent at the knee and at the same time it remains possible to reach the ground with your feet).

2. Next, you need to study how the brake system works. At the initial stage of training, it is better not to use the front brake, since it is easy for an inexperienced cyclist to squeeze it and provoke a fall forward.

3. Now you can start the learning process itself. Take your vehicle behind the wheel and just walk alongside it, tilting it to one side or the other. In this way you “feel” the bike.

4. Hold the rear brake and sit on the seat so that your legs are still touching the ground.

5. To learn how to maintain balance, repeat the following exercise several times: while holding the brake, take your feet off the ground for a few seconds and try to balance and not lean to the side.

6. Next, keep your balance and accelerate slightly with one foot, trying to put the other on the pedal. In this position, ride a few meters. Repeat this, changing your legs, until you can confidently balance and pedal.

7. Now you can, having dispersed, put both legs on the pedals. If you manage to drive at least about 20 meters, you can proceed to the next point.

8. Master the turns. Try turning several times at low speed, turning the steering wheel in the direction you want to turn. If you are driving at high speed, to make a turn, it is enough to tilt the case slightly in the right direction, there is no need to turn the steering wheel.

9. If you have learned all of the above, plan your distance with turns, bumps, and practice.

Security measures

Since this type of transport is easily injured, it is necessary to adhere to safety measures:

  • in the initial stages, when you are still not quite skilled in steering or just starting to learn, it is better to ride with special equipment: knee pads, elbow pieces and a helmet;
  • do not brake too sharply;
  •  learn to ride in uninhabited places, on an impassable part, where the risk of hitting someone or being hit by a car is minimal;
  • do not ride too slowly, because the balance is easier to keep at high speeds;
  • Do not ride a bicycle while intoxicated: this can cause injuries not only to you, but also to others.

Did you know? Half of all trips in China are carried out by bicycle. In this country, there are 250 of them per car. This is connected not only with the desire to keep the air clean, but also with the fact that traveling around a big city in China is much faster by bicycle than by subway or any other road transport.

Cycling exercises

What is swinging on a bike? First of all, legs, also buttocks, abdominal muscles and a little arm. In order for bike rides to bring your body as much benefit as possible, turn them into workouts and perform the following exercises: 

  1. Warm up: before you start any workout, you need to warm up your muscles, for this, just ride for 10 minutes without much stress. 
  2. Ascent and descent through the hills. It is necessary to do 8 times for 5 minutes (ascent), after the ascent, the descent begins, which replaces the respite. 
  3. Exercise “Pyramid”. Technique: during the warm-up, remember how many turns the pedals make per minute. During the main training, which should last about 30 minutes, increase the pace to do about 20 revolutions per minute, increase the speed by 1-2 points every three minutes. 
  4. Increase your average pace a little, but so that you still feel comfortable driving, do not overload yourself. Move at such a fast pace for 4 minutes, then 3 minutes – a break, the pace can be reduced. This alternation must be repeated 4 times. Then do 3 accelerations of 6 minutes with a pause of 2 minutes. The last spurt is 2 accelerations of 8 minutes each with a respite of 1 minute. 
  5. After a 5-minute warm-up, make a jerk to the limit of 30 seconds. Then slow down and move at a steady pace for 3 minutes. For the lesson you need to do up to 12 such accelerations. 

This set of exercises helps to pump up the legs, muscles of the arms and back, buttocks, abs. 

How to ride a bike to lose weight? 

It is known that when riding a bicycle, the abdomen, legs, buttocks lose weight. On cycling spent 48 kcal in 10 minutes. Thus, in 10 hours 2880 kcal is spent. To maximize consumption, you must adhere to a specific riding regime and method: 

  1. Go on such walks at least several times a week. Ideally, training should take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 
  2. Exercises should be intense: you need to ride at a fast pace.
  3.  From time to time, pick up speed to maximum, then gradually reduce it. 
  4. Watch your diet: eat at least an hour before training and only two hours after. Proper nutrition is an important component of any process of losing weight. It doesn’t matter how many calories are burned when driving, if you arrive home and immediately get enough.

A bicycle is not only convenient, but also a useful form of transport. Most people know how to ride it from childhood, but if you haven’t had to ride a bike, it’s not so difficult to learn, and frequent cycling will definitely benefit your body. However, you should not start exercises if you belong to one of the categories of people who are contraindicated in this sport.

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