What Not To Do Before Cycling

Cycling is a popular sport among people of any age, and this is not surprising as this workout is can be extremely enjoyable, and not to mention effective in helping someone establish a healthier, fitter life.
For beginners in the world of cycling, it can be exciting to start your first ride that you may do some preparation steps that are actually not advisable and you may regret when you’re already on the road, cycling.
Here are some of the practices you should not do before you ride your bike and set off for a long ride:
Don’t over hydrate before cycling. Before starting cycling or other active workout, you must have heard of the same advice time and again: drink enough water, hydrate, avoid dehydration. While hydrating is essential to keep you going in any sport, including cycling, the rule of moderation still applies. If you drink too much liquid prior to cycling, chances are, you’re exposing yourself to hyponatremia. Hyponatremia, even being a rare condition, can cause headaches, vomiting, confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle cramps, fatigue, and, in extreme cases, it may even cause seizures and coma. Aside from the risk of experiencing this rare condition, over hydrating may just cause you to go to the bathroom more than you should. Save water for refuelling every now and then while on the long ride.
Don’t forget to check your bicycle before going for a ride. Checking your bike should be done days before your scheduled cycling activity to give you ample time to have it repaired if needed.
Don’t eat foods that have too much fibre and fats. Foods rich in fibre and fats take a longer time to be digested and converted into the much needed energy your whole system depends on while cycling. Instead, opt for foods with carbohydrates to help you survive your ride. Including lean meats in your pre-riding meal can also provide you with enough energy.
Don’t forget to bring small snacks to help you refuel your energy while cycling. Consumption of around 30-50 grams of carbohydrates for every hour you are cycling would be enough to keep you going.
Don’t forget to warm up before cycling to prepare your muscles for the ride ahead. A good warm up technique would entail light cycling for about ten minutes before you participate in the long ride.
Don’t forget to inform your family members where you’re going. Or, don’t forget to bring your cell phone, especially when you’re going for a long ride so you can inform someone from your family in case you face being stranded or get injured while cycling.
Cycling is an exciting, pleasurable sport, and you can make every cycling experience even more enjoyable by being prepared and avoiding pre-riding practices that should be avoided.

How Cycling Improves Brain Function

We all know it, cycling is good for your health, cycling is a workout good for the environment, cycling fights away stress and worries. There are just so many reasons to love cycling even more.
And as if we need a new reason to start riding the bike, many studies now reveal that cycling is actually beneficial for your brain function as well.

Yes, cycling can boost your memory and improve your problem solving as well as decision making skills. It enhances the part of the brain responsible for speeding up brain connections according to a research conducted in the Netherlands. A separate study found out that cycling increases the functionality of the protein that regulates mood and memory, also known as the BDNF or brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

A Vanderbilt University study further exposed that an activity such as cycling develops focus and concentration among adults. The same study revealed that active participants have a 40 per cent more chance of resolving a puzzle than participants who don’t go cycling.

Among the many things that cycling improves is the hippocampus. The hippocampus is the region of the brain responsible for the organisation, formation, and storing of memories. A study conducted by the University Of Illinois disclosed that just after six months of everyday cycling, participants in the study have boosted their memory as well as problem solving skills by as much as 20 per cent. The hippocampus of the participants also grew by 2 per cent. The cyclists who participated also stated that their attention span and focus improved greatly. Deterioration of the hippocampus is a normal part of aging, but cycling seemed to work against this as the study also revealed that brain functions of the cyclists are working as if two years younger than their actual age.

What’s more is that you don’t necessarily have to train with extreme intensity and ride the bicycle for longer periods of time to achieve improvement in cognitive skills. Cycling for just 30 minutes or less can already help. Both indoor and outdoor cycling will be sufficient in developing the brain function. In addition, pushing yourself too hard by cycling too intensely just to achieve better brain operation may cause problems instead of improvement. Pushing yourself too hard may result in hindered processing of information as well as damaged memory. There are also other reports which additionally discovered that older cyclists also have a decreased possibility of suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The benefits one can get from cycling are numerous, that’s why it doesn’t come as a surprise that more and more people switch to cycling every day. So, if you’re ready to boost your brain functionality, go for a ride!

Does Regular Cycling Put Males At Risk

Good for the environment, a great way to stay fit, an excellent way to travel, a practical means of transportation—there are just so many advantages cycling can bring. There is no doubt that the sport is one of the most popular we have today because of the numerous benefits you can gain from it. However, there are studies suggesting that male cyclists are actually at risk of having some health issues because of regular cycling.

Different studies reveal that the impact of a bike’s saddle on the groin area can greatly affect men’s reproductive organ and its function.

According to a study led by Dr. Ferdinand Frauscher, a urology-radiology specialist at University Hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, lower sperm production may result from the impact of cycling to the groin.

In addition, Mr. Vinod Nargund, a consultant urological surgeon from St Bartholomew’s and Homerton Hospitals in London advised that cyclists may experience genital numbness, erection problems and soreness and skin irritations in the groin area due to direct contact of the rider with the bike’s seat.

A research conducted by the Massachusetts Male Aging Study revealed that men who go cycling for more than three hours a week are at a risk of getting erectile dysfunction.

However, you don’t have to give up cycling for fear of impotency or getting ED. A research by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) discovered that the saddle is to blame for the health risks caused by cycling. You can avoid these health problems by carefully choosing the right bike with the perfect seat that will give you adequate protection.

Mr. Vinod Nargund also added that having the right bike is essential in preventing saddle-related problems. He also emphasized how important pedal resistance is as well as proper adjustment of the saddle when cycling.

As the saying goes: It’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t have to stop cycling; although, it won’t hurt to include other exercises to your workout routine rather than just sticking to cycling exclusively, just to be safe.

Aqua Cycling

Aqua Cycling

Cycling underwater? Why not? If there’s aqua jogging for runners, cyclists who want to have less soreness on their muscles and joints can try aqua cycling. Also known as hydrospinning or underwater cycling, aqua cycling is the new fitness regimen that is rapidly gaining popularity in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Even Pippa Middleton herself tried the exercise.

What is aqua cycling? Aqua cycling is a type of workout where stationary bikes are submerged in a pool where riders will pedal against the water resistance. The water reaches just above the waist.

What makes aqua cycling special? Aqua cycling has won the hearts of many fitness buffs because of the benefits the new workout offers.

You can lose weight faster by cycling underwater. Due to resistance and pressure of the water, more calories can be burned by aqua cycling. This exercise can burn up to 800 calories per hour. You can also get rid of unwanted cellulites by aqua cycling because the friction between the water and skin creates a massaging action to the skin which can help remove cellulites.

Underwater cycling is also good for the cardiovascular system because blood circulation is improved due to being submerged in the water. Also, because the water pressure improves blood circulation, your muscles won’t feel as tired as it would if you were cycling on land. This means that you would experience less soreness in the legs after aqua cycling.

As aqua cycling is a low impact exercise, you’ll experience less strain on your joints and muscles after working out.

Just like aqua jogging, aqua cycling is a brilliant exercise for those who are recovering from an injury. Aqua cycling allows you to continue working out without having to worry about your injury because it is a low impact exercise.

This exercise is an excellent way of relieving stress. What’s more, there are no speed adjustments on the stationary bikes so there’s no pressure or stress of having to pedal harder. With aqua cycling, you pedal against water pressure so the workout only gets harder when you try to pedal faster. Being free from stress will help you sleep better.

The underwater exercise also provides the benefits of regular cycling such as improved posture and flexibility.

These new innovations on how to get fit helps a lot of people by providing them with more options on achieving a fitter, healthier body. With its incredible benefits minus the muscle soreness and body pains almost all workouts have as aftermath, it is obvious why aqua cycling quickly became popular.

The Benefits Of Cycling For Your Health

Like any physical activity, cycling provides a myriad of health benefits. Since cycling is an endurance based sport most of its health benefits stem from this.

Cycling Is suitable for everyone, no matter your age or your ability

You have the ability to cycle at almost any time, in a wide variety of location without having to break the bank. Other sports may require lots of equipment, high level of dedication and skill, or even having to keep to a schedule if you are part of a team. With cycling, you simply never forget how to ride a bicycle and so all you need to take part is a bike and some spare time throughout the week for you to hop on and take a ride.

Cycling builds strength

Cycling is not purely an endurance sport it will build muscle most notably in your legs. This is simply because of the resistance provided by riding a bike. Since the resistance is not a huge for a casual cyclist you won’t build massive legs. The great thing about cycling is that there isn’t any significant strain or wear and tear on your body due to a lack of impact that you might get through running.
Since no resistance is provided for your upperbody you won’t build any muscle there so you will have to look elsewhere if that is what you are looking for. If you wondering what type of body you can build you can take a look at some professional cyclists, of course if you are going to train like a long distance cyclist don’t look at someone like Sir Chris Hoy as an example of a physique that you will get.

Cycling will build stamina

Cycling is a great way to build up your endurance and improve your cardio-vascular fitness. When you cycle will be spending that time at an elevated heart rate and you will improve your body’s ability to maintain that level of work over longer periods of time. Doing so will improve your stamina and fitness. This will improve your overall health, the British Medical Association have stated that by cycling 20 miles a week you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%.

Cycling burns calories

Cycling can burn roughly 300 calories every hour. This will help you get rid of unwanted body fat just don’t go pigging out and eating an excess number of calories afterwards. In addition to these calories burnt due to the extra muscle you will build you will burn more calories even when you are resting i.e your resting metabolic rate will increase. This is because muscle burns calories even when you are not doing anything.

Cycling can reduce stress

Regular exercise is a great way to alleviate depression and will help to improve your overall self esteem. By cycling outdoors and getting some fresh air it can give your mind a break from the stress of everyday life. Your body will also release endorphins and other feel good hormones.

As with all exercise there are some important things you should take into account. Before starting any physical regime you should consult a doctor so that you have a better understanding of your limitations. You should also start out slow, with baby steps, and gradually increase the intensity level as you become fitter and stronger.

Supplements For Cycling

As we all know cycling is a tiring sport that requires you to eat massive amounts in order to sufficiently fuel your body. In order to make sure you always operating at your peak you need to ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables as well as making sure you are meeting your carbohydrate and protein needs. Supplements can also help you in this area where your diet may be deficient.

Whey Protein

Studies have shown that people that regularly exercise require more protein in their diet compared to less active individuals. When we cycling the muscles in our legs most notably the calves, quads and hamstrings are broken down. In order for the body to recover and the muscles to adapt we need to intake a sufficient amount of protein. Whilst the bulk of this protein should come from whole food sources such as chicken, fish, beef etc you may benefit from taking a protein shake.

Protein shakes provide an extremely convenient as well as cost effective way of increasing your protein intake, they taste great as well! If you actually do the math, they are cheaper than most other protein sources such as lean meats. If you take advantage of special offers such as a referral code or a discount code you can cut this cost even further. I personally like the brands Maxinutrition (Maximuscle) and The Protein Works.


Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source, needless to say you need carbohydrates in order to power through your workout. You should always make sure that the majority of your calories are coming from foods that filled with carbohydrates such as pasta, potatoes, grains etc.

You may still benefit from energy and sports drinks that contain electrolytes such as lucozade. If you cycle for longer periods of time then this is when you should consider an energy drink to top up your energy stores.


Whilst eating a balanced, healthy diet should give your body all of the micronutrients your body needs it always helps to have an insurance policy. Sometimes we do get lazy or careless and don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in a day. If this is the case for you then you should consider taking a multivitamin.

The body needs vitamins and minerals in order to function correctly, so if you are deficient your performance will suffer. You can pick up a good multivitamin anywhere on the high street such as Boots.

Common Injuries Cyclists Face

When people think about cycling they don’t really associate it with injuries. The great thing about cycling is that it doesn’t have any impact on the joints like running does which does reduce the occurrence of injuries however they do happen. Here are some common injuries:-


Blisters can range from barely noticeable to a massive pain. People don’t usually consider them a big deal but if you have ever experienced a particularly bad blister you know that they can make even walking extremely painful and difficult. Blisters are most commonly the result of new or poorly fitting footwear. If you can’t seem to find suitable trainers to wear when cycling you may have to consider purchasing specialist cycling shoes instead.


Sprains and strains do happen in cycling most commonly in ankles, knees and hips. They are usually caused by poor positioning of your body. They can be a serious issue so don’t just think you can cycle through the pain and it will eventually go away. If you suffer from a sprain or strain consult a medical professional and take a few days off.

Bumps And Scrapes

If you cycle long enough you will eventually fall off or with your bike. This can lead to the very painful experience of sliding along a road leading to some nasty scrapes. It’s not usually something you have to see a doctor about but it is painful at the time and may need some treatment. Make sure you sterilise the wound to prevent infection and to properly dress it so that it can heal correctly.

Foot Arch Discomfort

If you are new to cycling it’s not too uncommon to experience some discomfort in the arch of your foot this comes about from using your feet to pedal the bike. If you experience this try massaging your feet after cycling as well as finding footwear that provides more support. Specialist cycling shoes are ideal for this as they have special foot and arch support features.

How To Choose A Bike Seat

Choosing the correct bike seat is paramount to having a long and enjoyable biking career. If you have ever been cycling on the wrong seat you will know that even a very brief ride can quickly turn from a great idea to a painful and uncomfortable experience.

When it comes to a good or bad seat there is no one size fits all, it will vary from person to person depending on their gender, size, proportions etc. The perfect bicycle seat doesn’t exist however some brands are more comfortable than others.

Perhaps the biggest and most common mistake that a new cyclist will make is to choose a seat that is bigger and has a lot of padding. On the surface this seems to make sense but it doesn’t work that way. A bigger seat will lead to more surface contact and therefore more friction will occur and thus more pain. You should instead choose a seat that is smaller so that the surface area that is in contact with your bum is in fact smaller.

In terms of padding the rules aren’t quite so strict. The bike seat should only have padding where you will natural come into contact with the seat such as wear your left and right buttocks actually make contact with the seat. There isn’t any reason to have padding on other parts of the seat, simply because your bum does not come into contact with those areas.

In terms of the shape of the seat a woman should choose one that is slightly wider due to the differences in anatomy compared to that of a man. There are some seats that have openings in the middle this can help to minimise friction between the seat and your genitalia to improve comfort.

These are just guidelines and are not a substitute for actually going to a bike shop and trying out the bike seat you want to buy in person. Most shops have employees that are very knowledgeable and who can help you with your purchase and make suggestions based on your needs.