More and more people nowadays are taking up cycling, either as a workout, a hobby or even a sport. It’s no secret that this is one of the most physically demanding activities you can undergo, and the results on your fitness level are more than visible after a short while. Riding a bike not only helps you build endurance and strengthen your core, but it also slims you down.
Winter Cycling Tips
But cycling is good for a lot more than just losing weight. It’s an enjoyable activity that improves your mood and overall health. However, its very nature makes it heavily weather-dependent. Thus, once December rolls around, you will need to take some extra precautions on your usual rides. Here are three winter tips that will keep you safe and boost your immune system.
1. Train Indoors Too
Depending on the geographical area you live in and its climate conditions, the winters in your town might be a lot harsher than those in other places. If that’s the case, riding your bike outdoors could very well become impossible. Thus, you should consider indoor cycling to stay in shape, especially if you’re a pro in the field.
Not only does this help you improve your skills, but it also has beneficial effects on your cardiovascular health. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself a spinner and start pedaling at home too. You should ideally find one equipped with the best exercise bike seat so that you ensure maximum comfort during each session.
Fortunately, the market is ripe with great options to fit all budgets and needs. Make sure to do your research thoroughly beforehand so that you make an informed purchase. Even the most affordable ones aren’t exactly cheap, so be wise about where and on what you choose to spend your money.
2. Dress in Layers
According to Bicycling.com, layering your clothing is the first essential thing you need to consider when riding your bike in winter. The ideal approach is starting with a warm base comprised of insulating tights and blouse. Then, add various items such as specialized pants, a hoodie, and a high-quality jacket.
The entire purpose of this is being able to take off a layer if you get hot during a ride and then put it back on once you start feeling chilly. However, if you feel too warm before you get on your bike, that should be a clear indicator that you put on too much. Ideally, you should be a bit cold before you begin the ride.
By dressing appropriately for both the weather and the activity you are engaging in, you are ensuring that your health is unharmed. The icy air outside might give you the sniffles if you’re not careful, so do your best to avoid that.
3. Stay Hydrated
When you perform any physical activity in winter, the low temperatures you encounter might keep you from realizing how much you’re actually sweating. Studies show that your body loses fluids faster in cold climates, resulting in dehydration. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to this aspect and drink plenty of water beforehand, as well as carry a bottle with you.
If possible, bring it along in an insulated backpack, rather than keeping it in the frame of your bike. This will preserve its temperature, so you won’t risk having to drink freezing water and getting a sore throat because of it.
Always maintaining optimal hydration levels is something that has visible benefits both on the inside and on the outside. Not only will your skin glow, but you will also feel better and have a stronger immune system. This will safeguard you from any potential illnesses, so remember to always drink at least two liters of fluid daily.
If the place where you live doesn’t go through harsh winters, then riding your bike on your favorite trails is possible during the cold season as well. Nevertheless, it’s important to take a few extra precautions when doing so to ensure that you safeguard yourself from illness and any other harms or hazards.
Learn how to layer your clothing appropriately, but don’t go overboard. You shouldn’t feel hot from the very first moment you step foot outside because this is detrimental to long-term sustained physical activity. Another essential thing to remember is hydration. Your body loses valuable fluids faster come this time of year, so remember to replenish its reserves.
And if all else fails, a stationary bike is the way to go. By training indoors, you are avoiding all the risks that come with biking outside in low temperatures and poor weather conditions while being able to still reap most of the benefits as well.