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How Well Do You Climb A Set of Stairs?

Posted on May 31, 2017 by Beth Hartman

If You Ride A Bike, You May Be Doing It Better Than Those Who Don’t!

We all know that exercise is beneficial to your everyday health. But did you know that people that enjoy cycling can also help improve the way they walk, balance, and even climb a set of stairs? Well if you weren’t aware of this, read on dear reader read on….

There's an old saying that you never forget how to ride a bike, but if it's been a while since you've put foot to peddle, then maybe it's time you climbed aboard one, even if it's a three-wheeler, (and I don't mean one with training wheels) and discover and enjoy the health benefits of cycling.

If you really pay attention, there are quite a few benefits, both medically, and mentally about getting out on the road or trails and enjoying a bike ride. Below we have listed a few that we think you can benefit by:

It's Easy on the Joints: When you sit on a bike, you put your weight on a pair of bones in the pelvis called the ischial tuberosities, unlike walking, when you put your weight on your legs. "That makes it good for anyone with joint pain or age-related stiffness," says Dr. Safran-Norton. Dr. Norton is a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Pushing your bike's Pedals: provides an aerobic workout. That's great for your heart, brain, and blood vessels. Aerobic exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, the body's feel-good chemicals—which may make you feel young at heart.

Cycling builds Muscle: In the power phase of pedaling (the down stroke), you use the gluteus muscles in the buttocks, the quadriceps in the thighs, and the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in the calves. In the recovery phase (backstroke, up-stroke, and over stroke), you use the hamstrings in the back of the thighs and the flexor muscles in the front of the hips.

Cycling works other Muscles, Too: You use abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright, and you use your arm and shoulder muscles to hold the handlebars and steer. So getting on a bike provides a good overall workout to your body’s core. It helps with everyday activities. "The benefits carry over to balance, walking, standing, endurance, and stair climbing

Pedaling builds Bone: "Resistance activities, such as pushing pedals, pull on the muscles, and then the muscles pull on the bone, which increases bone density, as well.

When riding, remember that the seat height should allow a slight bend at your knee. "You don't want a straight knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke because the bike could be too tall and you could fall off. And cyclists know the importance of always wearing head gear. Don't get caught up in the latest and greatest devices available to avid cyclists. There are only a few things you need to venture out on the road or trail to make sure you pace yourself and keep track of how far and what your cadence is. One good item to have with you is a GPS bike computer. There are several models out on the market but for our purposes, we like the Garmin Edge 1000 Cycling Computer. There really is no better cycling computer to guide you on your ride.
Besides its reliable GPS navigation, it also has an easy to use “Touch Screen” that makes it easy to see where you are, when you are. And with its social media capabilities, your family and friends will also know where you are and you can share your route with your friends as well.

Knowing where your going is important, but knowing that there is someone behind you as your peddling along down the road is important as well. You will want to take a look at a "Radar-Based" Rearview Tail-Light by Garmin as well. The Garmin Varia not only detects vehicles and alert them to your presence, but alerts you of their speed and relative distance. Cycling at night has never been safer.  

So, if you haven’t been on the seat of a bike in a while, what are you waiting for? Get over to your neighborhood bike shop, one that you know is both reputable and knowledgeable. And get fitted for the right bike, one that you can depend on to see you over the rivers and through the woods and back to your home, not grandma’s….

Who knows? Maybe we’ll see each other on a set of stairs, instead of the elevator!!!!!

 

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