Here’s a Guest Post from Brooke Cade about getting the most out of your bike rides!
We all want to live healthy lives and stay active. As cyclists, and as athletes in general, taking care of our bodies so they perform to their maximum potential is important. Through testing our limits, and pushing ourselves a little farther, we learn more about ourselves and what we’re capable of accomplishing. But there are some essential must-dos that will ensure you achieve maximum performance.
Prepare For Your Bike Ride
Before cycling, you should always stretch and prepare your body for the ride. By taking some time to stretch, you increase the blood flow to your muscles, which helps to warm up your body and lowers your risk of injuring yourself. Stretching also helps with flexibility and posture.
While stretching, take a moment to pay attention to your body and how it’s feeling. By taking an inventory of how your body is doing, you will have a better understanding of what is hurting and what you can do to adjust your workout so you don’t cause your body any further damage. Ask yourself questions like: what is hurting? Is it because I’m doing something wrong in my cycling? The more you know your body, the better you can read the warning signs that something might not be right.
Replenish and Hydrate during Your Bike Ride
Help your body during your bike ride by drinking water and replenishing the electrolytes you are sweating out. For those who don’t know, electrolytes consist of electrically charged minerals. The 4 prominent ones are sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These minerals are important for keeping your digestive, muscular, cardiovascular, and nervous systems working properly.
You can replenish the electrolytes in your body in various ways. Drinking sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, are the more well known options. You can also replenish your electrolytes through certain foods — nuts, beans, and seeds — which also contain electrolytes.
If you’re not taking time to replenish your electrolytes, you’ll experience dizziness and weakness, your muscles will cramp, and perspiration won’t help to cool you down. As you ride, notice how your body is acting and how much liquid you’re drinking. The better you take care of your body, ensuring it’s hydrated, the better your performance will be.
Cool Down after Your Bike Ride
After your bike ride, give your body time to cool down. This is another great time to ensure your body is hydrated and the electrolytes are replenished in your system. The purpose of a cool down is to give your heart time to return to its normal, resting rate.
In addition, the cool down is a perfect time for doing some more stretching, which can help improve flexibility and keep you from stiffening up.
About the author: Brooke Cade is passionate about health and wellness. She enjoys writing about all the things she loves in life, including biking, yoga, Nature’s Sunshine products, and anything related to living life to its fullest.
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