Throughout our Health series we'll be exploring the many ways that the simple act of riding a bike regularly can keep our brains sharp and our bodies fit.
From our first wobbly rides as a kid to our senior years when we're chasing the grandkids around on bikes.
As well as looking at the benefits OF cycling, we'll also be focusing on how to stay fit FOR cycling.
Strength training, building stamina, getting the right hydration and nutrition, sleeping, plus recovering from injury are all critical to enabling us to stay healthy for cycling.
So, we'll be keeping you fit with posts on healthy bodies and healthy minds, including:
Benefits of Cycling: Overview of the physical and mental life-changing benefits (to us) and the environmental 'health' benefits (to the entire planet) of regular cycling.
Cycling for Cardiovascular Health: Explanation of how cycling improves cardiovascular health, including its impact on heart rate and blood pressure.
Cycling and Muscle Tone: Analysis of the impact of cycling on muscle tone and strength, particularly in the lower body.
Cycling for Joint Health: Discussion of the benefits of cycling for maintaining and improving joint health, particularly in the knees and hips. A low-impact form of exercise that moves these joints through a wide range of motion.
Nutrition for Cyclists: It's not all about mid-ride re-fueling stops for coffee and doughnuts, sadly. Check out our guide to the ideal diet for cyclists, focusing on pre-ride, during-ride, and post-ride nutrition.
Hydration for Cyclists: Importance of hydration during cycling and practical tips on how to stay hydrated during long rides and on bikepacking trips.
Cycling Recovery Tips: Techniques and strategies for optimal recovery after cycling, including stretching, nutrition, and rest. It's not JUST about putting your feet up and cracking open a chilled beer...though that might be a useful tactic too.
Strength Training for Cyclists: Guide on incorporating strength training into your cycling routine for overall performance improvement. Remember that it's not only your legs and glutes that need work. Strength training workouts on the upper body can be a massive benefit to your cycling (and also to your overall physique, balancing upper and lower body).
Flexibility and Cycling: Importance of flexibility in cycling and recommended stretching exercises for cyclists. We're big fans of yoga for improving flexibility as well as having a side benefit of developing balance - critical for cycling.
Cycling and Core Strength: Explanation of how a strong core enhances cycling performance and suggested core workouts for cyclists.
Overcoming Cycling Fatigue: Tips and strategies for combating fatigue during long rides.
Interval Training for Cyclists: Explanation of the benefits of interval training for cycling and how to incorporate it into a training regimen.
Indoor Cycling Workouts: Guide to effective indoor cycling workouts for those unable to ride outdoors or preferring indoor training, particularly through the cold, wet and icy winter months.
Cycling for Seniors: Tips and considerations for older individuals who want to start or continue cycling for health and fitness. NB. see our thoughts on mountain biking vs road cycling for seniors.
Cycling for Rehabilitation: Discussion of how cycling can be used as a tool for rehabilitation from injuries or surgeries.
Preventing Cycling Injuries: Tips and strategies to prevent common cycling injuries, including proper technique and equipment.
Breathing Techniques for Cycling: Instructions on effective breathing techniques for improved cycling performance and endurance.
Yoga for Cyclists: Guide to the most beneficial yoga poses for cyclists to improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
Cycling and Sleep: Discussion of the impact of sleep quality and duration on cycling and how better sleep can improve cycling performance. Don't believe us? Notice the difference in how much harder and faster you can go after a great night's sleep vs a broken up or too short night under the duvet.
Impact of Altitude on Cycling Performance: Analysis of how altitude affects cycling performance and tips for acclimatization. Remember that you can also use this to your advantage just like the pros - train higher than your next race altitude and see the difference it makes.
Pilates for Cyclists: Explanation of how Pilates can benefit cyclists, including recommended Pilates exercises.
Heat and Cold Considerations for Cyclists: Guidance on cycling in extreme temperatures and how to prepare and stay safe. Thermals and factor 50, though probably not at the same time.
Designing a Cycling Training Plan: Detailed guide on how to design a cycling training plan based on personal goals, fitness levels, and available time. The best time to start? Yesterday. The right way to start? With a solid plan.
Hill Training for Cyclists: Techniques and strategies for effective hill training, focusing on climbing and descending skills.
Interval Training in Cycling: Explanation of how to use interval training to improve cycling speed and endurance.
Endurance Training for Cyclists: Go harder for longer with these strategies for improving cycling endurance, including long slow distance rides and tempo rides.
Speed Training for Cyclists: Feel the need? The need for speed? Yeah, course you do. Here are tried and tested techniques for improving cycling speed, including interval training and gear shifting strategies.
Hiring a Cycling Coach: We take a look at the benefits of hiring a coach. Plus, a guide on how to choose a coach, including factors to consider and questions to ask.
Training for a Century Ride: Guide on how to train for a century ride (100 miles), including a suggested training plan.
Recovery Rides: Explanation of the benefits of recovery rides and how to include them in a cycling training plan.
Training for Multi-Day Cycling Events and bikepacking trips: Strategies and training plans for multi-day cycling events, including endurance, nutrition, and recovery tips.
Using a Power Meter in Training: Guide on how to use a power meter to monitor and adjust cycling training.
Training with Heart Rate Zones: Explanation of heart rate zones and how to use them in cycling training.
Periodization in Cycling Training: Introduction to this massively underutilized concept of periodization and how it can optimize cycling training and performance.
Overtraining in Cycling: Sometimes this can be hard to recognize in yourself (and easy to see in others). We explain the signs, what can happen when you overtrain, and how to prevent it.
Rest and Recovery in Cycling Training: R&R is at least as important as pedaling in a training schedule. We discuss the importance of rest and recovery in cycling training, including active recovery, sleep, and nutrition.
Cross-Training for Cyclists: Guide on the benefits of cross-training and recommended cross-training activities for cyclists (think: swimming, walking or yoga).
Mental Training for Cyclists: Techniques for improving mental toughness in cycling, including goal setting, visualization, and self-talk.
Plyometric Training for Cyclists: Guide on how plyometric exercises can improve cycling performance and suggested plyometric workouts.
Warm-up and Cool-down Routines for Cyclists: Instructions on effective warm-up and cool-down routines to enhance performance and recovery.