Healthy Cycling: How to Prevent Common Problems and Injuries
Cycling is one of the best low-impact exercises that can help boost your metabolism without breaking a lot of sweat or exerting the muscles. It is also a great way to relax, take your mind off things, and enjoy nature. However, cycling isn't always healthy. It can leave you with body aches, headaches and muscle tension that may take days to heal. The secret to enjoying cycling is ensuring that you do it healthily. Below are some of the steps that you can take to prevent common cycling injuries and problems.
Prevent back pain and neck tension
When cycling, you usually bend your neck and back to access the handles. This posture, when adopted for an extended period, can cause severe back pain, neck pain, and shoulder tension. Unfortunately, for most people, it is the price that they have to pay to enjoy a ride around their neighbourhood. However, you can ride your bicycle without suffering from pain and tension.
One way of preventing exertion on your back, neck, and shoulder muscles is by adjusting your bike's handlebars. Bring them a little higher so that you don't have to flex forward at an awkward angle to reach the handles. Also, try to alternate between bending and cycling in an upright position. This will limit prolonged pressure on the muscles and prevent pain and tension.
Protect your knees
Knees tend to suffer a lot when cycling, especially if your bike's saddle sits too low. This prevents your legs from stretching out fully. Keeping your knees bent throughout the exercise can result in severe knee pain and tension in the hamstrings. Luckily, you can prevent these problems by making a few adjustments to your bike.
First, raise your saddle to provide enough allowance for your legs and knees to stretch out. Also, if you use cleats for cycling, make sure that they are correctly positioned and attached to the riding shoes. However, if you have a hard time adjusting your bike to prevent knee injuries, you should find hire an expert for professional bike fitting services.
Stretch your muscles
Having a pre-cycling warm-up and stretching exercises after cycling can help you prevent muscle injury. Before starting the activity, stretch your arms, legs, and exercise your hamstrings. This will prepare the muscles for the task ahead. After cycling, do side stretches, flex your neck and massage the shoulders to ease tension resulting from too much bending. You can also engage in some yoga stretches or go for massage therapy. An osteopath can help you find the best warm-up and stretching exercises to prevent tension and muscle pain.
Contact an osteopath today for professional advice and treatment if you frequently suffer from muscle injuries after cycling.