Can Tell You The Speed And Direction Of Blood Flow Bike Riding for Weight Loss – Tips for Beginning A Bicycling Plan

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Bike Riding for Weight Loss – Tips for Beginning A Bicycling Plan

If you’re one of those people who leisurely pedals around the block or down a flat stretch of scenic road, you’ve probably been riding for pure pleasure. Riding a bicycle for pleasure is a good form of aerobic exercise. But if you don’t map out a plan to “push” yourself, you probably won’t lose much weight.

It really makes me sick to hear people say, “No pain, no gain!” But the old saying holds true when it comes to weight loss cycling. As you increase your cycling distance or speed, you’re bound to experience some soreness in your leg muscles, arms, wrists, and back—even some soreness in your throat and lungs as your body tries to adjust to your increased need for oxygen.

HEALTH TIP: Stretching before exercise is beneficial in preventing injuries!

PREPARING YOUR BIKE… TO SAVE THE WEIGHT

Your first concern will be fitting the bike. If you need an excuse to buy a new bike, this is the perfect opportunity! I switched from a 3-speed leisure bike to a 24-speed bike for more dedicated exercise. Once I learned how the different gears worked, I was very grateful for the extra speeds. They make my ride faster and the hills much easier to handle.

We found the guys at the bike shop very helpful and attentive to our specific cycling needs. Instead of simply pointing us to the most expensive bike available (as I expected), they asked how much we’d be riding, whether we wanted speed or leisure, and whether we’d be riding on paved roads or dirt trails. When you honestly share your goals and experience level, the sales staff can provide you with exactly what you need. They want you to be successful in your cycling endeavor!

Some state laws require bicycle lights. But if you’re going to be riding any time from dusk to dawn, common sense dictates that you have lights on your bike. These little accessories are battery operated and last a long time. You can choose from different lights. My rear light has different flash rates and is designed to make my bike visible to cars approaching from both the rear and the side. Check the brightness before buying. Place the light where it makes the most sense.

We’ve been putting off getting a speedometer and odometer for our bikes, but once we got serious about losing weight and getting in shape, this feature became a must have. You simply cannot track your progress without knowing how far and how fast you are cycling.

If you already have a bike, take it to a bike shop every season for a safety check. They need to check the gears, tires and brakes to make sure everything is working properly. They can adjust your seat to your height and adjust the handlebars to your reach, making your ride more comfortable. If you’re lucky, they might even clean and polish your bike!

If you want to save money in the long run, you can find books and videos that teach you how to care for your bike. It’s always a good idea to know how to change a flat tire and adjust a loose chain yourself.

Another must-have is a bike pump. Ask your bike dealer how many pounds of air pressure to put in your bike’s tires. Check your tires every time you get ready to ride! One summer day we guessed about the air pressure and regretted it. We rode our bikes to the pool, not realizing that one tire was over inflated. While we were cooling off in the water, the hot sun accelerated the air in the tires – one blew out while standing in the parking lot. A day in the sun wasn’t so much fun when the pool closed and we had to wait for a truck to take us home!

HEALTH TIP: Talk to your doctor first and get his or her blessing before increasing your level of physical activity!

TO BE COMFORTABLE ON YOUR BIKE

Sitting on a bike seat for long periods of time can cause pain, discomfort and even serious circulatory problems for avid cyclists. At your local bike shop, you’ll find a variety of bike seats designed specifically for your comfort and health. The sales people at our local bike shop encouraged us to try out the new seats on our bikes for a few days. My husband found the split seat to be more comfortable for him, while I decided to keep my old gel seat. Someone has even invented seats that look more like a bird’s nest than a bicycle seat!

HEALTH TIP: Get off your bike seat and walk around every 25 minutes to get blood flowing to important, unmentionable parts of your body.

Think about your clothes… you don’t need padded cycling pants and special clothes to start cycling. In fact, there are scientifically engineered fabrics that wick sweat away from your body in the summer and protect you from hypothermia in the winter. But for now, just wear layers of comfortable sportswear.

Make sure your clothes aren’t so tight that you’ll be miserable trying to pedal. But they must not be loose enough to get tangled in the bike chain! If you overheat, remove the layer. If you’re cold, add a layer. Wear bright or vivid colors so drivers can easily see you.

It helps a lot if you have a small trunk on the back of your bike. Mine looks like a little shelf above the rear tire. It has two bungee cords that will securely attach any load to the bike. I’ve used it to store a small picnic cooler, shopping bag, or extra clothes.

I had a bike rack attach a water bottle holder to the bike under my seat. While driving, I can take a quick sip or pour water on the pulse points to cool off a bit. While cycling, take small sips of water as needed instead of gulping it down.

A helmet is almost mandatory. Life is full of dangers – and cycling has its share. Be smart. Wear a helmet. You can buy a cool rearview mirror for your helmet. The mirror helps you see when it’s safe to turn and allows you to see traffic coming up from behind.

I recommend wearing sunglasses – both for the sun and for the bugs! At certain times of the year, the air is full of flying insects. Getting a tiny insect in the eye is a painful event. Contact lens wearers should carry a contact lens bag and lens cleaner when cycling for this very reason. One day you’ll be glad you did!

HEALTH TIP: Shake your hands down frequently to get blood flowing and prevent pain or numbness in your hands and palms.

PREPARATION OF A WEIGHT LOSS PLAN

You will record your daily diet and food intake, weekly body measurements and weight, as well as cycling and time.

The website http://www.OpenFitness.net is a great way to track your progress. It’s very easy to use – just enter the data you want to track. As the only community fitness site of its kind, you’ll find it’s a fantastic motivational tool that will print out charts and graphs showing how much progress you’ve made over a few days, weeks or months!

It tracks your intake of food, vitamins and supplements. Experts have already analyzed thousands of foods for their calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein content. You simply select the foods you’ve eaten from the dropdown function and the daily total is added up for you. Be careful not to exercise when you have just eaten or when it is almost meal time. Both will slow you down.

No matter how humiliating it is, measure your arms, legs, chest, waist, neck, hips and thighs once a week. The software tracks your weight and measurements. The thrill of seeing those same inches melt away in the coming weeks will be well worth the effort. It looks especially impressive as a graph!

Consider investing in an instrument that actually measures body fat – there are cheap caliper-style instruments that measure fat by squeezing you, or buy a set of bathroom scales that cost more but calculate body fat completely painlessly.

Try cycling 4-6 days a week. As you map out your weight loss plan, your short-term goals will change as you change. You will quickly develop endurance for longer distances. As fat turns into muscle, your speed will increase. Try to increase your mileage or speed each week.

You know how far you have been able to drive so far. Start tracking the exact route you walk, total mileage and time spent. Note special circumstances in your records. Has it gotten dark outside, forcing you to cut your ride short? Did the road workers put a layer of gravel on your normally paved road?

What was the weather like? Was it dangerously hot? Was it windy? The wind can be your friend or your enemy. When the wind is at your back, your ride is easy…but when you’re coming from any other direction, be prepared to be blown away. Accept any length of time as a job well done and just get on with the ride!

Finally, add an upper body workout three times a week. Cycling puts stress on your legs, but to keep the rest of your body strong and fit, you’ll need to exercise your upper body as well. Created by a certified personal fitness trainer, http://www.openfitness.net has great features that allow you to design and track this part of your fitness program as well.

Cycling is a fun and inexpensive form of aerobic exercise – good for every part of the body. But be warned – the slimmer, fitter figure that emerges will require you to buy a whole new wardrobe!

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