For 40+ guys seeking a “decades-long” plan for physical fitness, incorporating cycling into your routine is a great thing.
But even though we all remember how to ride a bike, sometimes it doesn’t feel so simple. There are impediments to getting back in the saddle.
With summer here, let’s take a quick look at ALL the reasons why you should pick this up again, man. And let’s discuss how to overcome the impediments, to get you out there.
EIGHT REASONS WHY
There are so many good reasons to ride a bike:
- Gets you out of the house, office or gym…and into nature.
- Low-impact on feet, ankles and knees compared to running and some other sports and workouts.
- Great way to have a destination-oriented workout. You can bike somewhere a lot more distant than you can reach on foot!
- Can combine “fitness” and “transportation” to help save time, money (and the planet).
- Simple to vary intensity between easy and hard…to fit your current fitness level, how you feel that day, or for interval training where you go easy and hard in the same workout.
- Great family-and-friends activity. You can ride with your spouse, friends or kids. For little kids, you can use a bike trailer, a rear-mounted little-kid seat, or a “trail-a-bike that has its own seat, handlebars and a third wheel. Trying going up a hill with one of those, plus the kid, behind you. That’s a workout, dude.
- Growth of bike paths and bike lanes in many places makes it even easier, safer and more enjoyable.
- Fun. Who doesn’t like riding a bike?
The logic is simple and powerful. You need to keep getting cardio endurance exercise, multiple times a week, for years and decades. There are a lot of ways to do this,but some of the main candidate activities are ones you’ll periodically need a break from. Or at least, you’ll need to balance them with other things.
This is true of running and High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT) — each of which has an “overdo” risk built in. And elliptical trainers or other indoors cardio machines will start to suffocate your soul after a while, brother. Swimming is GREAT, but you’ll want part of your routine to work lower-body strength a bit more. And as much as I espouse it (and do it 1-2 x per week), swimming laps is not that fun….
So: cycling is a natural thing to have in your mix.
IMPEDIMENTS TO OVERCOME
So why do only a relatively low percentage of guys regularly bike?
- It seems expensive (if you need a new bike)
- You’re not sure what kind of bike — this was a simpler decision “back when”
- You need to know something about fixing flats and other maintenance
- And for some of us (I’m one), you don’t want to wear the European Racing Team spandex suit, but are not sure what your alternative apparel should be
The “expensive” concern is one each guy needs to judge for himself. But I’ll point out (a) in general, our fitness is priceless and (b) compared to non-fitness things we spend money on, or other fitness-related things (especially expensive gyms or personal trainers), a non-fancy bike isn’t all that expensive.
All the other impediment / question areas are ones you can for-sure overcome. I’ve been looking around for the best “101” view to start or re-start cycling, addressing these issues. Here it is.
It really feels good to get started cycling again. I’d gone totally away from it for years, but a few years ago started mountain biking. More recently, I’ve also re-started on road biking. I can feel the benefits in leg strength and endurance…and the variety with running and swimming is welcome.
Plus, I’ve been seeing beautiful mountains-and-vineyards scenery I can reach within a reasonable-distance loop from my house. They don’t have THAT in the gym or the pool.
So think it over, man. And have a bias toward doing something about it. After all, you already know how to do this!
“We got one last chance to make it real. To trade in these wings on some wheels.”Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen, – click to listen).
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