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Pain-Free Cycling

By Donna Stark

"It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt." Do you remember your parents saying that as you were growing up? I think mine said it to just about everything my sister and brothers did as we were playing, but it's true. Fun is the name of the game until pain enters the picture, even when we are adults. And although the type of fun changes as we age, we can still get hurt. One "adult" activity that can certainly lose its element of fun when pain appears is cycling. Cycling is a great way to keep in shape and enjoy the outdoors, but you can really lose your interest and motivation in doing it when your back is on fire. So take a moment to read the following tips on how to avoid that from happening and then go ahead and strap on your helmet!

Choosing the Right Bike

It's important to make sure that the bike you choose suits your needs. Things to consider are the terrain you will be riding on, the distance and speed you will be aiming for, and the level of comfort you want. You should also ask to have your bike properly fitted when you first buy it.

Adjusting Your Bike

Even the smallest adjustments can make a huge difference when riding your bike. There are so many different uses for bikes under the "cycling umbrella" and each one may require a different riding posture, so it is important to have your bike adjusted to match how you are going to use it.

Maintaining Good Posture

While riding, make sure that you are able to maintain a comfortable and relaxed position that focuses on having a neutral spine. Bend at the hips and avoid hunching your mid-back.

Strengthening Your Core Muscles

Strengthening your abdominal and back muscles will not only come in handy when you need to load your gear into your car, but it will also help support your upper body and balance while riding. On top of that, it is a great way to maintain a healthy weight too!

Know Your Limitations

Whether you are simply riding bike to stay in shape or training for a competitive race, it's important to know your body's limitations. Be careful not to overdo it and take breaks during long rides to hydrate and stretch.

Ready to Ride?

Now that you have some important tips under your belt, it's time to strap on that helmet and grab your bike! And if you do start to experience some aches and pains in your back, don't ignore them! Instead, head on in to your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic as soon as you can so that you can get back to the fun of hitting those trails!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in La Verne, Calif.

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