Safe Bike Riding All Summer Long
By Donna Stark
Whether you are careening down the side of a mountain or riding with your kids around the neighborhood, you will probably enjoy your cycling more if you are comfortable and not in pain. Back pain is one of the most common issues that many cyclists face; however, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk of it occurring. Take a look at the following suggestions on how to stay pain-free while cycling so you can keep yourself on the road and trails you love to ride on.
Consider Your Needs
Just like there is the right tool to use when you want to fix something and the right pot to use when you are about to cook, the same can be said for cycling. Make sure the bike you select suits your needs. You certainly don't want to take a road bike with skinny wheels on those rocky mountain trails and a mountain bike could end up slowing you down if you want to ride on the road for speed. Your reasons for biking and the level of comfort you want need to be on top of your priority list!
Get Your Bike Fitted
If you're not comfortable on your bike, you may need to get it fitted. Ask a professional to help determine your riding posture and to adjust the height of the seat and the position of the handlebars. Even the smallest adjustments can keep you from sustaining an injury, so it's important to have this done from the very beginning. It will make all the difference in the world.
Maintain Good Posture
Posture, form, and technique are important in all aspects of life, and are especially so during the times you are on your bike, so pay attention! Try to follow the suggestions below to reduce the risk of overuse injuries and accidents.
- Pull your stomach toward your lower back
- Keep your chest slightly lifted
- Avoid placing too much pressure on the hands
- Place your back and pelvis in a neutral position
- Bend at the hips and avoid hunching your mid-back
Know Your Limitations
It doesn't matter why you are riding a bike, if you don't know your body's limitations, you could be setting yourself up for injury. Be careful not to push yourself too hard, and if you are riding for long distances, take plenty of breaks to hydrate and stretch.
Hitting the Road
You've got the bike and have taken the proper steps to stay safe. Now, it's time to grab your helmet and hit the road or trails! Here's to plenty of pain-free adventures ahead!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Acworth, Ga.