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Cyclists: Protect Your Spine

By Paul Rothbart

Cycling is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. It also strengthens leg muscles, improves balance, and tightens the core. You get outside in the fresh air and sunshine. Riding a bike can also be good for mental health as it keeps you active and allows you to experience your surroundings in a wide area. Cycling is also a legitimate form of transportation that has no fuel costs and produces no pollutants. As with any other physical activity, it's important to take steps to protect your body. Your spine, in particular, can suffer if you aren't careful when biking;

Know Your Limits

When cycling, it's important not to push yourself harder than what you can handle. Take into account things like distance, speed, terrain, and elevation changes. Pedaling beyond your limits can be very harmful to your spine. It can compress vertebrae and cause subluxations that can be painful and limit your mobility in every aspect of your life. Especially when just starting out, ease into cycling. Keep trips short and bike on level, well-paved surfaces. Set a leisurely pace. Your body will let you know when you can make things a bit more challenging. Gradually increase intensity. You don't have to win the Tour de France to benefit from biking.

Choose the Right Bike

There are many types of bikes from which to choose. Don't choose the shiniest or the one in your favorite color. A bicycle needs to suit the type of riding you will be doing and the terrain you will be doing it on. It should feel comfortable and support you in a riding position that allows your body to be in a relaxed position. If you have issues in your back or neck, you may want a bike with large tires to absorb the bumps and divots you may encounter. The type of seat and handlebars can also make a difference. Are you better off sitting upright, leaning forward, or in some other position? This can all make a difference to your spine.

See a Chiropractor

When it comes to taking care of your spine, chiropractic care should always be considered. In any kind of endeavor that can put stress on your spine, including cycling, a chiropractor may be your best friend. An examination will find any compressed discs or subluxations. The chiropractor can then adjust them, putting your spine back in shape and relieving pain. Regular visits could be very helpful to the serious biker. Chiropractic care can also adjust your joints allowing them to work with your spine to keep your entire body healthy.

Cycling is a fun sport, a valid way to get around, and terrific exercise. It can also be tough on your spine. Make good choices when beginning to ride. Consider a visit to The Joint Chiropractic. You don't need an appointment. You may find that regular chiropractic care helps your spine feel good and keeps you pedaling mile after mile.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.

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