In honor of May, which is National Cycling Month, DietsInReview guest blogger Mari Holden, a six-time National Champion, a 2000 Olympic Medalist, 2000 World Champion and the Co-Founder of VeloBetty Cycling for Women shares with us why we should all get out there this month and push the pedal. You can read more about Mari and her blog and at the VeloBetty Cycling for Women website.
1. Cycling is a low impact sport. For people who have problems with running, this is a perfect solution. It builds cardiovascular strength, muscular strength, and just plain old general fitness without any of the jarring that you get from impact sports. You can ride a bike no matter how old you are, and the age old adage is true. You never forget how to ride a bike.
2. Cycling is fun. We all rode bikes as kids and didn’t think about it as a workout. It was fun. It feels free to be outside and feel the wind in your face. Try to get back to that feeling of being a kid. Enjoy it simply for the sake of having fun. You don’t need to go hard to have a good time. You can actually get a good workout by just riding around town looking at your world from a new perspective.
3. Cycling is social. I think that a lot of people overlook the social aspect of the sport. Cycling can be done in groups, and as anyone who has ever been on a group ride knows, the time passes much more quickly with friends. Why is the social aspect of cycling important? Because being part of a group can help motivate you to stay committed to your sport. We all have our moments of weakness, and having cycling friends help you get out and stay fit.
4. Cycling burns a lot of calories! You can spend a long time on the bike because it’s easy on the body. Most of us who ride a lot love to eat. You would never guess by the bodies of cyclists because they are endurance athletes and tend to be muscular and thin, but many of us can consume up to 4,000 calories in a day! Making good food choices is important, but the bottom line is that you need to fuel your body to keep up with calorie consumption as a cyclist and that rocks!
5. Cycling makes you happy. When you ride outdoors, you will see things that you might not notice when driving in your car. Your body creates endorphins when you ride, and these increase the happiness you feel when seeing pretty flowers, a cute puppy, and of course your speedometer increasing as you enter that wonderful zone…the zone where you feel happy to be on your bike.
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