To most people “green” exercise is intentionally being physically active in natural environments. This week is national bike safety week. Whether you’re young or old, athletic or sedentary bicycling is an enjoyable and healthy way to travel and experience the outdoors or “green” exercise. Exercising in nature produces physical rewards, improves mood, self-esteem, enjoyment and motivation. Preformed at a vigorous level gives your heart and circulatory system a workout. With these benefits also comes the risk of injury. Hundreds of cyclists are killed each year is traffic accidents. Listed below are some precautions you can take to reduce the risk of injury.
- Get your bike professionally fitted to help your posture on the bike, and to make sure you’re not hyper-extending anything while you are riding.
- Be sure to ask the professional if you have the correct seat. The proper seat will not only reduce the risk of injury but it will also make for a much more enjoyable experience.
- Protect your head and wear a helmet.
- Perform a quick check of your brakes to ensure proper functions and tires/wheels for proper inflation and spinning.
- Stay visible with proper reflectors, white headlight, red taillight and bell or horn
- Wear appropriate clothing. Cycling shorts that have chamois, proper footwear and top that is comfortable and appropriate for the weather.
- If you haven’t been out riding in a while start off slowly and at a reduced distance. Gradually you can increase your intensity and distance with each ride.
- Ride with the traffic, give the right away to cars and use hand signals to communicate with drivers.
- Stay alert, don’t get distracted, don’t listen to music or talk on your phone.
- Change positions so that different muscles are stresses and pressure is put on different nerves.
Try these simple but effective tips to improve your safety and ride enjoyment!