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A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

They say that the best things in life are free, and with the exception of fun new gear, the same goes for cycling. There are certain benefits to the sport that only cyclists can truly appreciate, such as the feeling of the wind behind you when you’re speeding down a street, or that rush of satisfaction when the new road you decided to travel on emerges as a cool new place to ride. Here are a few interesting things that every cyclist loves:

Difficult Uphill Rides

By now, you are likely a pro at handling obstacles while bike riding. One of the most common obstacles for a rider is steep hills, but these obstacles are also blessings, giving cyclists a feeling of accomplishment as they approach the summit of a hill or mountain. Though it is also the toughest part of any cycling workout, there is something amazing about feeling yourself and your bike move forward with every pedal. And once you finally reach the top of the hill, you are overwhelmed with endorphins and excitement because you now get to speed downhill.

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Riding Downhill or with a Tailwind

Coasting downhill, or riding with the wind behind you, makes you feel unstoppable, fast, and unquestionably stronger. You just can’t get enough of that feeling of freedom. Though riding downhill generally means you must ride uphill first, there are some days where you can enjoy a tailwind both on the way out to ride and on the way back, depending on the way the wind moves.

Green Traffic Lights

Drivers and cyclists hate waiting at red lights, but there is nothing more satisfying than speeding through several green traffic lights on a route that usually requires you to stop several times.

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New Bike Clothes

Of course, you will always continue to enjoy your old favorite pieces, but it is nice to upgrade every now and then, especially when it comes to fancy new bike gear. This also applies to clothes; aerodynamic shoes, wheels, and handlebars are always a must. Bike wear, special cyclist clothing, and gear like cycling goggles can greatly impact your ride, and it is always fun to deck yourself out in your favorite products before going on a ride. There is nothing a cyclist loves more than going online and browsing the wide range of smart cycling jackets available (besides going on a long ride, of course).

New Routes

Similar to clothing, while you may be tempted to stick with your old paths and resist changing your ways, it is always satisfying to find a new path or trail to travel down, allowing for a change of scenery.

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Not Counting Calories

Cycling burns a significant amount of calories, so regular riders typically do no need to worry too much about what they are eating, the amount of calories and fat they are taking in, and how they are going to exercise those calories off. Cycling gives you the freedom to eat that glazed donut or drink that cup of soda, without feeling bad about it later.

Avoiding Traffic

Two words: bike lane. Biking saves money that would otherwise go toward gas, eliminates the need for parking, and allows you to avoid dangerous and annoying rush hour situations. Though pedestrians also profit from these things, bikes allow you to move faster, offering the speed of a vehicle with the benefits of walking.

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Though they may be a little odd, these are just a few of the many things that only cyclists are able to fully appreciate. Each sport has its tiny joys and small benefits, and these are some of the ones that cycling boasts.

Featured photo credit: http://procyclingtour.com via procyclingtour.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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