Biking can be a good aerobic activity whether inside or outside. There are some precautions needed to keep outdoor biking safe.
Outdoor biking is not for everyone. If you have neck or spine issues it can add to that problem. Today's aerodynamic bikes may help you go fast but they also cause stress to your neck and lower back. The impact caused by going over normal road and or trail irregularities can aggravate spine issues.
Having your handlebars at a good height is important. If they are too low the neck extension and back flexion that creates can do some real damage to your spine. A good way to see if your handlebars are the correct height is to place a yardstick on your bike seat and on top of your handlebars.The yardstick should be level. If the yardstick is lower on your handlebars then you need to adjust them.
Opting for a comfort bike can be a good alternative to standard bikes. Your handlebars are high so your are not leaning over. Having good suspension is very important if you are sitting upright. The impact caused by going over road and or trail irregularities causes the vertebrae to jam together so having adequate suspension is extremely important when riding a bike that has you sitting upright.
Finding the correct height for your seat is trial and error. Most people have one leg that is longer so having the prefect height for both legs can be tough to find. One suggestion is to place your heels on the pedals then pedal backwards. Your knees should fully extend. Then when you pedal forward with the balls of your feel on the pedals you will have a slight bend in your knees which is the desired position for your legs.
Having the correct saddle size is important too. Most women need wider saddles to accommodate our wider hips.
Your helmet should allow you to see without having to over extend your neck. If the brim is too low it will cause you to lift your head up to see under the brim. That is very damaging for your neck.
Recumbent bikes are becoming more popular. The sitting position on a recumbent bike is similar to sitting on an easy chair. The seat back provides support and allows you to push your pedals without sliding backwards. The balance point is different on the recumbent bike. You do not steer with your body. It takes some practice to ride a recumbent bike. If you fall you generally land on your feet so you are more likely to break an ankle than get a concussion. On a regular bike you generally land on your head. If you have osteoporosis you should be sure to check with your doctor before riding this type of bike. Also make sure that you are wearing bright colors and reflectors because it is far more difficult for an automobile driver to see you.
Riding a bike outdoors can be very good exercise but you need to be knowledgeable about the pluses and minuses of bike riding outside especially if you ride on the streets. You need to use precautions. Be aware of the vehicles around you. Have your helmet on. If you have spine issues it is very important to make wise choices when selecting your bike. Find a bike with a good fit and go out and have fun!
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