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Tips for getting back into cycling

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Cycling is a great feel-good form of exercise for women of differing fitness levels and age groups. It’s a leisure activity that can start from your own doorstep at a time that suits you!

With cycling you’re in charge of how fast and how far you travel on your bike during each exercise session and you can choose whether you go it alone or cycle with friends or family.

Add to all this, the fact that it’s a very accessible, low impact activity offering a great muscle workout whilst increasing stamina, strength and general aerobic fitness. Even a steady 2-4 hours each week can prove beneficial for both your physical and mental health, helping you to blitz body fat, improve your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, posture and co-ordination. It’s also proven to help fight stress too!

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We asked Raleigh UK’s Michelle Jakeway to suggest top tips for anyone thinking of taking up cycling to keep healthy – maybe returning to the saddle for the first time since their teens!

  1. Bikes are really simple to use and it’s so easy to get started. Be clear on the type of cycling you want to take up – there are many different choices available, including leisure cycling, road cycling, mountain biking
  2. If you’re starting cycling after a long lay-off we recommend that you choose a good cycle dealership whose specialist staff are steeped in knowledge of the sector. Turn to the dealer for advice and to answer any questions about the type and size of bike and the range of options available. Many dealers will be happy to let you go on a test ride too.
  3. Ensure that you choose the right size of bike for you, as correct sizing helps with safety, comfort and performance. Just as with dress sizes, there can be a variance in different bikes of the same list size.
  4. Don’t overdo it, just set your own pace. A half hour session is probably a good starting point. If you’ve not been active for some time it’s likely that your muscles could ache a little at first but this is should ease as you start pedalling in earnest again.
  5. E-bikes (electric bikes) are the perfect choice for leisure cycling as they enable you to get out and get active. E-bikes make cycling so accessible as they provide a variable level of assistance, depending on how vigorous you want your workout to be.
  6. You can start out at low intensity but if you choose to ‘up your game’ you can then develop your own cycling regime into quite a testing workout.
  7. Choose quieter roads to start on and check out the Highway Code for helpful advice.
  8. Check if your local authority or cycling organisations offer programmes to encourage people to get on their bikes.
  9. Consider a cyclists’ returners course, such as the popular Bike Right courses for absolute beginners through to experienced riders, visit bikeright.co.uk to find out more…
  10. Ensure that you have a helmet, lights and a puncture repair kit for any unexpected incidents while you’re out.
  11. Comfort is key in your choice of clothing for your return to cycling. Although specialist cyclewear isn’t imperative you may decide to opt for a technical fabric that allows skin to breathe as you ramp up the intensity of your cycling workout.
  12. Once you have got back into cycling, the options to improve and develop your pedal power range from joining a local cycling club such as a British Cycling Breeze team which is run locally by cyclists. Check out their website for more info.

It’s also beneficial to familiarise yourself with basic bike maintenance. At Raleigh our preferred partner is WD-40 Bike: they supply everything you’ll need to keep your bike running smoothly such as a bike de-greaser to remove dirt, oil grease and grime and also wet and dry Lube products.  Probably the best known WD-40 product is the multi- purpose formula which is designed for multiple uses including, protecting against rust and corrosion & lubricates moving parts.

For further information on Raleigh dealers and the range of different types and models of cycles offered by Raleigh visit raleigh.co.uk or call 01773 532694

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