5 Tips for Preventing a Cycling Injury

25 July, 2012 | Written by Recuperat-ion Recuperat-ion
Sylvain Sudrie . Photo: JACVAN Trimax Hebdo
There are various types of cycling injuries. Examples of cycling injuries include back pains, hand damage, torn knee ligaments, shoulder pain and burning feet among others. Some of these injuries could turn fatal and transform your life in negative ways. Still, cycling injuries are preventable; the onus is on you to avoid them. In most instances, cycling injuries will involve you rather than a collision with a car. There are several simple strategies that can help prevent cycling injuries.

Hydration is key

One way to avoid injuries while cycling is to drink enough water. This will furnish you with enough energy to withstand the rigors of cycling. Failure to drink water usually results in muscle cramps. This is because you would have suffered dehydration as a result of sweating. You should also drink energy drinks when going for longer rides. These drinks include electrolytes, which maintain your body hydration levels for long periods.

The right bicycle

If you have ever suffered from knee troubles, back pains and neck soreness, then this could be down to your bike choice. Wrong bike sizes have been a major cause of cycling injuries among many cyclists. While purchasing a bike, you must test it by seeing if your legs extend fully when pedaling. Also, remember to check on the handlebars by ensuring that you can easily reach them when sitting on the bike.

Riding style

Your riding style is also a major determinant of your ability to stay injury-free. You can avoid knee injuries if you stop cycling with your heels. The proper riding style is to use your feet’s balls. Depending on the position of your saddle, you should raise or lower it. Either way, this will spare you from lower body injuries that result from extreme highness or lowness of your saddle. Positioning of your handlebars will also keep you safe from injuries to the upper body.

Stretching exercises

Before you embark on a cycling exercise, it is important for you to conduct stretching exercises. These dynamic stretches include skipping, warm-ups or jumping jacks. This will enable you to avoid muscle cramps, which are always common with failure to exercise. After cycling, it is vital to undertake static stretches in preparation for the next cycling activity.

Cycling shoes

Cycling injuries to the feet usually result from unfit cycling shoes. You can prevent such an occurrence by investing in quality cycling shoes. You should preferably purchase middle-place shoes since they don’t place undue pressure on your feet. They also save you the stress of using the wrong muscles for pedaling.
Cycling is an enjoyable activity that comes with many benefits. It can improve your mental health by accentuating your brain activities. It also enhances physical fitness by strengthening the muscles. Physically, it keeps illnesses like heart disorders, brain problems and obesity at bay. It is a perfect activity during leisure time since it refreshes the mind. Avoiding cycling injuries will enable you to enjoy these benefits.
Dustin is a cycling enthusiast and owner of one of the largest bike shops in Sydney, Australia. He often hears about cycling injuries and provides these tips to help you stay injury free. Dustin is currently training for his first professional cycling road race.

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