Tuesday, July 3, 2012
TOUR DE FRANCE-INSPIRED FITNESS
With Tour de France taking place the next few weeks, it's the perfect time to use this famous race as inspiration for your own workouts by following these tips from Life Fitness and adding cycling to your fitness repertoire.
Enjoy the health benefits. Cycling is a heart-pumping cardio activity that can increase your endurance and stamina, and lead to better overall fitness and muscle tone. When cycling, your quads, hamstrings and glutes do most of the work, but your core muscles will get a great workout, too. Outdoor cycling is particularly beneficial because you have to deal with the challenges of gravity, weather and terrain. Mix up your daily routine by using your bike as a means of transportation this summer and you'll notice a difference in your endurance after a couple weeks.
Go for group rides. Cycling is an activity the whole family can do together. The smallest child can climb into a bike seat or tow-along buggy, and because cycling is kind on joints, it's a low-impact workout people of almost all fitness levels can enjoy. If you go out for a ride with a friend and your paces aren't perfectly matched, just slow down and enjoy each other's company. Consider partnering up with your spouse and make a date out of a healthy bike ride.
Stay Safe. Make sure you are properly equipped when you head out for a ride by wearing a helmet that fits properly. If you're riding outdoors, skip the distracting headphones and instead of flip-flops, wear shoes that give you control of the pedals. Keep your bike in good condition by checking your breaks and tires regularly. If you are going to be riding in the road, use extreme caution when cycling among cars and follow the rules of the road. Make eye contact with drivers to ensure they see you and use hand signals to let motorists know what you are doing.