Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cycling Injuries to Watch Out For

 Beware cyclists! 91% cyclists died in a year and they were not wearing helmets. I know it’s hard to ignore the benefits of cycling, but let’s not forget the risks posed by outdoor cycling. When you are out in the open to enjoy a ride, there are some risks of injuries often encountered by cyclists. You know it won’t be a fun ride without precautionary measures and vital protective gear. All those daredevils ready to take the challenge of cycling actually need to do some serious thinking.
Basically, there are only two types of cycling injuries from which you need protection. Injuries can either result from overuse or crashes.

Cycling injuries from overuse
Overuse injuries from cycling develop slowly, over a course of time. They result from repeated movements, from stress or pressure on a certain area or a group of muscles. A knee injury is most likely due to repeated movements and the problem of back pain is also very common in cyclists because they remain hunched over during the ride. Some cyclists also face wrist injuries resulting from pressure on the handlebars.
Plus, there is a hamstring injury that is most dreaded by cyclists. The pain is so excruciating and crippling that it gets impossible to get on the bike, let alone ride it. It is a gradual onset of injuries that might result from the following contributing factors:

  • ·         Improper cycle alignment
  • ·         Internal body factors
  • ·         Training too much too soon

Cycling injuries from crashes
If your bike is maintained in the perfect condition and you have struggled to maintain your body performance with training, then you are still not free from the risk of injuries. A cyclist will remain vulnerable to injuries from crashes. Many times, even after crashing, there are no visible injuries but some minor grazes can cause problems in spinal alignment. As a result, the rider suffers from knee or back pain. These types of injuries can be acute, more painful and extremely variable.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Is Urban Cycling Better Than Driving Motor Vehicles?

The concerns from exhaust inhalation are not hidden from anyone. The risk of traffic accidents from motor vehicles is another reason why people in some urban areas are reverting to bicycling. A research suggests that the benefits of cycling outweigh its risks. The data from this research implies that with cycling, the risks of accidents and pollution inhalation can be avoided. Plus, there are some health benefits since cycling is a good physical activity.
But that was all boring info, here comes the interesting part. In this research, it was estimated that that if people make a switch from driving car to riding on a cycle regularly, they will gain 3 to 14 months of additional life. Read on for some more benefits you have never considered.

Financial edge

Lack of finances is probably the biggest reason why some people use cycles instead of cars but then there are some fitness enthusiasts who use it for health reasons and found it a much cheaper alternative than vehicles. Every vehicle needs gas and the maintenance cost is high. A short ride to a store in car can cost you a few bucks but a ride on a bicycle will cost you some calories. Now which one would you prefer?

Health Benefits

This is a notable benefit and there is no denying of the fact that all cyclists are smart. Riding a bike regularly will give you cycling training, offer better endurance and you can speed up sometimes for a little cardio as well. An hour of cycling 3 to 4 times a week will help you improve your health immensely. If you can’t give up the comfort of your car completely, then take turns and assigns some days for cycling ride to your work place.

Easy Commuting

Cars can only go through roads but you don’t have any terrain restrictions for cycling. A cycle can go uphill and even through a forests which can be a short cut. Hence a cycle can offer easy commuting facility while offering various health benefits.

Environmental Benefits

This is perhaps the most debated reason of cycling. However, it’s certain that vehicle emissions can be lowered if majority of the population switches to cycles instead of cars. Just by skipping a single day of car ride and using a cycle instead can make a difference in your surroundings.  But it’s not just fuel emissions that pollute the environment, noise has some contribution as well. Using cycles more often can limit that form of pollution to a great extent.