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Cycling For Health And Well-Being

Many people do not get the recommended amount of exercise. With desk jobs and family responsibilities it's understandable that during free time many people just want to kick back and relax. Exercise is an important part of health though, not just for your body but for your mind. Carving out some time for an activity like cycling will not only benefit your waistline but also your social and emotional health.

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One of the best parts of cycling is that almost anyone can do it, just about anywhere. Bikes for the urban rider or for back country trails are available. You can go out for a morning ride and some "me" time or head out with a group of friends. Even if you have a physical disability you may be able to enjoy cycling by using a tricycle or hand cycle. Tricycles or hand cycles can also be a wonderful way for older adults to become involved with or continue riding.

Riding a bicycle is a truly inclusive activity for your whole family. Once you've figured out the right bike for all members of your family don't forget accessories. Of course you will want a helmet, which can prevent or reduce many injuries. There are a variety of colorful helmets available for kids or kids at heart. Children especially should be outfitted with elbow and knee pads. Young children will likely take a number of falls and are prone to crashes so taking preventative steps to avoid injury will make riding less scary for them.

Many bikes come with narrow, hard seats. If you have a lightweight bike meant for racing this may be great but if you just want to head out for a casual ride you might consider looking for a seat that is more comfortable. You can easily find replacement seats or just purchase a cushioned seat cover for a little extra padding.

Another consideration is visibility. If you plan to ride at night or who have children you will want to ensure cars can easily see them. One option is wearing reflective clothing or a safety vest. There are also small battery powered flashing lights that can be affixed to bikes or helmets to make both bike and rider easy to spot. Kids often love bells or horns on their bikes but as a parent you may not love the noise!

Taking common sense precautions to protect riders and avoid crashes can make cycling a safe, family friendly activity. Even if you never learned to ride a bike as a kid don't despair. It's never too late to learn! If you find yourself struggling due to a fear of falling there are adult training wheels that can help you find your balance. People who just need a little extra stability, like the elderly, may also find these adult training wheels helpful and they tend to be more convenient than hauling around an actual tricycle.

If you are new to cycling don't set yourself up for failure. Set small goals and keep a relaxed mindset. Cycling to a place you really want to go, such as your favorite coffee shop can really help with motivation. You will soon find yourself going further and feeling more confident.

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