Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
August 12, 2017
So one thing I have been thinking about the last couple years has been the prospect of doing a triathlon. Like with all things in life and you think about doing crazy stuff, you get inspired because some gal you fell for was doing it. Now, the issue for me is the fact I can’t afford a bike, so that has been one major hurdle (decent ten-speeds can costs hundreds these days!). The other issue is that Tucson seems to be a bike stealing haven, for I have known several people who keep getting stolen repeatedly. Heck, that was always a point of discussion when I want to college. I had a friend that got a new bike and it was stolen within a week! Either way, potential stealing aside, eventually I will get one and start utilizing the bike path along the Santa Cruz River. For the time being, I have to concentrate on some other things in my life, like getting my running back on track and you know….learning how to swim and stuff. Yup, my form of swimming is the least aquatic version of swimming, but maybe I will get it. Either way, let’s get back to the main subject matter. People don’t really talk too much about cycling and such, mainly due to the fact it can be an expensive sport if you wanted to do it properly. You have to have the right kind of bike, with the right kind of dimensions and the right kind of equipment (extra padded shorts are not cheap!). Not to mention, you have to live in a place that really is bicycle friendly, which fortunately Tucson has a good bike path that pretty winds through the entire city. Then you have the other aspect of cycling. How does it really benefit your workout regimen? Obviously, the you see most professional cyclists, they are typically lean looking guys that rely heavily on endurance rather than huge muscle. And then of course, the sport is dirtier than any other sport on the continent, for it is more of a surprise when a winner of a major race like the Tour de France is NOT busted for some kind of illegal drug use. With all those things aside, cycling is a good benefit for you, mainly because not all of us are prepared for running or other high impact working out.
So let us get down to the basics. http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/latest-news/benefits-of-cycling-334144 What exactly can cycling do for your fitness? Well, the obvious thing is that it can improve your endurance and cardio, which was something we talked about last week. Much like with running, you need those extra cardio factors in your life to make your fitness trek more successful. Not only do you burn fat at an exponential rate, you can also improve your strength in your legs. These are all obvious things that come with the territory, but what about the less obvious stuff? Heres the thing, not all of us will be ready to do the full spectrum of fitness when we start. A lot of people might be recovering from an injury or might have a certain condition that keeps them from doing impact types of cardio like walking and running. This is where cycling can be a huge game changer for those type of people. Since you are not making impact with the ground, you are actually saving your body from further potential damage while also giving it the health boost you desire. Think about the areas where you benefit? Besides your legs, your lung capacity will see a dramatic improvement, especially as you start exploring the levels of resistance on your bike (unless you are a part of the “Fixie” crowd, where people ride around on fixed gear bikes). As you get better with the bike, you start going longer distances and continue to help with your weight loss and fitness goals. Since you are using an exponential amount of energy to power your two wheeled conveyance, this should also inspire you to start eating healthier foods. The more grains and carbohydrates you include indoor diet will allow for better distances and better times. Even if you don’t have a competitive spirit and just want to do it for fun, that aspect is certainly at your disposal as well. Cycling is also a good sport for older people to take up. While your body might be weary from a lifetime of living, you can really improve your musculature while also improving your cardio and your body. Here is an example….you have to constantly change speeds, swerve, change directions and avoid random people who’s heads are buried in their cell phone. Being able to control your body in such a way will improve the flexibility within your body and also improve your reflex action. These are all things that are needed later in life. And if you are in that 40-69 crowd, being a cyclist can also improve your heart health! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2017-04-21-cycling-commuters-have-lower-rates-of-heart-disease-and-cancer/ Truth be told, there is no reason not not take on cycling as a sport!
Now, you could be telling yourself, this might get expensive? Well, how much is your health really worth to you? Now someday if I want to get a good triathlon kit, I will have to shell out some cash (seriously, I might need a good GoFundMe for this one). A bike alone that is of quality could cost at minimum $500. I say this because you would not get cheap shoes for your running now, would you? Even then, you don’t have to go through the credit card to feel the benefits of cycling. Over the last few years, one of the biggest trends has been the invention of Spin classes, where you do calculated cycling classes on fancy cycling machines. Classes are literally at every gym, so joining one would not be a huge cost to you or be too hard to find. Plus, doing Spin courses can actually have all the same benefits of doing cycling outdoors. http://spinlife.spinning.com/top-10-benefits-ride-spinner-bike/ Of course, the best part of doing Spin class is the fact you will avoid sunburn, but many of the primary health aspects of the class will transfer over to cycling. While you lose the body control and strengthening that you may gain from regular cycling, you can still burn fat, improve the lung capacity and give yourself a fighting chance against cancer and heart diseases.
So here is the final verdict on adding cycling to your life…it will be good. What did you expect me to say? All things physical fitness related will help you in some way, it just boils down to why and how far you are willing take it. Whether you are the multi-colored outdoor rider or the sweaty indoor cyclist, giving your body a better, adding this your weekly regimen is perfect for just about anyone.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.