In an unexpected turn of events, the global pandemic has resulted in more people than ever before heading outdoors for some much-needed exercise.
Whether they’re walking, jogging, running or cycling, it’s fantastic to see so many new faces embracing an active, healthy lifestyle like never before.
But what about those people who want to dive into getting active, but aren’t sure where to start? If cycling is something you’ve been considering taking up for a while, there’s no time like the present.
If you’re struggling with how exactly to get yourself to the starting line, here are five tips to help you start cycling in 2020:
Start Indoors, Move Outdoors
Cycling is a sport that almost anyone can enjoy. But that doesn’t mean you need to need to start straight away at 50mph!
If you’ve not been cycling in a long time, or even if you’ve never cycled before, it might be a good idea to start indoors and work your way towards heading outdoors.
It might sound strange, but indoor exercise bikes (or even outdoor bikes rigged to work indoors) are great for getting your body and your legs used to the motion of moving on a bicycle.
You can find these bikes at almost any gym you can find in your local area, or if you’re willing to invest, you can also pick them up to use in your own home for a very reasonable price.
Now, speaking of getting your body ready for cycling…
Build your stamina with other exercise
Cycling is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise there is. Everything from heart disease, to diabetes, to certain brain conditions and more, can be avoided with consistent exercise like the kind cycling on a daily basis provides. But that doesn’t mean you need to jump into cycling straight away if your body is not ready.
If you feel like your engine needs to get back to ship-shape before you head back behind the handlebars, why not start out with some lighter exercise you can do almost anywhere, anytime?
Walking, jogging and running are great options - they strengthen your leg muscles (which will undoubtedly help you with all the pedaling you’ll be doing in the future!) but will also get your heart beating and the blood pumping around your body at a consistently higher rate than you’re used to. Which in turn will help you build stamina, retain oxygen and conserve energy.
Remember: There’s nothing wrong with baby steps if you’re just starting out.
Team up with a cycling buddy
Cycling is fantastic if you’re a lone wolf, but the experience is made all the more enjoyable when you team up with a cycling buddy.
A cycling buddy is someone in your life with whom you can share all your cycling adventures. Heading out on bike rides together can be a truly enriching experience for the both of you.
Cycling together not only allows you to make conversation as you go (making what can be quite an arduous experience all the more enjoyable) but they can also hold you to account and make sure you reach your exercise and cycling goals - the shot of adrenaline and encouragement many of us need when times get tough.
If there’s somebody you know that’s already into cycling, you’re in luck! They can help you grasp the swing of things and be an expert on two wheels in no time!
Research your routes
Cycling will help you cover more ground faster than walking or jogging ever could. But with this comes the uncertainty about the specific routes you’ll be taking.
Those of us who have been cycling for a long time are very familiar with all the best (and worst) routes to take, both in our local area and beyond. But for somebody just starting out, this can seem very daunting.
So before you head out the door on your first cycling adventure, if you’re a little concerned you may end up somewhere you don’t mean to be, take the time to research your routes in advance. Doing the appropriate research and staying on track will more than make up for any time you may lose due to getting lost.
Then again, if you’re the adventurous type and enjoy finding out where the road takes you, and are confident enough in your own ability, go see what you can discover!
Think about the future
If you need any inspiration whatsoever as to whether or not you should take up cycling, there are countless reasons why you absolutely should and very few of the opposite opinion. For one, the amazing health benefits that come along with cycling cannot be ignored. How long do you want to wait before you choose to make a positive change in your life?
Then, of course, there’s all the travel and discovery that cycling can bring. We like to think we know a thing or two about that - at Freewheel Holidays we’ve been helping to send cycling enthusiasts all over the world to some of the best cycling destinations.
So when do you eventually feel comfortable moving from place to place on two wheels, and you want to see more of what the world has to offer, let your new passion and Freewheel Holidays take you there.
You can have a look through our collection of incredible cycling holidays in Europe here.