… according to elite athlete Amber Joseph, who thinks everyone should cycle more
Running has for a long time been the go to form of fitness for many people, however pro athlete and Marie Curie Etape Caledonia rider Amber Joseph says cycling can offer a more effective and efficient way of building muscle and keeping fit. She believes being on wheels beats being on foot, any day. And here’s why:
Get fitter quicker with cycling
Cycling provides a sustained form of stamina training. The low impact makes it easier to cycle for longer than you’d be able to run or walk. Cyclists can travel over 100 miles by bike, a distance the majority of runners could only dream of. As a result, this additional distance travelled will call on the heart and lungs to work harder, consequently building your stamina, resulting in an increased level of overall fitness.
To improve stamina: get on the bike as much as possible; but make sure to vary the type of cycling you do. Try interval training to help build up your fitness by cycling for one minute as fast as you possibly can then take five minutes to recover at normal pace. Repeat this five or six times.
Get stronger legs by cycling
Running will benefit the muscles in your legs, but if it’s stronger leg muscles you’re after then take up cycling. Cycling gives you a full leg workout, specifically benefiting the quadriceps and hamstrings which work through the pedalling action, growing the muscle as a result.
To help build muscle: increase the resistance by standing up, boosting the workout for your calf muscles and glutes, or go uphill to really get that lactate pumping. Feel the burn!
Cycling is low-impact
Cycling is a low impact form of exercise and is therefore easier on your joints when compared to running. Athletes with runner’s’ knee or sprained ankles are often prescribed cycling as an alternative while they recover. Whilst running sends shockwaves through your body, compressing the vertebrae and putting pressure on the joints, cycling actually does the opposite.
Get an adrenaline hit through cycling
If you’re looking for an adrenaline boost to charge your workout, there’s nothing like hitting top speeds on your bike. Whether it’s pacing down a steep hill, riding round tight corners, or sprinting on a straight road with the wind in your face, cycling can give you that adrenaline fix. Although remember to always wear a helmet!
Cycling saves time
Cycling allows you to travel at a much quicker pace than commuting on foot or by public transport. So whether you’re heading to work or to the shops, get in the habit of jumping on your bike. You’ll make exercise a regular part of your day and you’ll save yourself a tonne of time in the process. Just be careful on the roads and always assume the cars are being controlled by people who can’t see you.
To put your outdoor cycling skills to the test, sign up to this year’s Etape Caledonia: etapecaledonia.co.uk
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