Pedal your way to better health!
To coincide with National Bike Week 14th – 22nd June 2014, the United Chiropractic Association is encouraging people to incorporate cycling into their busy schedules. To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active, cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It gives your heart, blood vessels and lungs a good work out; it is fun, cheap and good for the environment.
Did you know………..
Research by the car maker Citroen found that the average speed of a car in London during rush-hour (which is nearly all the time in London!) is just 7mph, and that motorists waste up to half of their commute time going nowhere, stuck in jams. The company commissioned some ‘gridlock’ research to promote a car designed for such conditions, a car that shuts off its engine when stuck in jams. Motorists may be grinding to a halt, but the average cyclist can travel at 12-15mph, twice the speed of a car in rush-hour London.
So, not only is cycling good for your health, but it can also cut your travelling time if you work in the City. Cycling can also improve your sleep, help reduce signs of ageing, boost motivation, reduce stress, and is great for weight management.
Whether you are a recreational cyclist, commuter or competitive cyclist, it is important that you are aware of common cycling injuries – how to avoid them and how chiropractic care can help.
Be aware of cycling posture! As with any form of exercise, proper posture will not only enhance your performance, but will also minimise the risk of injury:
- Keep a light, comfortable bend in your elbows instead of locking them
- Keep your shoulders low and set
- Feet should point forward
- Engage your core muscles as you ride
- Ideally, have your bike professionally fitted as this can make a big difference in optimising your body’s alignment
Certain types of musculoskeletal injuries and imbalances are common among cyclists due to the position and posture adopted when riding a bike, as well as the repetitive use of certain muscles. Neck pain and back pain among cyclists is often attributed to poor body posture; such as: hyperextension of the neck and forward bending of the low back. This alteration in optimum body posture can cause certain muscles to become tight and irritated and spinal joint restriction and irritation to develop. If you experience tightness in your shoulders or neck, low back pain, or even numbness in your hands and fingers, rather than waiting till the pain or problem gets worse, visit your local UCA chiropractor. Many cycling injuries respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments, the aim of which is to encourage efficient joint motion, increase flexibility, reduce muscle tightness and improve alignment.
Chiropractic care is great because it is non-invasive, drug-free and effective.
Now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy yourself, and riding a bike is the ideal activity with the warm weather approaching. It also gives you the opportunity to explore the area around you, which we often don’t appreciate in a car. You could also use this new-found activity to raise money for charity and meet new people. For more information and some great activities taking place during Bike Week 2014 visit www.bikeweek.org.uk