Recently, I had a couple come into the shop, and they mentioned that they "came in to get bikes so they can get into fitness!"
This was music to my ears and why originally opened up PK's!
I have ALWAYS believed in the philosophy of "sharpen the saw". As Dr. Steven R. Covey put it in the best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, "Sharpen the saw means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have - you."
When I opened the shop in 2013, I had been a life long bicycle rider.
When I was probably 9 or 10 I got my first BMX bike and I LOVED this bike! It was chrome moly and shined super bright! I actually made money with this bike, as I had a paper route that consisted of 52 papers. I would sling the front of the paper bag over the handlebars and travel to the start of my route which was probably .5 mile away (ALL UPHILL),
Then, as I turned 14, I quit running cross country and track, and got my first road bike. I fell in love with that and ended up racing, riding and racing for 7 years.
Now at the age of 50, I find myself loving the bike even MORE!
It still gives me that fun feeling. I look forward to hopping on the seat, and going out in the heat and sun to sweat, go fast, feel the road, and get some top notch fitness in!
Due to COVID-19, "Fitness" has seen much of the spotlight lately. People have been buying fitness equipment at record pace, and more and more people have been taking to the streets, to bike, walk, jog, play tennis, and improve their fitness.
"Multiple studies have now linked moderate exercise with decreased rates of influenza, pneumonia, and other infections, as well as chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
Staying active supports your immune system in a variety of ways, including reducing inflammation, increasing the number of innate immune cells, and positively effecting your guy microbiome, all of which support your body's defense mechanisms.
REGULAR EXERCISE HAS ALSO BEEN SHOWN TO IMPROVE YOUR ABILITY TO REGULATE YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM, WHICH MAY BE ESSENTIAL FOR AVOIDING THE SEVERE SYMPTOMS OF COVID 19 CAUSED BY IMMUNE SYSTEM OVER-REACTIONS."
As a very good surgeon told me recently, "The real risk factor for COVID is obesity...till America wakes up and loses weight, this shit will keep happening."
So with all that in mind, I give you the most basic tips for you to utilize your bike and improve your physical fitness..by the way, it helps mentally too, but I'll save that for another blog. :) This blog will only be about getting on your bike and using it as a fitness tool.
Tip One: CONSISTENCY
I've always said that the hardest part of any workout is the first step out the door. Once you get into your ride, it's pretty easy to keep going and having fun. My ride actually begins before I even take my first pedal stroke.
For me, once I force myself to walk directly to my clothes drawer and put on my cycling shorts, that starts the process of the ride. Next is the shoes, start up my timer, and walk out the door with bike in tow.
The key to staying fit and losing weight with the bike, is to pretty much ride a little bit daily. If you ride once a week, that is a lot better than zero times a week for sure. I am now 50 and my metabolism is no where near what it used to be. I love to eat and drink! So if I take a few days off, I definitely feel less fit and am more prone to gaining weight.
One question that comes up when trying to ride consistently is, "What happens when it's very windy, really hot or cold, or raining cats a
nd dogs?" The answer is get an indoor bike trainer! You can easily find one for $75 and hook up your bike in matter of minutes.
Tip Two: Chose Your Seat Wisely
I always say, "if your butt ain't happy, you're not gonna ride!"
I know that I have had some pretty uncomfortable seats in the past, and after a ride my gluteus maximus would be so sore, that the last thing on earth I would want to do is go for a ride.
On the contrary, when you find a nice cozy and comfortable seat to ride on, you will look forward to getting on the bike and crushing that ride!
Tip 3 - Pick a Safe Route to Ride On
I don't know of anyone that likes to ride in traffic, and safety is a major concern of mine. I am so lucky to live near neighborhoods wear there is minimal traffic and many courteous drivers. If I can ride and only see a handful of cars, chances are I enjoyed that ride that much more.
On Amelia Island, there are many bike trails and paths all over the place. Everyday you go there, you will see dozens of bicycle riders all over the place! Having nice shoulders on the roads and dedicated bike paths is a really great way to ride safely.
Tip 4 - Ride with Purpose
Setting a goal to ride for 30 to 45 mins 5 times a week I think is ideal. And when you are riding you do not have to be trying to go all out (although that can be fun speed racing on your bike), but try and keep a nice pace while riding.
In personal training, we often use the words, "perceived exertion". On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you think you are going. 10 being "ALL OUT", and 1 being "DRIVING MS. DAISY" style.
I like to ride at about a "7". This way I can still enjoy the ride, but also know that I am working my muscles, lungs, heart and blood, just enough to make huge gains in my mental and physical fitness.
Well, I could go on and on with more tips, but I want to keep this very simple and basic.
Get that old bike out of the garage and bring it on in for a tune up! You don't need anything fancy, just a bike in great working order that fits you properly!
Ride On and Be Safe my friends,
Pauly P of PK's Bike Shop.