Category Archives: Benefits

Blind cyclers

Suffering a vision impairment or becoming blind can change your live. Your plans and future projects can be disrupted, but new doors can be opened. Blind cyclers are not allowed to drive a car or a motorbike because of security purposes. However, they can continue practicing cycling with the help of a driver. Such a person comprises a key point in promoting biking thanks to their big heart.

Blindness has not stopped brave women and men to compete and win medals in Paralympic games. In such cases drivers are essential for them. Thanks to their solidarity and good hearts, tandems ride without envying not-blinded bikers. They act as their eyes, guiding them throughout the race track under a previously agreed, specific language so that the impeded person knows what to do all the time, if they need to turn to right or left, the soil they ride on and so on.

Such a challenged purpose requires drivers to be sportspersons, better if they are previously riders, if the partner wants to compete. A lot of visually impeded persons claim that practicing a sport is a fundamental tool to feel integration in society, even if it constitutes an important effort.

You know, experiencing a vision impairment is a shock at the beginning, but once the period of mourning is passed, bike gives a lot of fun and pleasure.

Bike and food

Riding a bike means practicing sport even if it is a relaxing pedaling. Although most of bikers are not considered professional ones like those who participate in the Tour of France, the Giro of Italy or the Vuelta of Spain, we should consider suitable food to eat before starting pedaling. Cycling, as well as every aerobic exercise, causes a reduction in the simple carbohydrates content of your body and it can diminish your fat proportion. This fact appears after sugars provide energy to your muscles. Thus, if you want to reduce brown fat, practice aerobic exercises.

Eaten food before pedaling can produce two effects in your body. First, eating energy-rich food (with lots of complex carbohydrates or fats) helps you exercising at least until this extra energy is burned. In fact, bikers who practice high-intensive, competitive exercises such as riding in the Tour, Giro o Vuelta, eat within stages to re-energize them. It is important that food provides complex carbohydrates. This way, body takes longer time to absorb it, so energy levels are higher when starting pedaling. Otherwise cyclers who eat simple carbohydrates would have much less energy because they eat one or more hours before starting exercising.

Second, eating too much can cause problems when cycling since body needs energy and blood to digest food. In other words, if you eat too much then your muscles and digestive tract compete with each other. The more energy and blood to muscle, the worse digestion. And the better digestion, the worse cycling.

Hence, take into account that food is an important issue to ride your bike.

Solid tires

Some years ago, a new generation of tires for bicycles appeared in the market. Its main innovation consisted in being solid. This issue is widespread in other markets such as motorbikes or scooters. As far as I know, Tannus and few other companies sell them. The first firm sells solid, patented tires. Although they still present a low introduction in the bike market, those who have tested them offer interesting points in favor and against them.

On the one hand, the most positive issue is say goodbye to punctures and flat tires. Since it has no air, they can not get a puncture. Additionally, solid tires last for more time and kilometers in comparison with traditional tires. Versatility is also a good point at least in the Tannus catalog since other companies offer a reduced stock. Not only proposes this firm several tire colors, but also different sizes and surface patterns. Moreover, the impact of weather on them is reduced as a result of the specific chemical compounds (Either in the case of the Tannus tires) these tires are made of. What is more, at least in this case the material is environmentally safe.

On the other hand, such tires present disadvantages. They are more expensive and slightly outweigh the traditional tires. However, Tannus affirms that if you take into account the tools to repair a puncture, then their tires weight less than the air ones. Furthermore, and at least with the Tannus tires, the mounting process is peculiar. I am not saying that it is difficult or impossible, rather it is challenging and laborious, and you need to be strong enough specially in the mounting step. And the fact of no allowing adjusting air pressure based on terrain could be a problem if you ride on different surfaces.

A third option appeared in the marked consisting in the hybrid solution. I mean considering an air and solid tire. It has two zones. The inner one is similar to the traditional tire and full of air, whereas the outer area is exclusively solid. This way bikers gain extra resistance against punctures and they can adjust air pressure.

Cycling is time-effective

Cycling saves time is one of the advantages of using your bike to go to work, study or buy. Pieces of news and research television documentaries have demonstrated it. If you have not noticed it, think about it or just do the following to check it:

– Determine your start and end points

– Make the comparison between these three alternatives:

  • Get in the car, sit in traffic, queue to get into the car park, pay to park, park your car, and arrive to the end point
  • Walk to the bus stop, wait for it, get on bus (pay), watch the roads throughout the window, leave the bus, walk to the end point
  • Get on your bike, filter past traffic, lock your bike, walk to the end point

I promise you if you do the three experiences, you will discover that using your bike is the fastest ,specially in cities, as well as cheaper. Moreover, you will fight against climate change and practice sport. Furthermore, cycling contributes to reduce obesity and protects your body and your mind.

Cycling body health benefits (3/3)

Continuing with the series about health impacts and cycling, this time I am going to show additional body benefits different from the ones exposed here and here.

When comparing cycling with some other sports, is considered low impact. A lot of research has been carried out in the last years comparing perhaps the two most practiced sports: cycling vs running. The fact of running being weight bearing makes injury rates to be higher in comparison to cycling (which is not weight bearing). This point was demonstrated even with long distance runners and cyclists. When researchers compared both groups, they discovered runners suffered 133-144 per cent more muscle damage, 256 per cent more inflammation, and 87 per cent higher DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) compared to the cyclists group. Overall, riding a bike is specially indicated for those who have osteoarthritis since it is a low-impact exercise that places little stress on joints.

Moreover, cycling allows reaching further places compared to other sports in the same time. As a result, it improves your navigation skills no matter where you practice it. You need to remember a route or determine where is the North when riding. Orientation and addresses should be in your memory or you would need to earn your daily bread with your own resources, no matter whether you are cycling in a city, mountain or countryside.

Furthermore, cycling improves your sexual life. Yes, you have read it right. Why is so? Doctors said the muscles developed on the bike are used during intercourse. The better developed these muscles, the longer and more athletic intercourse will be. And it works for women and men.

Next, it is not rocket science that tiring yourself out on a bike will improve your sleep. Researchers determined sleep problems to those people who drop between 2-4 per cent in cardiorespiratory exercise practice, no matter the people gender. Looking for the causes, they suggested it could be a reduction in anxiety brought by exercise than improves the ability to sleep. Bike exercise also protects against weight gain with age, which is another cause of sleep dysfunction.

Finally, riding a bike also increases handling and spacial awareness. Climbing, descending and cornering, among others technical elements, teach you how to use your body weight to get the bike to go where you want it to. Gaining the skills to manage these technical elements can provide an increase in your muscles and a massive confidence boost, specially when you start to see improvements. Posture and coordination are also improved. And it only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health.

Cycling body health benefits (2/3)

Continuing with this series of posts, in the first one I talked about health benefits of cycling: weight control, muscle development and immune system reinforcement. Now, I am going to highlight the benefits of riding regarding diseases.

Researchers have demonstrated blood pumping your body and calories burned when riding helps you cut your risk of developing major illnesses such as heart disease and several kinds of cancer. For instance, cycling to work was showed an impact of cutting half the risk of suffering heart attacks or cancer in 260,000 individuals over the course of five years.

Second, cardiovascular disease is a term than includes stroke, high blood pressure and heart attack. By practicing regular cycling, one stimulates and improves her heart, lungs and circulation. Conversely, she reduces her risk of cardiovascular disease. This is related to the fact that riding strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels. The comparisons are odious, but research demonstrated that people who cycle to work have two to three times less exposure to pollution than car drivers, and their lung function is improved.

Third, type 2 diabetes is related to lack of psychical activity as a clear indicator of developing such a disease. Large-scales researches have shown than riding for more than 30 minutes per day had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing this type of diabetes.

Related to a previous point, bicyclers are exposed to fewer pollution than car drivers. Indeed, researchers measured air pollution through detectors fitted to a driver, a bus user, a pedestrian and a cyclist. These people moved through a busy route in central London. The results showed the car driver experienced five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist and three and a half more pollution measures than the bus user. As a result, lung health improves when riding instead of driving a car.