Cycling (Riding a bicycle) is one of those forms of physical workouts that are truly adventurous, enjoyable and yet are considered as most efficient means of enhancing fitness and physical strength. However, at certain stage and especially if you have a chronic illness like arthritis, you need to take your cycling to the next yet more careful stage in order to avoid yourself reaching the “plateau” phase. This is what that comes with time, persistence, consistency and, of course, stamina.
Obviously cycling is one of those few forms of workouts that consume the largest amount of calories for you, resulting in more weight loss and this naturally brings you closer to your arthritis treatment goals. Accordingly, the more calories you burn during cycling, greater is the stamina or endurance you need to get yourself going.
Following are some golden tips and techniques that would help you enhance your cycling stamina in arthritis and would also prevent you from any possible injury during the workout.
- The choice of gears: It’s always better to start with the lower cycle gears and then gradually move up to higher gears only when needed. As a matter of fact, it’s a lot easier too and puts little stress on your body (especially your lower limbs) to up shift instead of down shift. Choose your gear in such a way that would allow you to spin easily with as small stress on your knee joints as possible. This would naturally increase your cycling endurance and would also enhance your overall and ride time.
- Change in positions: If you decide to alternate between standing and sitting positions during cycling, it will stretch your body muscles and work several other areas of your body, preventing fatigue and muscular strain.
- Deep breathing: Taking deep breaths (e.g. those involved in yoga) will surely help you enhance your stamina especially during uphill climbs. If you know how to get a good control on your breath, it will also help you to maintain an optimum pulse rate and you will be able ride for longer distances more easily.
- Take food diet and a dietary supplement: It is vital to take care of your dietary need while doing cycling. Remember, as mentioned earlier, cycling is one of those workouts that really make your calorie burn faster and you feel hungrier than usual. Therefore, it’s always good to carry some light snacks and plenty of drinks (e.g. juices and water). As rule of thumb, you should eat something and drink liquids every twenty minutes or so, even if you don’t feel like eating or drinking. This would help keep your energy levels up and minimize any risks of dehydration (water loss due to excessive sweating). Also, you should try consuming some safe, dietary arthritis-specific supplement such as Provailen which has shown remarkable success in boosting one’s stamina and relieving body fatigue in arthritis.
- Try variety: Experience has shown that it’s always better to have a combination of short and quick rides along with some long and steady cycling rides as this gradually enhances one’s cycling strength and stamina.
- Change tracks: Cycling on the same track for a long time is boring and also brings you closer to the fitness plateau. Therefore, try different tracks and different locations e.g. hills, slopes, grounds and parks…and keep switching in between these from day to day. Surveys show that it’s one of the most time-tested ways to keep yourself motivated during cycling and also results in consistent increase in your stamina.