Now that spring is here, many people are shaking off the winter blues by going outside and getting some exercise. Cycling has become a very popular exercise among many people. Whether you are just taking your bike out for a ride to the beach or training for a road cycling event, cycling is a great way to stay in shape. Riding is an extremely beneficial exercise because it improves your cardiovascular fitness as well as your strength and flexibility of your muscles. Going for a bike ride can also decrease stress all while burning fat.

Although there are many benefits to cycling, the repetitive motion makes your body prone to injuries. Common cycling injuries include: Iliotibial band syndrome, patellar tendinopathy, chondromalacia patella, patellofemoral problems, neck pain and muscle cramps. There are many practical and easy ways to avoid these injuries.

The best way to avoid injuries is to properly warm up with a good stretch as well as a proper cool down after you have finished exercising. A proper warm up would be a five to ten minute low intensity ride on a road or stationary bike, perfect to get the blood flowing to your muscles. After you are done with your warm up, dynamic and static stretches are crucial to staying injury-free. For static stretches, slowly move your muscles to where you feel a stretch but are not in pain. Hold this for around 20 seconds, three or four times. For dynamic stretches, it is important that you have complete control of your body. You should start slowly with stretches like lunges or torso twists and then working up to jumps or stride outs. Like static stretches, you should feel the stretch, but you should never feel pain while doing these. Now you are ready for your ride! But the work isn’t over once you are done. Cooling down is just as important as warming up. For the last five to ten minutes of your ride gradually start slowing down your speed to help get rid of lactic acid that has built up during your ride and help return your body to your resting heart rate. Once you are finished you should once again do some static stretches before your muscles have cooled down completely.

If you follow these steps, you will feel better on your ride, see a greater increase in strength and flexibility, and hopefully avoid injury. If you unfortunately do become injured, call your physical therapist right away to set up a rehabilitation program that will get you back on your bike in no time!

We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montogmery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Ferndale. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona.  If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County.  Give us a call today!