Every year Cycling UK organises Bike Week and this year it runs from June 9th -17th. Events are organised all over the country to promote cycling and to demonstrate how cycling can be incorporated into our daily lives. You can find out more about Bike Week and the events organised here.
As chiropractors we encourage people to stay as active as possible and take regular exercise. Staying active and taking regular exercise is important for the health of our spines as well as for our overall health. Exercise helps build and maintain strength and flexibility and can improve posture all of which help protect the spine.
Not only does exercise help protect our backs, often continuing with moderate exercise can help recovery from back pain. Often patients that we treat at Homewood Chiropractic Clinic are surprised to hear this. A chiropractor can advise you on what’s best for you if you are suffering back pain.
Cycling is a great way to get active. It is a low impact activity that gets you outdoors. It can be a great way to meet people with the added benefit of being environmentally friendly.
It offers many health benefits and can help you:
- improve the health of your heart and immune system
- manage your weight
- reduce stress, anxiety and improve mental health
- sleep better
- improve your fitness
We are fortunate living in such a beautiful part of the country to have access to some great cycle routes around Fareham. In addition there are groups and clubs in the area that you can get involved with. The internet is a wonderful place to find access to a host of information.
Should you decide that cycling is an activity you want to take up then our chiropractors have put together some advice to ensure you keep your back safe when doing so:
Preparation is key:
Getting your bike set up for you is critical. Overstretching to reach the handlebars, backwards-sloping seats, wrong seat heights and soft tyres are just some of the factors that can contribute to back and neck pain in cyclists.
Take time before setting off to ensure that the handlebars, and seat are in the best position for you. You should be able to reach the handlebars without overstretching or putting any strain in your back, neck, shoulders or wrists. Ideally the seat should be flat or sloping forward. The height of the seat should be adjusted so that you can sit on it with your legs almost straight with only a slight bend at the knee when the pedal is at the bottom.
The tyres should be pumped up to minimise the impact on your spine.
Wear clothes that are suitable, they should not restrict your movement and should provide adequate cushioning and support where required.
On the ride:
Cycling is like any other form of exercise and you need to warm up before setting off and allow time to cool down at the end of your ride.
Remember to change your position and posture from time to time. You may want to try cycling standing up from time to time, however, only do this safely.
Don’t overdo it.If this is your first cycle ride for some time then take it easy and don’t overdo it!
Before undertaking any new form of exercise it is advisable to check with your chiropractor or healthcare professional before starting. They will be able to advise you appropriately.
If you are experiencing back pain then our experienced team of chiropractors in Fareham are here to help.