There seems to be a new fitness craze that sweeps gyms and exercise classes across the world annually as people look for more creative ways to get fit. But, what are some of the strangest fitness fads that we’ve seen over the past decade?
A fairly recent fitness fad – it made its way into our lives at the start of 2018, and some people haven’t looked back since. It’s a Scandinavian based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.
The unusual term ‘plogging’ comes from the word jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ which means pick up. The exercise part comes from running with intermittent squatting and lunging so you can pick up rubbish from the ground. It is an effective calorie burner too — fitness app Lifesum estimates that a typical user will burn 288 calories from 30 minutes of plogging.
This new fitness trend is also making its way onto social media platforms too — with people showing images of themselves in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?
It’s nothing new that high-heels are known to help shape posture but working out in them is a relatively new form of exercise. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.
By performing all the usual exercises of a normal workout such as lunging, squatting and lifting small weights while wearing high-heels, balance can also be improved. It hasn’t been fully determined whether wearing high-heels for a workout can result in weight loss, but it can help you learn how to walk better in them.
Jogging without shoes
In 2010, an unorthodox trend came along that saw runners trading in their running shoes for a form of running ‘sock’.
The individuals who are in support of the pattern say that running in trainers or running shoes can make you more inclined to sustain injury as it encourages running with unnatural form. It’s also said that running barefoot strengthens the tiny muscles found in feet, ankles and legs which can also reduce the risk of injury.
Although some people still practise the art of running without shoes, it is somewhat of a dying art. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries. Only try this one if you’re willing to practise walking barefoot before running.
The FitWet bike is a unique piece of kit that blends an exercise bike with a personal hot tub with hydrotherapy jets. It’s no shock that submerged workouts are of added benefit than normal routines and this is no exception. Cycling whilst relaxing your muscles is surely a more pleasant way to burn off those extra calories!
Americans aren’t shy from introducing new exercise art forms, and so with many weird and wonderful fitness classes, the trend of ‘hot barre’ first took off in New York and Los Angeles.
It involves combining classical ballet moves in a room heated to 40 degrees and it took off around 2015. Advocates of the fad say that hot barre encourages you to gain a deeper stretch while helping you release toxins and feel detoxed. Then, as the body has to work hard to cool itself down, you can expect your metabolism to boost and number of burnt calories to increase.
Some people prefer to work out in their homes. If they have enough space, they have a dedicated room or section of the basement that they refer to as their home gym. These spaces need to have the perfect flooring for the job. It needs to be easy to clean, and comfortable enough to work out on. No matter whether you do yoga or have a full gym in your house, you need to consider these flooring ideas, courtesy offlooring services the colony tx.
Hardwood floors are great for just about everything. They can easily support the heavy workout equipment that comes with a home gym or yoga practice. On top of that, wood is naturally a shock absorbent material, and as long as you have the right surface treatments applied, it is fairly non-skid. This means that you won’t skid all over the place when you’re in the middle of a workout. If the floor becomes scuffed or scratched, it’s very easy to buff out the scratches and refinish the wood. On top of that, the many different types of wood and shades of stain ensure that you’ll have no issues matching the floors to the rest of the room.
Cork is one of the newest types of wood flooring on the market. It also provides quite a bit of cushioning, which will keep you from damaging your knees and ankles. Although you do have to be careful about placing heavy equipment on this flooring, as it may create some dents and divots, you’ll have an excellent surface for exercising. You won’t have to worry about sound traveling since the cork absorbs some of the noise. On top of this, it’s quite affordable and very easy to care for.
Rubber Floor Tiles
Don’t overlook the great qualities of rubber floor tiles. They’re excellent at providing cushioning and sound dampening, just like cork flooring. They also are very easy to keep clean. If you want a floor with some give – and one that looks like it belongs in a gym, then this is a great option. It’s also good for people who practice yoga, as the floor is comfortable to pose on. You may not even need a separate mat, just a dedicated section of the floor. On top of this, if any of the tiles become damaged, they are easy to replace.
Although linoleum (which should not be confused with the old styles that were not as nice) is a harder surface, it provides a good floor for a home gym. The linoleum is easy to clean and is fairly scuff and scratch resistant. You will need to use a separate rubberized mat for things like stretches and yoga, but they are easy to roll up and place out of the way when you don’t need them. Even better, linoleum is very inexpensive.
We love bikes, don’t we? Not only are they an environmentally-friendly form of transport, but they also offer a host of health benefits. Whether you choose to go mountain biking, ride specialized road bikes or enjoy a bit of time on the BMX, you will always want to go that little bit faster. Here, we look at the best ways to do so:
Keep it clean
While this might sound obvious, there’s no doubting that your bike will go faster if it’s clean. By ensuring you keep your drivetrain and cables clear of mud and grime, your bike will be more efficient. What’s even better is the fact you’ll save money on parts in the long run!
To do this, you should try to get into a regular routine of cleaning your apparatus. Take a few minutes after each ride to wipe down your frame and mechanics and it’ll save you valuable time and effort when it comes to a big clean after the longer rides. However, make sure you go easy on the lube and use the correct one for your bike and your riding conditions. It’s important to let the oil soak in when you are lubing your chain and then wipe off any excess. Doing this will stop the onset of rust.
Just as is the case in your car, the tyre pressure of your bike is extremely important to how efficiently it performs, and it is one of the easiest ways to up your speed. It’s recommended that you pump your tyres up once a week, although sometimes a mini pump will suffice.
If your tyres have smaller diameters, they’ll require a higher pressure, so it’s crucial to know what pressure your wheels are supposed to be. It can also differ depending on your own body weight so be sure to acknowledge these factors and you’ll be amazed at the difference you feel.
Adjust your brakes
Okay, so this may not seem to be an obvious way to help you go faster but believe it or not it is very important. If you are able to brake later going into corners and carry some of that speed out of the other side, then you’ll quickly see an increase in your average speed.
Have the right saddle height
It’s surprising how many cyclists don’t ride with their saddle at the correct height. Not only can this cause discomfort and potential injuries, but it will slow you down as your pedal stroke won’t be as efficient as it could be.
Generally, you should try to have the distance between your bottom bracket and the saddle’s top your inseam measurement minus 10cm. However, make sure you make allowances for your pedal system, as this may vary it slightly.
However, don’t be phased if you are heading on a bike ride and don’t know your measurements. If you remember when you turn the pedals that you shouldn’t be overstretching, pointing your toe or rocking your hips, then you will be well on the way to having the seat in the right position.
Now, this point won’t apply to everyone. However, for those of us who may be carrying an extra bit of weight, shedding a few of those unwanted pounds may help you go faster. Of course, if you are of a healthy weight, you can focus on reducing your bike’s weight instead of your own.
For a shorter circuit, you may find removing your bottle and cage will help if they’re not needed. You can also look into removing all other unnecessary bits, such as mudguards and saddle bags. It may not seem like much, but as every bit of extra weight must be relaunched after you turn, or carried up hills, every little really does help.
So, that’s that. Five steps that will help you increase your speed on your bike.
The sport that is adored the world over, it’s no wonder that football’s got professional and amateur players of all ages. It is many people’s go-to pastime and exercise for the week, and it’s a brilliant way to socialise too.
But, as with any exercise or sport, there’s the chance of injury when playing. There’s plenty of things you can do to keep that risk to a bare minimum though. Here, we will take a look at the most common injuries sustained in football, as well as telling you how best to prevent them.
Pulling your hamstring
Probably the most well-known football injury, the hamstring stretches from your hip to your knee, along the back of your thigh. Sometimes your hamstring muscles can overstretch, resulting in pain at the back of the leg, as well as potentially bruising and swelling. If you tear your hamstring, you could be out of action for a while, however, if you simply pull your hamstring, you should be fine to continue.
A damaged hamstring will often manifest sighs such as bruising, pain, and swelling. Reportedly, people with existing back issues are more susceptible to strained hamstrings, so to avoid this injury, loosen your back with exercises such as lumbar rotation stretches (lying on the floor and rolling your knees from side to side). Basic glute stretches will ease muscles around your hips, while yoga will help you stay flexible, which will lower the risk of hamstring strain. Squats, lunges and hamstring kicks are also great preventative exercises, as they work to strengthen the hamstring muscles.
Do you know how to avoid a hamstring injury? Try doing the Nordic ham curl:
Kneel on the floor.
Hook your feet under something sturdy and heavy that can take your weight or ask a partner to hold your feet to act as an anchor.
Breathe deeply, engage your core and slowly lower yourself to the ground, using your hamstrings to keep your body straight.
After reaching the ground, push yourself up and repeat.
Damage to your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
The ACL is a crucial element of support for the knee. However, it’s often damaged by the twisting and turning of the leg, which means it’s a common injury for football players. If you hurt your ACL, it’ll be painful and you’ll likely see swelling around the area. But before then, you may hear and feel it pop or snap…
You can reduce the risk of an ACL injury by working on your leg strength. According to HSS, Hospital for Special Surgery, you should do plenty of leg stretches like squats and walking lunges. Having good balance — or proprioception — is vital if you want to avoid injuring your ACL too, so practice standing on one leg (30 seconds on each) regularly to boost your stability. These exercises also help prevent injuries to your menisci, which are cartilages that protect the knee joint.
Straining your groin
During a tackle or reach for the ball, players can sometimes over-stretch and injury their groin as a result. If you strain your groin, you’ve basically over-extended your abductor muscles, found in your inner thigh. A slight strain will often cause some pain, however, serious groin strain injuries can impede on your ability to walk and run, which is a serious flaw for a football player.
A proper warm-up is a vital component of injury prevention. Make sure you stretch your inner and outer thigh muscles daily and see if you can also get regular sports therapy or massage treatments to keep these muscles flexible. A strong core enhances pelvic stability, which will also reduce the chance of groin strains, so do plenty of planks and crunches as part of your basic workout routine. Resistance bands are also very handy for strengthening your inner thigh muscles and preventing groin strain.
Damage to soft tissue causes the pain associated with a sprain. According to the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy), approximately 70-85% of these injuries are ‘inversion’ sprains, which means the ankle has been turned inwards — common when tackling and dribbling the ball. If you’re looking to reduce the risk of a sprained ankle, try and do these exercises three times a week:
Ankle circles (both clockwise and anti-clockwise).
Shin raises (lifting your toes, rather than your heels, off the ground).
Sharp movements cause many of the injuries associated with football. According to a scientific study, taking part in a structured warm-up is effective at stopping players from suffering common football injuries and can reportedly even lower these by approximately 33%.
Before jumping into a match, be sure to stretch and get the blood pumping to your muscles. Here’s a top warm-up session to help you prepare your tendons, ligaments and muscles for a good performance:
5 minutes: jogging and side-stepping to boost your core temperature.
15 minutes: stretching, focusing on your quads, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, lower back, calves, Achilles tendon, and hip flexors. You should hold your stretch for ten seconds every time.
10 minutes: mimicking football movements without a ball including high kicks, squats, jumps, and side-foot passes.
10 minutes: practicing shooting, heading, passing, and dribbling as a team with a football.
You can also lower your risk of injury through your food choices. Eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates — including eggs, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, turkey and salmon — to build muscle and deliver energy. Also, lower your alcohol intake — it dehydrates you and leaves your muscles more susceptible to cramping and injury.
You can also bolster your nutrients intake with some supplements. For example, vitamin D and vitamin D3 can help strengthen your bones and muscles, according to some scientific studies, and ubiquinol contributes to energy production
If you don’t fancy missing a load of games because of a preventable injury, follow these dietary and warm-up tips and stay at the top of your game!
Over the last few years there has been a rising trend in healthier eating, as consumers become more educated about nutrition and look at what they are eating to fuel their bodies. During this time there has been a big rise in those who now class themselves as flexitarians (those who are predominately vegetarian, but will occasionally eat meat), while those switching to standard vegetarian diets has also risen.
However, the biggest growth seems to be those adopting a vegan diet, which has seen a 700% rise in the UK alone over the past year and has no signs of slowing as consumers move away from animal products completely.
Protein is an important nutrient for the body and are a key building block for body tissue. Protein can also serve as fuel and is especially adept in the growth of muscles. This has been well known for decades in the fitness industry and is why protein powders are the most popular form of sports supplements today. Taking protein powder after training or working out can help you to recover faster, grow muscles and serve as a fuel source for the body.
Because of the move away from animal products to plant based products, nutritional supplement manufacturers are now offering a range of plant based protein alternatives for those who want to train, workout and gain muscle without consuming animal products.
Can I build muscle on a plant based diet?
In short yes, you can build bigger muscles, at the same rate as people who are eating animal products on a plant based diet, however it does take a bit of preparation and planning to get right. Research is key to maintaining and growing muscle while consuming only plant based food, but as you learn what foods provide the right nutrients and vitamins it will become second nature.
Here are some tips for those looking to transition to a plant based diet:
The number one factor to consider is whether you are getting enough calories. Whether you are bulking up or losing weight, making sure that you are consuming the right amount of calories is key to reaching your goal.
Because plants usually contain lower calories than animal products it is important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Not only will a good mixture of fruit and veg provide your body with a variety of vitamins, it will also provide antioxidants to help keep your immune system strong.
Legumes are a great source of protein and eating a range of soy, beans and peas alongside grains such as buckwheat, rice and quinoa helps to ensure that you get the essential amino acids your body needs.
Make your plates colourful. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make your meals as colourful as possible. A mixture of natural greens such as broccoli and kale, reds from tomatoes and peppers and yellows from sweetcorn and beans complement each other perfectly and provide a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats for your body to use.
Nuts are a great source of fat and are proven to provide a long lasting form of energy just when you need it. Eat a handful of nuts before your workout to boost your calories and provide energy, or sprinkle some onto your breakfast to keep you going till lunch.
Depending on your goals, your lifestyle and your diet in general you may want to look into supplements to complement your plant based diet. Tracking what you eat on an app or website will give you a good insight into the vitamins and nutrients that you may be lacking, meaning that you can add more into your diet. Many nutritional supplement manufacturers now offer plant based proteins, BCAA’s and multi-vitamins to help you reach your nutritional targets.
Leading the way in plant based sports nutrition
Scitec Nutrition is one of the leading global brands of sports nutrition supplements with over 20 years of experience of aiding elite athletes and bodybuilders to reach their goals. Through its ongoing development in the sports nutrition sector, Scitec Nutrition has created a range of plant based supplements ideal for those looking to move away from traditional dairy based products.
Scitec Nutrition’s 100% Plant Protein is specially formulated to promote lean muscle growth while aiding recovery. Made from Pisane Pea Protein Isolate, it is proven to have a high absorption rate, as well as being comparable to whey protein in its branched-chain amino acid content.
Scitec Nutrition’s 100% Plant Protein is GMO free, dairy free, lactose free and gluten free, making it an ideal solution for those who are looking for a whey alternative protein source to add to their diet and workout routine.
Another plant based product from Sitec Nutrition is its Vita Greens & Fruits range. We all know about getting your 5 a day, but this can be hard especially for those with busy lifestyles who eat on the go. Vita Greens & Fruits contains a blend of 37 natural ingredients that provide key vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C which aids the nervous system, Vitamin D to maintain skeletal calcium balance and Zinc to help boost the immune system.
Sitec Nutrition Vita Greens & Fruits is an ideal supplement for those who struggle to get their 5 a day or are looking to add more nutrients and vitamins to their existing diet.
As with any training or diet regime, having a healthy, balanced diet is key to performing well and recovering faster. These supplements are designed to help you reach your goals, but are not intended as a sole source of nutrition.
Most people visit the gym for a host of reasons but mainly to stay healthy. We all know the benefits of going to the gym and keeping fit. What you probably don’t know is that the gym might contain infectious bacteria, fungi, and virus. The sweating associated with gym workouts provides a moist environment that may form a breeding site for these pathogens. If you are a gym owner and are concerned about the safety of your clients, you might consider hiring an infections expert. A good place to start would be Maxxima Group. The group has expert personnel that specializes in virology jobs. These experts can help you maintain a safe workout environment for your clients.
For the gym goers, this information isn’t meant to spook you into abandoning your workout routine. On the contrary, it is an eye opener on how to avoid unexpected infections during training. So here are the infections to look out for in the gym and how you can avoid them.
Staph, which is caused by the bacteria staphylococcus, is perhaps the most common bacteria in the gym. Staph infection causes skin symptoms such as rashes, pimples, and pus-filled swellings. The bacteria is transmitted through cuts or body openings such as the nose. Therefore, avoid skin-to-to skin contact especially if you have an open wound. Also, sterilize your grooming gadgets and sanitize your hands regularly while at the gym.
2. Athlete’s Foot
This is a fungal infection that thrives mostly in moist socks, towels or shoes. It is characterized by itchy rashes between the toes and a foul odor. To prevent this infection, avoid walking barefoot in the gym. Also, refrain from wearing dump socks. If you sweat a lot, you might consider changing socks in between sessions to keep your feet dry.
3. Colds and Flu
The flu, also known as influenza, is an airborne respiratory infection caused by a virus. You could catch the infection just by inhaling cold flu-laden air from someone’s lungs. That air might also settle on surfaces of gym equipment posing a danger to the unsuspecting users. When they touch those surfaces and then touch their mouth or nose afterward, they might contract the flu.
Herpes is a viral disease that can spread through contact with an open wound. The most common symptom of the herpes is lip blisters. It can be transferred through exercises that involve heavy contact. Therefore, patch up all your open wounds when engaging in physical exercises.
5. Plantar Warts
A plantar wart is a viral infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus resides in moist places such as wet gym floors, damp towels, or equipment soaked in sweat. It manifests in the form of small tender swellings at the sole of the feet or the palm. You can contract this infection when using a contaminated gym equipment. So it is important to wipe them dry before use or sanitize your hands afterward.
This is a fungal infection that attacks the outer layer of the skin and leads to exfoliation. It might also appear as a ring speckled with rashes. Just like the HPV, ringworm fungi thrive in wet environments. A sweaty machine in the gym could be a great breeding spot. So be on the lookout whenever you lean on surfaces or lie on the mats at the gym. Having protective clothing like under armor may reduce the risk of spread.
So if you are a regular gym goer, always adopt best practices such as washing hands regularly, using slippers rather than walking bare feet and covering open wounds when training.
Football is the most popular sport in the world. Many say that talent, hard work and persistence are crucial for the success. But, does the psychology plays any part in it? The infographic created by Charles Tyrwhitt shows us some interesting statistics about the colors’ influence on sport results that we might take in the consideration.
The data says that 55% of World Cup winners played and won their final games in blue dresses. And, Brazilians have won 4 out of 5 World Cups wearing yellow. In general, psychologists agree that yellow stimulates mental activity and energy, while red stands for dominance.
When it comes to teams competitions, all winners over the 26 seasons of UK Premier League played in either red or blue. And, white has been worn by 40% of the winners of UEFA Championship League
Weddings are beautiful ceremonies where we, together with all our friends and family, happily celebrate the upcoming cohabitation with our loved one. It is an event that many people dream of their whole life and the event that symbolizes happiness because we get to say “yes” to our beloved partner. If you want your wedding to remain memorized by everyone, you should be stylish when organizing it. Beside picking a location, it’s very important to send the right type of invitation to guests, because choosing the one from many types such as seal and sand, foil, fall leaves wedding invitations etc. says a lot about your style. However, partying starts earlier – on a rehearsal dinner. It’s the pre-wedding celebration that should inspire you to look as good as you can. So, before getting hyped and sending your guests the rehearsal dinner invitations, think about your appearance. Read on to learn the best ways to look amazing on a night before the wedding.
Being in great shape is important for the rehearsal dinners because it boosts confidence and makes you feel better about yourself. If you have enough time, start lifting weights three days per week and improve your body look and energy. If you’re short on time, do lunges or squats and burn those calories!
2. Do Yoga
Rehearsal dinners can be very stressful to some people. So, to remove the stress, start doing yoga and focus on those exercises and deep breathing in order to calm yourself down and empty your mind. You should do this at least one day per week.
3. Get A Good Sleep
To have the great time, you need not only to look good, but to feel good as well. So, to be energetic, enthusiastic and in a good mood, you will need some previous rest. Start creating an 8 hours per day sleeping schedule and get used to waking up earlier because it will fresh up your mind and your body.
Diet helps in improving both physical and mental health. Fresh fruits and vegetables and food rich with protein will increase your energy level and help you lose weight. Also, if you’re eating too much, reduce it by having smaller portions. If you’re consistent, you’ll proudly see and feel the changes in and on your body.
5. Dress Up!
The right clothes are crucial for looking amazing. Since it’s the very important event for you and your partner, you should choose some elegant piece of clothes to put on, such as beautiful, but appropriate dresses and suits. Instead of sandals, choose high heels. If you’re a man, put on the shoes. Also, choose the right type of clothes so you don’t feel cold or too warm during the party.
Having a healthy lifestyle is beneficial to us for many reasons. Our mind and body are in better shape, we feel stronger, more energetic, our mental state is healthier, we are more productive and, the most important, happier in general. Having bad health can lead to dangerous diseases and, beside weaking us, it can cause bad mood, depression and the lives of our friends or families can be influenced by us becoming their burden. Good thing is that today a lot of companies in health bussines support and inspire sport and healhy lifestyle, such as Scitec Nutrition, which is, for example, an official supplier of the Hungarian Olympic Team. The newest line from Scitec Nutrition has been designed exclusively for athletes who want to improve their performance and endurance. Scitec Nutrition’s Athletic Line is a comprehensive range which features advanced multi mineral formulas and vitamin complexes available to enhance your aerobic workouts. There are many ways to change our life habbits and a lot of them are easy.
Exercising feeds both the body and the mind. Making it a daily habbit, especially in the morning, will improve our energy and focus and prepare us for the day. This is one of the best way to feel more confident. Also, you can use it to socialize and get inspired for more healthy habbits. Combining exercising with nutrition supplements will give you the best results.
2. Start Your Diet
Healthy diet is even more important than regulary exercising. Today we are used to eating junk food and other unhealthy food because we have no time to pay attention to what we eat. Fruits and vegetables feed us with vitamins and make our bodies and our immune system stronger, more durable and healthier in general. Also, proteins play a big role as well.
3. Keep Your Mind Healthy
Bad habbits destroy both the mind and the body. And if we choose to change, it always start from the head. This means that having more positive thoughts, reducing stress, understanding and expressing our emotions and developing our mental abbilities must be a first step toward the healthier life. Your emotions and thoughts also dictate productivity, choices in life and the behaviour to others, so improving it is truely a big deal.
4. Improve Your Sleep
Sleeping is good for rest and it is important for the overall health to have well organized sleeping schedule. If you have trouble sleeping because of worrying or thinking too much, try to fix your thoughts first by yoga and meditation so you can sleep better and easier. It is suggested to sleep eight hours daily on average.
5. Have A Healthy Company
You will not be healthy if you are constantly hanging out with people who cause you stress, negativity and problems. Try thinking about it and smarty select your company because you will be happier overall if you are enjoying your life with people that love you, support you and make you feel better.
Ah, so many choices, so little time. You have to agree with me when I say it’s not easy for us 21st century people to get a hold of our lives, and start making more of the healthy choices, especially for those of us who are part of the concrete jungles. While in the past workaholics were pointed out as a bad example, nowadays there are so many, that for most of us it’s deemed as something to be proud of – a life full of accomplishment and success.
Now, no matter how proud we may be, it’s a fact, working your days away leads to stress, then as a result to anger, and to quote the insightful and memorable Yoda : “Anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”.
Unless you want to be grumpy on a daily basis, with a bunch of extra kilos at that, and illnesses, it’s more than essential to spice your life with some hobby, particularly if it’s one that involves physical activity, like good ol’ biking.
As the sport suitable for people of all ages, biking is still as popular as ever because of its contribution to shedding extra kilos, preventing cardiovascular illnesses, cancer, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, improving sleep, and the immune system, and most of all, increasing the lifespan – what’s not to love about biking?!
So, it would seem, now is as good a time as any to make this healthy hobby part of our lifestyles. Yet, the process of convincing yourself to do so every day, or at least more times a week, may be slow (trust me, I can tell from experience), though it shouldn’t be regarded as discouraging; if you want to get into the habit quicker, this is where biking accessories come in handy.
Why? Because when you equip yourself with all the bits and pieces professionals have, you start feeling like one of them, and you can actually feel this hobby is really a part of your life, and take it seriously. Getting only the bike may be enough to get some of the people motivated to it, some of the time, but if you want to make the most of it, turning it into a habit to conquer streets, parks, and hills every day, to stay in shape, and reap all the benefits, the key to success lies in the acquiring of the adequate biking accessories.
Starting off by finding the reliable retailer, you can expect to come across a wide range of products, at affordable prices, from various brands – this goes for bikes, as much as it does for the accessories. At a first glance, it can be confusing due to the many options available, so here are the essentials you need for a safe, easy, and comfortable ride, to make this purchase less of a headache for you.
Using the bike as the means of transport, you’re going to park somewhere. Having this in mind, it’s important to get the peace of mind and ensure your bike wouldn’t be stolen by investing in a quality lock. That includes chains, as much as it does D-locks, so it’s up to you (and your pocket) to decide, just don’t forget to put this item in your shopping cart, unless you want to be buying a new bike every now and then.
Going from A to B with a bike also means you’re going to be carrying things with you (after all, it’s your transport, not just exercising means!), at least a few snacks in the form of protein bars for when on the road, to keep you energised, water and hydration mixes to keep you hydrated, electronics, additional clothes… and the list goes on. The bike can be as suitable for luggage as a vehicle, as long as you buy the right bag.
If you don’t mind getting a sweaty back and carrying the load yourself, you can go for one of the many choices of backpacks, just make sure there’s enough storage, in the form of compartments, and pockets, as well as helpful features, in the likes of sternum straps, and insulated pockets to keep things cool.
Leaving it to the bike to do the heavy carrying, there are many bags that would wow you with their properties, be it weather resistance, or storage, like the saddle bags, and rack-top bags. You wouldn’t have to worry about their safety either knowing there’s a lock designed especially for them, so word of advice is if you get one of the two, invest in a suitable lock too.
Other essentials of biking accessories have to do with the weather, since unlike vehicles, you are directly exposed to the outdoor conditions. When this is your daily exercise, and transport, day in and day out, season after season, it’s natural you won’t always take to the road when it’s sunny, but also when it’s raining, and even snowing. In terms of this, it’s more than important to invest in specialised waterproof, breathable, and visible clothing.
If you don’t have the budget to fully equip at the beginning, you should start off with the jacket, then as your rides get longer and longer, you could move on to wearing biking clothing with pride from head to toe, from all-things Lycra (like a true biker!), to specialised biking shoes with sturdy soles to withstand all the pedalling. You would no longer fear soaking!
Speaking of soaking, there are other biking accessories that would further help protect you from the weather, such as the mudguards. They are created to have your back, literally, so you can go on riding even while it’s raining, without getting your back soaking wet.
Additionally, there’s the helmet, and eyewear. The helmet isn’t as necessary as it might seem, because biking is all in all a safe sport, however, if you want to get the extra protection, make sure when you go on the quest for the ideal helmet that it’s the perfect fit, is stylish at the same time, and provides comfort.
As for eyewear, sun is always there – even on cloudy days the UV rays can be damaging, thus you can’t avoid this purchase. Then again, you wouldn’t want annoying insects getting in your eyes, would you? The cost-efficient alternative is the one with interchangeable lenses.
Once you start enjoying biking, there’s no going back! You’d get the urge to go for rides no matter the time of day, or night (having in mind night rides have magic of their own). Taking this into consideration, you can’t leave home without having the proper light source with you, both front and rear. While lights light your way, they also make you visible to the rest of the traffic, so they are a way of protection too.
If you want the best of the best, go for LEDs. Throughout the years, LEDs have undergone a great deal of changes, which made them that much powerful, and yet affordable as well. Along with the mighty beam, they are usually equipped with lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, and a design made of weatherproof materials, so you can count on durability. No wonder they are the prime choice of mountain bikers.
Years pass by, and we still require as much help as we can from tools. Biking is no exception. Sure, you may not be a handyman, as of yet, but the more you are in the company of your bike, the more you begin to understand it, and differentiate when it works properly from when it doesn’t.
Since you can’t always know when a repair might be needed, it’s advisable to carry your own toolkit with you whenever and wherever on the go, having a pump, and spare parts you can count on in times of need. Don’t forget relying on specialised literature can also save the day, so if you don’t feel like carrying a biking book, at least download some in electronic form because no one goes on rides without electronics.
Now that you know more about the biking basics, it’s time to take to take to the road, and cycle away to health!