Join the growing number of London commuters switching to cycling and enjoy the health benefits
It’s no secret that cycling has huge health benefits. It is great for a healthy heart, improving cardiovascular fitness but also mobilises your major joints. Here at Core, we are promoting cycling to work. It’s a lot less stressful than driving and tubing especially with London’s recent growth in cycle superhighways, extra cycle lanes and routes particularly around major roundabouts.
The Benefits of Cycling
Lots of our osteopaths and other staff come to Core Clapton by bike. They enjoy it because it’s cheaper, faster and more reliable than other forms of transport, and it gets you physically and emotionally ready for the day. It also means you’ve already exercised before you’ve even started work! Not to mention it’s better for the environment and lowers your carbon footprint.
What Cycling Does For Your Health
Cycling is a great form of exercise with many health benefits including:
improved posture, balance and coordination
as a low impact sport, it’s less likely to cause post-exercise discomfort
If you’re no Bradley Wiggins, you can ease your way in gently with an electric bike that still allows you to exercise on the downhills and flats but gives you help on the hills. If you’re more bike savvy, you can step it up with some out of saddle riding. The constant balance shift from right to left leg improves core stability.
First Time Cycling? Here’s what to do...
Wear the right clothes - Layer up, have a high vis on, a good fitting helmet, cycling clips over your trousers, gloves with a good grip surface and a waterproof jacket.
Do post-cycling stretches - Focus on cool down stretches to loosen off tight muscles.
Bike Set Up - Choosing a bicycle, and having it set up correctly, will help reduce any potential discomfort during and after a ride. For example, having your saddle at the optimal height will reduce the load on your leg muscles and joints. Choosing a city bike as opposed to a racing bike will allow a more upright sitting position and may be a more comfortable choice for beginner cyclists. Your local bike shop will be able to advise and help you make any adjustments.
How Osteopathy Can Support Your Cycling Habit
Cycling long distances can tighten your hip flexors, create lower back and neck tension. Book in with your osteopath to help prevent injury. They can help alleviate tightness in your neck, back and hip flexors with muscle energy techniques.
Take note: If you’re going to take up a new form of exercise, speak to your GP or osteopath first.
Two Quick Post-Cycle Stretches
Lunge stretch for hip and thigh
Place your left knee on the floor and take your right foot forward. With it flat on the floor, your knee directly above your right heel and with an upright posture, lean gently forward until you can feel a gentle stretch on the front of your left thigh. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg.
From a seated position, hold one side of the bottom of your chair seat with your right hand placing your left hand over your head cupping the back of your head and gently forward flex at the same time side bending your head to the left, lengthening the right hand side of your neck, stretching neck muscles. Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite side.
Join a wellness class at Core to help with any muscular tension.
Coming Up at Core Clapton
Come in for a “Cycling talk” in the New Year delivered by one of our osteopaths, Renato, and a cycling expert, and watch out for a later blog aimed at more seasoned cyclists.
To find out how you can join us at one of our community talks, check out the Core Clapton website where you can also sign up to our newsletter.