A Full Cycle of Tips from Providence – For Everyone from Serious Cyclists to Families Out For Fun

June 06, 2014

Providence Bridge Pedal isn’t just fun – it’s good for you and your entire family. Sunday, Aug. 10, more than 18,000 cyclists and walkers will gather in Portland to participate in the 19th annual Providence Bridge Pedal and Providence Bridge Stride. The bike ride is the nation’s second largest community bicycling event.

Don't hold those stretches too long

A new study suggests that stretching your muscles for more than 30 seconds prior to cycling could actually diminish athletic performance. Researchers studied athletes for 10 years and they discovered when athletes did static stretches for longer than 30 seconds it caused the nervous system to tighten a stretched muscle. Providence physical therapists recommend exercises such as walking lunges or knee-to-chest walking before your workout.

Wear a well-fitting helmet. It could save your life

Experts from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute say that helmet use reduces the risk of head injury by an estimated 85 percent. Providence physical therapists say that bike helmets should fit low on the forehead and snugly. All participants in the 2014 Providence Bridge Pedal are required to wear a helmet while riding.

Ride to reduce your risk of a top killer: Heart disease

Aerobic activity is great for heart health, and cycling is one of the best aerobic exercises. It works large groups of muscles without putting a lot of stress on joints. Regular cycling will lower blood pressure, increase good cholesterol, reduce bad cholesterol, improve circulation, help with weight loss and build muscle. Riding also reduces stress by releasing feel-good hormones called endorphins. Providence experts recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week to keep your heart healthy.

Get a bike fit analysis at Providence Sports Care Center

Are you fit to ride and is your ride fit for you? Providence Sports Care Center at Providence Park offers a bike fit analysis to make sure that you and your bike are suited to each other. The analysis is for cyclists of all levels and will test your strength and flexibility to improve your cycling power and help you ride more comfortably.