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Recumbent bicycles are bicycles that allow the rider to sit leaning back, with feet up to pedal. There are a wide variety of recumbent bike styles. Since they are usually manufactured in small quantity, they tend to have very unique characteristics.
Recumbent bikes can have over seat or under seat steering. In over seat steering, the rider uses a regular handlebar arrangement. In under seat steering, the steering is accomplished using a handlebar arrangement that protrudes from either side of the seat, allowing the arms to be down by the rider’s side when steering.
Recumbent bikes can also have two or three wheels. The two wheel variety are harder to control at slow speeds, as the low center of gravity makes it harder to maintain balance. Three wheelers have greater stability, and are easier to get started and stopped. When stopped, the rider does not have to remove his feet from the pedals on a three wheeler.
Three wheel recumbent bikes come in two different types. The delta variety has two rear wheels and a single front wheel. The tadpole variety is just the opposite, with two front wheels and a single rear wheel behind the rider’s seat.
Recumbent bicycles are generally much safer than upright bicycles. Because they are close to the ground, the fall from a recumbent bike is from a shorter distance, and less likely to be a head first fall.
It is also more comfortable to ride a recumbent bicycle. The body is in a seated position in something more like a chair, not straddling a seat as with a bicycle. There is no weight on the arms, hands, or shoulders as one would have in a upright bicycle. With the leaned back position, the rider is free to enjoy the scenery around him without straining his neck. Recumbent bicycles are a good choice for those who suffer from chronic neck and back pain.
Recumbent bikes are not always easy to find in some parts of the country, and they are fairly expensive to purchase. If you are unable to locate a bike to try, you may find a stationery one at a local gym or YMCA.
I loved riding my bike as a kid. We would ride all around town and back and forth to school. After school we got together to ride bicycle and talk about what happened at school, our worries, our dreams. Bike riding kept us healthy, busy and happy. As an adult I realize bike riding offers many benefits for the body, as well as for the spirit. Now that I am in my 40’s I started again to enjoy it. One of the things the doctor ordered was exercise to be in better health condition.
Bicycling is a good cardiovascular exercise that could increase the health of your heart. A bike with several speeds will allow you to increase you fitness level as your cardiovascular function improves. Begin by riding at an easy speed over even ground. If what you want is a challenge change your terrain.
Bicycling is kind to the joints. As we get older we experience Joint pain especially in the knees as they Osteoporosis causes joint problems to worsen because of the lack of proper calcium levels in the bones. Bike riding offers exercise without pain. The aerobic benefit is comparable to jogging or running without the strain. Check that the seat height on your bike is adjusted to allow your legs full range of motion with each revolution. Full range of motion also promotes better circulation to the lower extremities which do the majority of the work in moving the bicycle.
Bicycling whips those leg muscles into shape. For muscular endurance, stick to a flat terrain, but adjust the speed of the bike as your strength improves. To avoid cramping, stretch thoroughly before and after each bike ride.
Bicycling increases your balance. Learning to ride a bike is all about staying upright. To do that, you have to find a balance between your body and the bike. Maintaining that balance strengthens the core muscles of the abdominal region. Tightening the core muscles keeps you from falling off of the bike. The lower abdominals pull your legs back towards you body from the bottom of the cycling revolution. The lower back is also kept pain free by a strong balanced core.
It’s also great way to release your stress from daily work either if you work at home or have a regular job. You can do it inside the house with an exercise bike, but also you can take your bike out and enjoy nature. Families, friends, can share the experience which can help you be together and give the opportunity to communicate with each other. I believe that we as families, friends, have to look for common grounds to share with each other as we do with friends. Feeling good with yourself and with your loved ones, is one of the greatest benefits you can get from this exercise.
Bike Repair and Maintenance
Keeping your bicycle at its optimum performance is basic for receiving the benefits of bike riding and riding safely. You can take it to a bicycle repair shop or do it yourself. Couple of things to keep in mind.
Take a good look at all bicycle systems and check for things that need to be fixed.
Brake system: Check that brake cables are not broken, brake pads should be in good condition and brake handles should work properly. Check the brake caliper.
Tires: If they had been flat for some time and look broken, consider changing for new ones. If the tire is all right consider changing the tire tubes. Before buying them check on the side of the tire its number. For example 20 x 1.50
Seat: Seat must be appropriate in size for you and comfortable. Consider cushioned seats.
Safety: Check that the bicycle has lights and reflectors to advice others you are on your way. Consider installing a bell or a horn to let others know you are moving through.
Prepare a small bicycle bag with tube patches or air filler, tools that can help in case you need to change a broken bicycle part when riding. Is recommended to have a frame bicycle pump. Have available a water bottle for hydration. There is one that you can install on the frame.
Other bicycle parts to check: bicycle chain, pedals, bike stand, handles grips,
Riding a bike is not just for kids. The physical benefits increase as you get older. Besides, bike riding is just plain fun. So, get moving!
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