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three cyclist riding on roadway. Text on right side reads "Dust off that bike and ride"

Today I’m sharing a few of my bike ride tips to help you prevent injury and enjoy this great way to explore and be active!

Among the many reasons Vancouver is a fantastic city to live in and explore, it is set up well for cycling. My personal favourite scenic routes are the Seaside trail and Arbutus Greenway. But, if you are wanting to get more adventurous Fromme Mountain provides some fun trails for all levels. Riding your bicycle is an enjoyable activity and great way to get some exercise.  

Cycling can be both casual and challenging and has many health benefits. It can increase your cardiovascular health, build muscle, and can aid in weight loss. It is a unique cardiovascular exercise in that it is very low impact, making it beneficial to people of all ages. Additionally, it forces us to get outside and enjoy that pacific northwest air. 

As with any exercise that involves a repetitive motion, cycling can put you at risk of injury. The most common injury being low back pain. 

Man mountain biking, with text "tips to prevent back pain"

Here are a few tips to help prevent this from occurring: 
  • Seat height and foot position: your seat should be adjusted so that during the push down phase your knee is in almost full extension. Riders should place the forefoot on the center of the pedals ensuring a circular push/pull movement is being applied.  
  • Body position: Riders need to keep their spines neutral and avoid any major “slouching” when riding. Additionally, there should be a slight bend in the elbows; this acts as a shock absorber and can also take some of the tension out of the upper back.  
  • Core strength: proper core strength will help with maintaining body position, reduce excessive swaying, and increase the efficiency of the cycling gait.  

In the previous post I outlined the importance of warming up before your activities to reduce soreness and prevent injury. A simple warm up before your ride in combination with these tips to reduce back pain will have you riding happy all season long! 

-Dr. Connor Hoy

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