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The Ride Fit™ Blog - Health & Well-Being

Below hopefully you'll find some interesting articles on health & well-being and how this makes for a better, stronger cyclist.

10 Reasons to Drink Shakes

By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy

Fruit shakes are simple to make and packed with all the vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants you need.
Post-workout shakes, pre-workout shakes, good morning shakes! There's a time and a place for a nice cold, smooth shake any time of the day. Aside from the obvious taste benefits, and the fact that they take you back to childhood memories, supping on a big bendy straw (or is that just me?) smoothies and shakes have plenty of health benefits too. Here are 10 reasons why you might want to include shakes in your training diet.

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Aches, Pains and Saddles!

By Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, Guest Contributor and Chiropractor

A picture of a modern cycling saddle.
As I continue to age and experience gravitational forces, small little aches and pains persist in different parts of my body as I try to maintain my training regiment. Over the years, I've suffered a number of issues that I think many of you might be familiar with. Most recently, I've noticed that one knee has been higher on one side while pedaling my road bike and this occasionally leads to catching the opposite hip joint when I walk. From time to time, I also suffer from a variety of pains in the nether region. In this article we discuss these issues and look at some solutions.

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Fitbit® Flex™ Review - Wellness on your Wrist

By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™

We always get a little excited when an unexpected package arrives - unpacking the smallish box revealed a Fitbit Flex. We had no idea where it came from or who sent it but it was clearly marked for the attention of Ride Fit. We jumped at the opportunity to put this stylish little device through its paces and do a review.

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Refuel and Recover

By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy

You may think that once your body has stopped moving it's stopped working, but it hasn't. After exercise and during the all important rest period is when your body works to replenish glycogen stores and repair damaged muscle fibres. Your body works hard to adapt to the challenges placed upon it, making you fitter and stronger, so it's important to get post-exercise nutrition right; arguably more important than your pre-exercise nutrition and in-training fueling. If your body gets the nutrients it needs, when it needs them, it will be ready for the next session or challenge sooner; if it doesn't you could face fatigue and under-performance in your next workout.

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Compressed Recovery

By Dr. Joseph A. Sheppard, Guest Contributor and Chiropractor

As a dedicated athlete, I have pushed myself to the mental and physical limits during every aspect of my workouts including training techniques, technology and nutrition. I've searched the periodical journals and World Wide Web for any natural advantage to improve performance and aid in the recovery and repair of damaged muscles post workout. The use of compression clothing has been shown to increase speed, improve performance and aid recovery. While more typically associated with runners, the use of compression clothing for cycling is becoming ever more mainstream. In fact, I've been told by fellow cycling enthusiasts the lobby at a team hotel during a pro bike race will be full of riders wearing compression socks and tights. Case in point, SKINS (a leading gradient compression sportswear brand) just recently announced its 2013 partnership with the Belgian professional cycling team Lotto Belisol, and its support of the ladies cycling Wiggle Honda team.

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Do You Ever Describe Yourself As Stiff as a Board?

By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the book, "Bicycling for Food"

Alive a tree is full of growth and vitality. Dead it is stiff as a board. The same is true of your cells. What brings life, growth and vitality into your cells?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine the wood elements are the liver and the gallbladder. A healthy liver and gallbladder contribute to adaptability, flexibility and speedy cellular repair.

Learn from Kim how paying attention to your emotions, your body and surroundings, combined with visualization and stretching can help maintain these vital organs.

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Eating for Exercise

By Georgina Spenceley, Guest Contributor and Owner of Spenceley Sports Therapy

It has long been believed that exercising on an empty stomach encourages more fat burn, keeping you on the lighter side of the scales, but research suggests that this may not be the case. Not only that, but exercising fasted can also result in reduced exercise intensity and endurance levels, meaning your session may not reap the benefits you intended.

If you make the time to include a carbohydrate snack pre-workout, you could soon see your energy levels rising, and your waistband loosening.

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Plantar Fasciitis Concerns Cyclists Too!

By Gary J. Hawkins, Founder, Ride Fit™

While Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is more often associated with running it can also affect cyclists. Case in point, it's something I suffer from periodically and I can assure you running is nowhere in my past or future. Having mild PF currently, I've been doing some research and in recent weeks came across a number of sources with lots of potentially useful information. Thus, knowing that some of you may also suffer from this problem, I thought it might be helpful to summarize some of the potential solutions that are available. As you know from previous posts I'm not a medical doctor. The information given below is just that - a place to start your own research into this potentially uncomfortable problem.

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Strengthening Your Water Elements While On the Bike

By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the book Bicycling for Food

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are three water elements: the Bladder, Adrenals, and Kidneys. These organs are found in the mid to low back area. The adrenals sit like a little cap on the top of each kidney, the right a little lower than the left. Excess fluid in the body can be removed from circulation by the kidneys, flowing through the ureters (tubes) into the bladder and then out of your body.

If you look around what water elements do you see? Are you near a fountain? Do you have a bottle of water handy as you ride? Can you see a river, a reservoir or lake? Does your ride take you near a body of water or are you watching a virtual bike video with an element of water?

There are several visualizations you can do while riding outdoors or while training indoors on a turbo trainer or stationary bike.

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Tapping Into the Colors of Nature's Sensational Medicine for Healthy Cycling

By Kimberly Burnham, PhD, Guest Contributor and Author of the book Bicycling for Food

How color therapy can benefit those riding on the road, working out on a turbo trainer or exercise bike.
Tapping into the benefits of color therapy is a great way to increase the healthy outcomes you get from bicycling. Here are some things you can do whether you are riding outside in a natural environment or training indoors with a virtual reality ride video playing, like the ones available from Ride Fit™. Either way consciously paying attention to color can increase your enjoyment of your training sessions and have a positive effect on your vision, brain health and mood.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, which includes acupuncture, acupressure, herbs and exercises, practitioners talk about five elements and the colors associated with your organ health and the meridians in your arms and legs.

Here is how you can use this information on your ride.

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The Danger of Relying on Thirst to Warn of Dehydration

By Becky Bernstein, Guest Contributor and Co-Founder of Relaj

Indoor training, cycling classes, and a power ride outdoors have one thing in common: they all require proper hydration! Do you drink water only after you feel thirsty? If so, you may unknowingly be living in a dangerously dehydrated state.

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The Benefits Of Cross Training

By Gary J. Hawkins, Ride Fit™ Founder

According to Wikipedia, cross training refers to an athlete training in a sport or sports other than the one that the athlete competes in with a goal of improving overall performance. If you're a runner, the number one reason for cross training is injury prevention. If you're a cyclist (indoor or outdoor), however, you already under take a low impact sport so why consider any form of cross training?

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Proper Hydration

By Alex Grint, Ride Fit™ Contributor

Making sure you are properly hydrated for your indoor cycling workout is essential; ideally you should hydrate yourself before, during and after your ride. Long workouts (whether at home or within an indoor cycling class) will take a lot of fluids out of your body, which need replenishing. One simple way to help you tell if your body is properly hydrated is by monitoring urine volume and color. A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are well hydrated; while dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.

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Correctly Adjusting Your Stationary Bike

By Alex Grint, Ride Fit™ Contributor

Indoor cycling is one of the most popular forms of cardio exercise today. Before you start your workout itís important to ensure your exercise bike is appropriately adjusted. If youíre working out as part of a class then your cycling instructor will help out. However, if youíre on your own itís good to know a few guidelines that will ensure the appropriate setup of an upright or recumbent stationary bike. This is not only important for comfort but also to make sure that you are optimally transferring your energy to the bike and that you are doing it in such a way that you wonít injure yourself.

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Road Riders Guide to Cycle Trainers

By Yafei Zhu, Ride Fit™ Customer Relations Officer

So now you've found an excellent source of indoor cycle training videos (sorry could not resist the plug), all you need to do if you want to do indoor cycling is set your road bike up on a cycle trainer. The cycle trainer, also known as a turbo trainer, is a piece of equipment that makes it possible to ride a bicycle while it remains stationary. A trainer consists of a frame to lift your back wheel off the ground, a clamp to hold the bicycle securely and a mechanism that provides resistance when the pedals are turned. In the vast majority of cases resistance is created by a roller that presses up against the rear wheel. A number of different mechanisms have been developed to provide resistance to the roller turning, and hence to the user pedaling. The main types of trainer based on these different mechanisms will be briefly reviewed below.

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Aerobic Exercise: Training Tools for Scuba Divers [and Cyclists]

Extracted and modified from an article by Gretchen M. Ashton, CFT, NBFE

Good cardio fitness is important for cyclists and divers.
Generally speaking, the purpose of cardiorespiratory fitness is to maintain and/or improve the efficiency of the heart, lungs and vascular system. This is accomplished through aerobic exercise which is any activity that utilizes oxygen. Greater oxygen demand is created through exercise by moving primarily the large muscles of the body repeatedly and rhythmically at a particular intensity beyond the usual activity of rest or relaxation. Repeated and regular aerobic exercise causes permanent favorable changes in health and performance, strengthens the heart, improves the ability of the body to transport and utilize oxygen and waste products such as carbon dioxide, and is also beneficial for weight loss. Examples of aerobic exercise are walking, jogging, running, swimming, rowing, cycling, jumping rope, aerobics classes, and dancing.

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