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Fun Family Cycling

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Fun Family Cycling

Turning your family into a chain gang is one of the easiest ways to get out and about while enjoying the benefits of a cardiovascular workout and firming up those thighs and calves. It can be especially useful in persuading a reluctant spouse to loosen their grip on the armchair for a couple of hours at the weekend.

It doesn’t have to be all about a gentle ride down the local promenade in single file. No, if the Tarmac seems a little too tame, then choosing a mountain biking centre can provide as much adrenalin-fuelled action as any young, or not so young, cyclist requires.

The mud spattered faces and excitable chatter on the way home will be all the evidence you need that a good time has been had by all.

Clocking Up the Miles

The miles will fly by, and while working on your muscle tone may be tedious at times in the gym, where even the hi-energy musical backdrop can’t dull the boredom of crunches and reps, in the saddle you won’t even notice the work that your body is getting through clocking up the miles, or negotiating a countryside track.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of family bonding, either. Cycling can nurture a mutual interest that can make non-communication between parents and teenagers a thing of the past. Not only that, while your toning regime was previously an exclusive pursuit that meant a solitary trip to the gym, or the exercise mat in the spare bedroom, cranking through the gears means the kids can have fun and you can workout all at the same time.

Cycling can not only broaden the family’s horizons in terms of the local area, the increased popularity of two wheels in terms of both sport and leisure means there is a world of choice when it comes to pedaling through European forests, across breathtaking North American terrain, or even heading to Asia for some extreme action that will really test your physical mettle.

Joining the Local Club

Even within the confines of your own country, taking family cycling to the next level can be achieved by joining the local club, where those who fancy a little competition can find it via road racing or cyclo-cross challenges.

The key to making the most of your family sessions is to ensure there is plenty of variety to your rides, rather than following the same old trail or route. This should help your fitness, too, by introducing the element of surprise, for example in the shape of an uphill challenge you weren’t expecting, that really asks some serious questions of your leg muscles.

Don’t forget the importance of correct technique and posture, too. Not only will this ensure you avoid any aches and pains, or minor injuries, but will also call into play your abdominals and lower back muscles, which will enjoy their own toning session while ensuring you are nice and upright in the saddle.

Although cycling does require the initial investment in a bike and that all important safety helmet, look upon the financial outlay as money you otherwise would have spent on fitness studio fees. Both represent money well spent, but the bike buys you extra time with your loved ones.

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