The cycling industry is aware of the challenges plaguing overweight individuals starting their weight loss journey. Acquiring the right gear used to be one of them, but that’s no longer the case. Now, overweight and even obese persons can consider biking as an option for weight loss without worrying about their dignity or fearing their safety.
There are good bikes for overweight persons, but you also have to go about the whole thing as a heavier rider should. Allow us to teach you how to do that.
Cycling Issues for the Obese
First off, let’s start with the good. An overweight person should find cycling an excellent way to exercise. It’s not too hard on the joints and allows for an easier transition to more intense workouts.
That said, very heavy users tend to experience onset discomforts three-fold compared to average-weight beginners. Thus, the start of the journey is often a lot less fun for them.
When you’re overweight and ride a bike, there’s more stress on your knees, back, and wrists. There are effective ways to handle these pains, but you usually can’t prevent them. However, they tend to become inconsequential as soon as your body gets used to the activity. You just have to hang on until then.
Tips for the Overweight or Obese Cyclist
As someone on the heavier side, how do you ensure cycling safety and learning efficiency? Here are some tips.
Learn About Uphill Paths and the Wind
Like all beginners, you’ll want to start biking on flatter terrains first. Get a feel of your vessel and the activity before moving on to a steeper path, literally and figuratively.
In particular, uphill paths should prove the most challenging, as they factor in stronger wind and gravitational pull. That said, they should also be the most satisfying and fulfilling to traverse because of how they cause you to become out of breath.
Biking uphill and downhill is considerably more challenging for people with higher weight. It should scare you at first, but your level and experience at this point should allow you to manage your bike and the terrain accordingly. Besides, we trust that you’re in full gear before you attempt an uphill-downhill route.
Check the weather report for the day before riding uphill. You already have a lot to contend with without Mother Nature making things even more interesting. All things considered, don’t let your heavy weight be the reason not to pursue more challenging paths. After all, it’s the long and intense rides that truly make a lasting difference when done consistently.
Choose the Right Gear
You’ll obviously need larger clothing, but there’s plenty available, so that’s fine. That said, many companies seem to think that individuals of a specific size should only be wearing workout clothes that are 100 percent cotton. Not only does this type of gear make your skin wet, but it also causes chafing. Avoid these cycling garments as much as possible.
So, there you have another set of challenges for the beginner obese rider to overcome. However, you should be determined enough to find a solution. That solution is likely to come in cycling gear with aero technology.
These clothes are especially great for overweight women riders. They’re made of superior material with excellent compression and a smooth crotch chamois. They aren’t the best cycling gear you’ll ever wear, but they should be great considering your weight leaves you with very limited options.
You’ll eventually get to a point where your weight allows you to have your pick of the best of the best cycling garments. When that time comes, your progress should increase several-fold.
Consider a Recumbent Bike as an Option
Recumbent bikes could be a better option for heavier individuals than standard bikes. That’s because they have you sit on the vehicle like you would on a chair. Your feet will stick out in front of you, so less pressure should be on the joints when biking. The chair-like seat also prevents too much weight from pressing on your wrist.
However, these bikes aren’t the most practical for city cycling. They don’t have the best brakes and are therefore not as easy to bring to a stop. They’re also lowered-down bicycles, so it could be difficult for car drivers to notice them immediately.
That said, they should be a breeze to take on bike trails and uphill rides. If you’re not a fan of biking outdoors, you can purchase a recumbent stationary bike for indoor use. Look up some indoor cycling programs for your particular model, and you should be able to get some good exercise done on the regular.
Cycling Is for Everyone!
Like any physical activity, cycling is more difficult for overweight individuals to get started on. However, we are at an age where bike models for heavier individuals exist, and tips for a more fulfilling and efficient journey apply across all weight spectrums.