Cyclists are prone to injury—both acute and overuse injuries. Acute injuries are caused by falling from a bike, and overuse injuries can be caused by improper setup, equipment, training, or posture.
Cyclists can prevent injury with a few changes to their routine. A solid warm up prepares the muscles for cycling. You can increase your range of motion, impulse rate, blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. The warm up can prevent injury and also boosts performance. A complete cool down with light stretching after cycling allows the heart rate to slowly decrease, helps remove lactic acid from the muscles, and reduces muscle soreness.
Beyond a proper warm up and cool down, wearing proper gear is equally as important. It can be a life saving choice—especially for those who ride on the road with vehicles. A helmet should always be worn to prevent cycling injury. It should be properly fitted and replaced every few years to ensure protection. Gloves and protective pads are also suggested.
With any sport or activity, nutrition and hydration are also important. Proper hydration and nourishing your body with nutritious food can make or break your training. Muscles can heal faster and recovery time is reduced when a person has the proper fuel for his or her body.