Five things Women Can Do for Pain-Free Recreational Cycling
Well maybe we don't cycle like this do we?
Whether you are going out with the family for a ride, checking out a nearby trail, or taking a cycling tour with some friends, you can make that experience a pleasant one right from the start if you follow these simple tips:
- Proper Lower Body Clothing : Too often we make poor clothing choices for cycling. If you are planning on making cycling a habit, dress to ensure pain isn’t the reason you stop. Choose clothing that is tighter fitted on your lower body to avoid material bunching up and rubbing around your legs. If you are worried about wearing tight cycling shorts, get padded cycling shorts that fit underneath your casual clothing. They are well designed with padding that wicks away moisture and often have hidden seams so they don’t cause skin irritation. Check out Louis Garneau or Primal Wear.
- Proper Upper Support: This is something a lot of women overlook. You are exercising so choose a sports bra with support. That doesn’t mean you need to squash your breasts up like mashed potatoes. A sports bra means: no underwire digging into your ribs, no straps gouging your shoulders, and no hooks digging in your back. A properly fit sports bra will reduce your bounce, by providing front and side support. Sports bras are also designed to keep you cooler and wick away moisture so you will sweat less and your overall ride will be a better experience.
- Take a bag: Make sure you have all the things you need for your ride. Healthy snacks, water, a repair kit, and extra cloths if needed. You can get a great basket for the front of your bike, or get yourself set up with some saddle bags to carry all your belongings. Don’t take a backpack. You will be bent over your handlebars putting all that extra weight onto your shoulders and back. By the end of your ride you will have a sweaty sore back, and aching shoulders.
- Yoga: A little yoga can be added to your cycling routine to help prepare your body or help it to relieve tension halfway through your ride. You can do a couple of quick yoga poses like downward dog, or cat pose, or a short series like Sun Salutation A. Yoga incorporates a good full body stretch as well as breath control, which will release tight muscles and tension.
- A Proper Seat: You didn’t seriously think I wasn’t going to write an article about comfortable riding and not mention the Spiderflex hornless saddle did you? A regular cycling seat is not designed with a woman’s body in mind. In fact, I’m not even sure it was even designed with the man’s body in mind. A regular horned saddle puts pressure on the sit bones and the genital area; causing discomfort, pain, and numbness. A gel cover is not a solution as it merely masks the poor design. The ergonomically designed Spiderflex seat is designed with no horn to hurt your genitals and transfers the weight to cradle the seat bones.
It should never hurt to get out on your bicycle and go for a ride.