City Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic continue with their series of articles on how cycling affects your physiology.  This time they consider whether cycling is good for the joints.

If you suffer from chronic joint pain and inflammation or you’re body wants to change up your exercise routine, cycling can be a healthy alternative cardio and strength exercise for us. Most of us know that high impact exercises such as on running can have a harmful effect on your joints such as ankles, knees and hips over time. Cycling is a lower-impact exercise that could actually improve the health of your joints.

So, in a nutshell what are the benefits for your joints and muscles?

We all know we need to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily. Cycling will burn those calories and reduce fat, which is great but you’re also going to increase muscle strength and flexibility as well as improve joint mobility, improve posture and strengthen your bones.

When it comes down to it, cycling essentially offers the same benefits of running without the negatives.

Many of us are also dealing with nagging injuries or chronic conditions that affect the health and stability of our joints, such as arthritis and wear and tear.  Cycling can assist in pain management of these conditions by exercising our joints without the aggravation caused by high impact exercise such as jogging or most sports.

Can I overdo Cycling?

When it comes to any kind of workout routine, moderation can spell the difference between continued improvements or taking two steps back for every one step forward. Even an exercise as low impact as cycling can be damaging to your joints if you push yourself too far. The June 2011 edition of “Sports Medicine” states that up to 50 percent of cyclists experience knee pain because of overuse. Don’t make yourself a part of this groupand take a day or two off between cycling sessions.  Use this rest time of the bike to do some stretching and strengthening of other body parts. At City Physiotherapy we offer Pilates classes that are a great adjunct to cycling and a provide a fun way to improve cores stability, stretching and strengthening.

How much is too much?

In order to avoid overuse injuries that can come with cycling, don’t exceed 30 to 45 minutes on the bike per day, and make sure you do a solid warm-up before starting your workout.

Consult City Physiotherapy for an individual assessment and tailored exercise and treatment plan suited to you specifically.  Give us a call on 8212 4886 to make an appointment with one of our friendly physio’s or remedial massage therapist today.