Tips and Advice to Improve Cycling
11 Quick Solutions to Cycling Problems
Teach Your Child to Ride
Increase Your Mental Toughness
Secure Your Bike With No Lock
Never Bonk or Get Dropped
Bling Out Your Bike
Ease Aches and Pains
Properly Inflate Your Tires
Cycling is inherently relaxing, but the way you breathe can enhance the beneficial effects. "With proper technique you can breathe more efficiently, using less energy and with a calming effect," says Russell Cree, a physical therapist and owner of Upper Echelon Fitness, in Portland, Oregon. "Short, shallow breaths create a fight-or-flight response, which has negative effects on performance." Cree suggests two methods:
By altering the rhythm of your breathing, you can gain greater control over oxygen intake. Notice which downstroke you typically exhale on. If it's your right, practice exhaling on your left for one minute out of every five. Then practice a 3:2 breathing ratio, exhaling for a three count and inhaling for two. Try this for two to five minutes at a time in a variety of situations, including climbing and sprinting.
Deep-diaphragm breathing fully inflates your lungs while using less energy. Let your belly relax and drop toward your top tube (rather than raising your ribs). This calms you by maximizing inhalation and decreasing energy use. Try to take in 20 to 60 breaths per minute, depending on your level of exertion.
Do It Yourself: Bike repairs made easy with the Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance.
PLUS: Need to chill more? Try these yoga moves for cyclists.