Bike Your Way to a Better Body

July 23, 2019

Break out those bikes

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You know two-wheeling it is a great way to shape up (and torch 500-plus calories per hour), but did you know that you can always get more out of your ride? Take these cues from Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong (nope, no relation to Lance).

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Get in tune

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If your bike’s been on hiatus for more than six months, take it for a tune-up. Pros will check everything from the wheels to the steering system, and they’ll clean it up for a smooth ride.

Stay ultra-safe

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We know you always follow traffic rules (right?), but be sure to watch out for cars, too. To avoid a suddenly opened door, give parked ones a wide berth, Armstrong advises. And don’t forget your cell phone, ID, and a helmet one that fits snugly and covers the forehead.

Tweak your technique

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Rev up your speed and power by perfecting your pedaling. If you’re biking with cages or clipless pedals which max out energy transfer try pushing and pulling in a smooth circular motion, Armstrong says. This engages more muscles, giving you leaner legs.

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Supercharge your spin

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To amp up your ride, even more, try this leg-strengthening routine: Warm up for 15 minutes, then move into a tough gear for 7 to 10 minutes; switch to a medium gear for 5 to 7 minutes, then repeat the sequence.

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Pedal with partners

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Bored riding solo? Ask your local bike shop to recommend a small “no drop” group (no one gets left behind, ever). You’ll get built-in bonding while challenging yourself.

Spin your way slim

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Cycling for just two to three hours a week helps stave off weight gain, a Harvard study suggests.