Last Updated on March 21, 2023 by Igor Karni
Cycling is a popular hobby. It’s an inexpensive transportation method, an efficient way to exercise, and a fun pastime. These are just some reasons why Statista reports that 4 million young adults participate in cycling in America.
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However, the CDC’s 2022 “Burden of Cigarette Use in the US” finds that the country is also home to over 30 million smokers – and it’s possible that you’re both.
If you want to fully experience the benefits of cycling, you’ll need to prepare thoroughly – especially as a smoker whose health is not at par with regular bikers. After all, cycling is a physical activity, even if you’re only doing it for fun or as a way to get around.
With that in mind, here are some tips to get fit for biking.
Quit smoking before you start cycling
Biking is an aerobic activity. It will get your heart pumping. Since the chemicals in cigarettes thicken your blood and cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels, it can restrict your ability to bike for longer.
Quitting smoking will improve your endurance. You can do so gradually by using smoking cessation aids like nicotine pouches and lozenges.
A nicotine pouch is an oral product placed between the lip and the gum. The nicotine pouches sold on Prilla are tobacco-free, only containing nicotine, flavorings, and plant-based fibers.
This helps you avoid experiencing the impact of cigarettes on your physical endurance. A popular brand you can look into is ZYN, which offers fun flavors like coffee and cinnamon.
Meanwhile, nicotine lozenges are tablets that dissolve in the mouth. The nicotine lozenges from Commit come in 2 doses – 4mg and 2mg – to match your usual cigarette consumption. Both aids can cause dizziness if you use too strong of a dose, so don’t use them as you bike.
Focus on improving your nutrition
Given the long-term effects of smoking on one’s health, Verywell Mind’s 2022 article “How Smoking Depletes Your Body of Vitamins” recommends that smokers take vitamin C to repair cells and vitamin E to boost the immune system.
You must regain these vitamins – among other nutrients – to have the energy and strength for biking.
Ensure you eat healthy, balanced meals as you prepare to begin cycling. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to get the vitamins you need.
You can also take supplements, like tablets or juices, to help complete your vitamin intake. Finally, hydrate regularly so your body has enough fluids to handle your cycling activities.
Begin your biking journey slowly
When beginning your biking journey, remember not to push yourself too hard- primarily if you smoked, lived a sedentary lifestyle, and are just starting to bike.
Beginning slowly will help you adjust accordingly and build your endurance as your body recovers, preventing you from getting into accidents like falling off your bike due to dizziness.
One way to do this is by using an electric bike. Our article “Are Electric Bikes Good for Exercise?” informs that these provide electric assistance, which can help you maintain balance and ride without exerting too much effort.
Another tip is to stop by the side of the road if you’re feeling too breathless or nauseous to avoid falling over and getting injured.
Undergo cycling endurance training
Once you’re more comfortable with biking, you can start doing cycling endurance exercises. These are a specific set of moves that will improve your fitness, letting you bike for longer periods and distances.
Read also: Does riding an e-bike help lose belly fat? And, Does riding an electric bike help train strength and endurance?
Do activities like cycling uphill, switching up sprints and gentle rides, and trying to bike longer each time. If you’re uncomfortable doing these on the road, you can start with a stationary bike in the gym.
Practicing these exercises will build your endurance—which may be low due to your past smoking habit. If you remain consistent with your training, you can cycle effortlessly in no time. You may even discover that you’re fit enough to do marathons.
Smoking and cycling don’t go together. With the tips above, you can quit smoking and safely prepare for your newfound hobby.