Fit to Ride?
There are a wide variety of ways you can build your general fitness level and improve your cardio-vascular fitness.
Before embarking on any exercise regime, it's important to have a check up with your doctor. If you have any physical conditions which might preclude you from doing a certain type of exercise, your doctor will be able to advise you.
Walking is a good, low-impact way to improve your general health. My personal fitness regime includes walking right in front of my television, using the Walk Away the Pounds series of exercise DVDs by Leslie Sansone. The workouts include marching (in place, obviously), side steps, knee lifts and kicks. To add variety, there are workouts including intervals of weight training with the walking, as well as kick boxing intervals. I've been doing the workouts for three years now and still love them.
Swimming is an excellent way to improve all-round fitness. If you have access to a pool, taking a swim on a hot afternoon is both pleasant and good for you.
While riding regularly is good exercise in itself, riders will greatly benefit from any of the above activities as well as stretching and strengthening exercises to tone and supple the body and help prevent muscle strains, such as the one I experienced.
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