Cycling is a great all-round form of exercise, excellent for your fitness and to help prevent health problems including heart attacks, strokes and arthritis. It is an ideal way to manage your weight, maintain your well-being and protect your mental health, and it’s easy to get started since you only need a bike and comfortable clothing to begin. 

Father & Daughter Cycling

Whether you’re new to cycling or you already enjoy the occasional ride, building more cycling into your routine will give your mind and body a boost and ensure you reap more of the benefits. Here at The Edge, we’re cycling addicts and we love nothing more than the freedom of wheels spinning on the open road. We’ve got some great tips and ideas about how to incorporate more cycling into your routine and we’d love to hear what works for you!

How to incorporate more cycling into your life

Cycling is not only great exercise, it’s also a brilliant form of transport, cutting down your carbon footprint by reducing the harmful emissions that are caused by motorised vehicles. Every time you opt to leave the car at home or avoid using public transport, you’ll save money and the planet, as well as time spent sitting in traffic jams! 

The number of times you can swap out the car or bus for your bike will depend upon your location and the distances you regularly travel, and not all of these tips will apply to everyone. However, there are many different ways to increase the amount of cycling you do each week and we’d love to share our favourite ideas:

  1. Cycle to work. It’s a no-brainer, cycling to work is an excellent way to increase your cycle time and boost your fitness and wellbeing. If you live within cycling distance of your workplace, you can enjoy a healthy, fun ride to work rather than facing the stresses of traffic and road rage each day, and you’ll arrive feeling like you’ve already achieved something before you begin your work day. You may notice that you become more productive at work, and you’ll look forward to the journey home as a good time to decompress and let go of your work before you relax at home. Many areas have schemes such as Cycle to Work programmes that can help you with the cost of getting started, and you may find that your company is open to the idea of putting in bike racks or storage to make the process even simpler. 
  1. Discover your local area. Have you ever wondered what’s on your doorstep? It’s often tempting to travel long distances to see beautiful places, but here in Ireland, we’re lucky to have incredible countryside and stunning views within easy reach. Set yourself the challenge of discovering your local area on your bike and you’ll soon be planning your weekends with this in mind. Grab yourself a map and work out some cycle routes that will take you in loops from your own front door and you’ll rack up the miles and feel the benefit as well as find some fantastic new places to explore.
  1. Make it a social event. Cycling is a great way to make new friends and build your social connections. Have a look for a local cycling group and then summon up your courage and go along to join in. This is a really good opportunity to discover local cycle trails and get off the beaten track in good company, and you might just make some nice new friends too. Alternatively, get together with others you know who enjoy cycling or want to get started and plan some day trips and rides together. When you make exercise a social occasion, you benefit even more from the dopamine boost and all the positive effects of spending time with others. 
  1. Use your errands to increase your cycle time. Whenever you have to pop to the shops or go to a dental appointment, see this as an opportunity to get on your bike. You can plan your day accordingly, especially if you work from home or have flexible working hours, and work out routes that allow you to get a boost of fresh air and endorphins while you get the essentials done. Every time you leave the house, you have a chance to create a short – or longer – ride that is great for your body and your mind, and it’ll soon become a challenge to come up with creative journeys that inspire you to cycle more.
  1. Take a weekend cycle break. A cycle trip is a great way to get in the miles and spend more time cycling. Ireland is packed with beautiful cycle routes and there are many longer trails that can be broken down into chunks for weekend or week-long breaks. For instance, the Kingfisher Loop is an almost 500km cycle route that includes many stunning vistas such as the caves at Marble Arch, Lough Erne and Lough Macnean. It is usually split into six parts and passes through plenty of small towns with delightful bed and breakfast stops so that you can enjoy a holiday that challenges you to improve your fitness and explore. The Wild Atlantic Way is another option, although only experienced cyclists will want to take on the 2500km journey. The route starts at Kinsale, in the south, and finishes in Derry, in the North. Depending on your cycling speed and experience, it could take a week or up to a month, but it can also be tackled in smaller sections for a series of shorter breaks. 
  2. Get an electric bike. An electric bike, or eBike, can take the pressure off your legs on hills and give you an extra boost of power when you need it, so it’s a great way to include more cycling in your life without causing yourself the stress. You can use an eBike to make a challenging commute more manageable and use it to explore further on your leisure cycles and weekend trips. It’s worth taking the time to find the best electric bike for your situation and lifestyle, and we can help you narrow down the choice by identifying exactly what you want from your bike. Your selection will depend on whether you are mostly cycling on trails, in urban settings or a combination of the two. The distance you can cover will be determined by the size of the motor on your eBike, so it’s a good idea to research the options thoroughly so that you do not invest in a bike that is not the best fit for you.

Shaping up to cycle

Cycling more regularly is a great way to increase your fitness, but there are many ways to boost your strength to make the transition easier. Cycling involves pedalling downwards with power, and then pulling up to begin again. There are specific exercises that you can add to your daily routine to improve your muscle tone and strengthen your body for both of these phases, and you’ll soon notice the difference if you do them regularly. 

Cycling is a workout for the glutes, the quadriceps, calves and hip and ankle flexors, as well as the hamstrings and fronts of the shins with the upward movement. You will find many workouts geared towards cyclists online, and these will usually include a combination of squats, deadlifts, rowing and curls, alongside core strengthening exercises that will give you the upper body and core strength you need to help you, especially on the uphill rides! 

It’s really important to warm up and cool down when you cycle, so don’t scrimp on your stretches. As you cycle more, your stamina and speed will increase so your workouts are a great way to protect your muscles and ligaments against injury and damage. If you haven’t exercised much before, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor or a personal trainer before you begin an intensive cycling regime, and building up gradually is the best way to ensure that changes in your health and fitness are sustainable and safe. Begin by adding small rides to your existing routine, such as cycling to work on one or two days per week, and build up slowly as you get fitter.

Find Your New Bike and Cycling Accessories in Ireland

Here at The Edge, we believe that Ireland is one of the best cycling locations in the world, with a great range of trails and beautiful countryside to explore. Whether you’re cycling to work or getting out on mountain trails at weekends, you can find everything you need to kit out your bike and prepare yourself for your rides. 

We have a wide selection of bikes and electric bikes to choose from and we can help you to find the best option for you and your lifestyle. Pop in and see us or visit our website to find out more about hybrid bikes, electric bikes, mountain bikes and more.


Love to cycle, run and swim!

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