Should You Keep Cycling in Winter?

Riding in the cold doesn’t have to be tough, in fact, it can be great fun. Imagine the same climb that would normally leave you drenched in sweat will make you look like a steam train going uphill in the winter because every breath you exhale condenses into a white mist in the air. Your usual stops for a break for a soda pop might be replaced with hot cocoa in the winter. Or even, at the end of a ride, you find ice left in your cup.

However many cyclists prefer to train indoors in the winter because they’re afraid of the cold, and thankfully, this problem can be solved with the right winter cycling gear.

The right warm tights, gloves, shoe covers, windproof jackets, and other gear will not only keep you warm and comfortable riding outdoors in the winter but will also allow you to experience the sport of cycling in a whole new way and feel. In short, outdoor riding is always more fun than indoor riding and has multiple benefits.

Is It Good to Cycle in Winter?

While riding in the winter is fraught with some challenges, it also comes with many mental and physical health benefits.

Builds up your body’s resistance

One of the most basic benefits of cycling in winter is that it aids blood circulation and helps the body to boost its immunity. As you ride, your limbs get a full workout. And as the cycling time increases and the intensity of the exercise increases, the speed of blood circulation will also be slowly increased, and slowly circulate to all parts of the human body.

Burn more calories

The colder weather causes you to burn more calories to maintain your body temperature when you exercise, so winter exercise burns more calories in the same environment than when it’s hot. The calories burned from cycling increase slightly when cold air comes into contact with a warm body when the body burns roughly 3% to 7% more calories. If you want to lose weight, don’t miss this wonderful time!

Strengthening the heart

Cold weather also puts more load on the heart in distributing blood throughout the body. To combat heart problems in order to manage the extra stress, this process can exacerbate illness or injury. However, with regular exercise for cardiovascular endurance, the heart muscle can be made stronger, which can reduce the likelihood of heart disease later in life.

Prevent osteoporosis

Riding in winter allows the body to fully enjoy the sunlight and receive the ultraviolet rays of daylight, which promotes the body’s absorption of calcium, which can prevent the deterioration of joints, and also reduces the loss of minerals in the bones.

Easier to be happy

When the weather is cold, the humidity and stuffiness are reduced. Riding in the cold season when the temperature is low, the body is stimulated by the cold mechanism and will secrete more endorphins, which will also cause the body to produce a sense of happiness and well-being, so it is easier to be happy when riding in winter.

More self-discipline

The freedom is not to do whatever you want but to be self-disciplined. Winter cycling requires a strong inner drive, which is a high degree of self-discipline. Feel spring, summer, autumn, and winter with your heart. The charm of nature is not only harmony and softness but also includes frost and wind.

What cycling gear do you need for winter riding?

Helmet + Beanie

Helmets are not only essential for winter riding but also for everyday riding to protect your head in critical moments. In winter, roads are slippery, and falls happen all the time. Wearing a qualified helmet not only keeps your head warm but also reduces the damage to your head in the event of an accident. If paired with a knitted hat, the warmth can be improved.

Cycling Gloves

Riding gloves are an indispensable piece of equipment in the winter, not only to avoid bruises when falling but also to prevent wind and keep warm. Some people think that the thicker the gloves, the better, but in fact, too heavy gloves, not only increase the weight of the hand but also hinder the flexibility of the fingers, affecting the ride.

Winter Cycling Clothing

The nature of winter temperatures causes you to wear neither more nor less. It is best to wear a long-sleeved sweat-wicking T-shirt as the innermost layer. Try not to wear pure cotton. Although it has a good sweat-absorbing effect, it will be very uncomfortable to stick to the body. The second layer should be insulated fleece while the outermost layer should be wind-resistant. 

Compared with the upper body, the lower body is usually less susceptible to cold. However, when riding in winter, the cold air blows directly on the wind-exposed knees, which is very bad for the knees. It is recommended to wear long cycling pants and cover the knees. Cover it up. In extremely cold weather, you can choose long cycling pants made of fleece for better warmth retention.

Cycling Glasses

Cycling glasses have also become a must-have equipment all year round. In winter, the wind and sand are generally larger, and the ultraviolet rays are also quite strong. Cycling glasses that fit the face shape can effectively protect you. When riding in the snow, cycling glasses are more effective in reducing the damage caused by the reflection of sunlight on the eyes, and those with polarisation functions are even better. It is recommended that you choose cycling glasses with removable lenses so that you can use sunglasses during the day and yellow lenses at night, making them multi-purpose.

Sunscreen Products

Although outdoor sports in winter are good for health, the skin is easily eroded by cold wind outdoors, so corresponding maintenance is also particularly important. The focus of skin care in winter is sun protection and moisturizing. In winter, our skin is more prone to dryness, metabolism is slower, and the skin’s self-repair ability will be weaker. Ultraviolet radiation will accelerate skin aging, so whether there is visible strong sunlight or not, you need to use sunscreen products. Sunscreen products are time-effective and need to be replenished regularly when exercising outdoors for a long time. The areas around the eyes, cheeks, and lips on the face are prone to dryness, so proper moisturizing care is required.

Keep A Habit

Keep riding, even in the cold wind, the enthusiasm of riding will keep you from feeling cold. Imagine your friends asking you what you’re going to do this weekend, you say you’re going out for a bike ride and they shake their heads in disbelief. You’ll be the cyclist to remember, not the one who shudders at the thought of cycling in winter.

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