Ride a bike! You are right, this may not be the best type of exercise you’re missing out on, but it is one of the most underrated and enjoyable types out there. It’s similar to walking extra throughout the day (during breaks, during lunch, taking the stairs) in that it will add up to your daily caloric burn and help you maintain or lose weight. Most importantly, it will help you build and maintain lower body strength and endurance – something that slowly but surely declines as we age if we don’t do something to change it. Don’t know where to start when it comes to building lower body strength? Try a few of these lower body exercises. You can bike to work, to the gym or even to the store. You get fresh air and some much needed vitamin D. I could go on and on.
Some people may be apprehensive about spending several hundred dollars on a bike, which I completely understand. What I will tell anyone is that spending $500-$800 on a decent bike (don’t forget a helmet!) will be one of the best investments you will ever make. A decent bike can help you explore your community and terrain around you. It can help you enjoy the outdoors through exercising at a pace and effort that can’t be matched. It’s low-impact and effortlessly builds and helps maintain lower-body strength, endurance and lean body mass.
For the average cyclist wanting a solid bike for commuting, exercise, and some off-road/trail riding, I would suggest getting a hybrid style bike with a suspension fork (has shocks) with lockout capability. The reason I like the lockout fork capability is because it increases pedal efficiency when riding uphill and on flat surfaces. When you’re riding on gravel or through bumpy city streets, you can unlock the fork for smoother riding. The tires on these hybrid bikes are about an inch wide – right in between a road bike and a mountain bike – making them durable but also faster than a traditional mountain bike.
If you’re more into cycling or can’t get enough of it, I would also stand by the purchase of a road bike. They’re lighter, faster, and can cover a greater distance each ride ultimately allowing you to get more out of your bike rides and enjoy more scenery. Whatever you choose to go with, test-ride multiple different types and see what feels most comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ask a bike-technician to help fit you for a bike as well. This will speed up the process and get you riding in no time.