Gentle cycling involves low impact and controlled movements in a stable position. There is less strain on your lower back and hips, as much of the weight of your body is taken by the bicycle. Cycling is relatively knee-friendly and is often used in knee joint rehabilitation.
- Choose an upright bike and adjust the saddle to a height where your heel is resting on the pedal with your knee slightly bent, to help prevent putting stress on your back, neck, shoulders, wrists and hands.
- To stay motivated, set yourself small goals or try taking different routes.
- Cycle for pleasure with your family and friends or use your bicycle to go shopping or to work.
- If you have knee problems, it is best to avoid hills and to shift gears to as low as possible.
- When using an indoor bike you can listen to music, read a book or watch television as you pedal.
- Warming up and stretching before and after going on a bike can help mobilise joints and prevent stiffness. If you feel any of your joints straining when you're cycling, take a break and do some gentle stretches.
This is general advice for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), but individuals may have specific problems. Always speak to your doctor or physiotherapist before you start a new form of exercise.
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