Tracking Your Everyday Health When You Ride Your Bike: Why You Should
For many people, riding their bike to work during the week or for fun on the weekends is a fun, effective way to stay in shape and reduce their carbon footprint. Most bicycle commuters and casual enthusiasts don’t pick particularly dramatic, challenging routes that they know are going to wreak havoc on their physical health, but even if you’re riding on fairly simple paths most of the time, all that physical activity does have some effect on your body.
Most of it is good — you’re burning calories, building muscle, and increasing your stamina, among many other health benefits. But all physical activity comes with some challenges, and cycling is no different.
Minor aches and pains are nothing new, but keeping track of them can help you maintain your good physical fitness for longer and avoid injury — and monitoring your health concerns when you’re riding your bike every day can even help you make a better case if you are ever in an accident someday.
In this post, we’ll go over some of the most common health complaints of cyclists experience and help you figure out how to manage each kind.
Even though exercise is supposed to be invigorating, many cyclists actually experience some trouble in the time just after they finish their ride.
Some cyclists might have trouble breathing, or might start coughing, once they go inside after a ride.
These issues are, for the most part, minor and temporary. Of course, if they are interfering with your ability to do your job or live well, you should bring them up with your doctor and make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.
However, even these minor issues are worth noting, so that you know what you normally feel like after a ride. Having this baseline established and recorded can help you differentiate the problems between a normal ride and a ride where you’ve been injured.
Repetitive stress injuries
Whether it’s strain on a muscle or tendon, or a reaction to sustained friction on some part of your body, the repetitive motion of your legs while cycling can cause some long-term problems.
One of the most common injuries cyclists encounter is patellar tendonitis, a condition that comes from overworking your quadricep muscles. Many cyclists also experience back pain from hunching too low over their handlebars during a long ride, or friction injuries from a part of their legs rubbing against the bike seat or another part of their body.
Luckily, these issues are fairly easily resolved with rest and a re-assessment of your cycling posture. We shared solutions to these issues in another post, which you can read here.
Making a note of these injuries is critical for your long-term success as a cyclist. If you continue to overwork or disregard injured parts of your body, they will stay injured.
Injuries caused by an accident
When a cyclist is hit by a car or other vehicle, the extent of their injuries can be extremely wide-ranging. From broken bones to torn muscles to brain injuries, there’s no easy way to categorize the wide range of injuries that can result from an accident.
A doctor will be able to help to diagnose and treat your injuries after an accident, and a bicycle accident attorney can help you file a claim to get those treatments paid for by the driver’s insurance company if they were at fault for the accident.
Why you should track and record any injuries or issues you have when cycling
Unfortunately, if you are ever in an accident, the insurance company is going to fight back against paying for your treatments. They are for-profit businesses, and so it is in their best interest to find reasons to pay for as little as possible.
That’s why it is extremely helpful if you already know about pre-existing issues you have had, and even better if you have records of those issues.
If you have thorough records on your own health, then you can fight against claims the insurance company might make, implying that you already had certain injuries that you actually got from the accident. The more thorough your records, the stronger your case. When you can show what happened before and what happened after, you can get all the coverage that you need for your injuries.
Being aware of your pre-existing issues will also help you with your treatment, should you ever get into an accident. The more you can do to treat and heal your injuries along the way, the better shape you will be in; plus, understanding what “normal” looks like and feels like for your body and health will help you work with your doctor as effectively as possible.
Keeping track of your health is always a good idea, but even more so if you are a cyclist or if you are otherwise active. The better care you give yourself, the better off you will be if you are in a time of need in the future.