A cyclist rides on a fully loaded touring bicycle.

Published on October 6th, 2014 | by Pam Emerson

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Maintaining Fitness While on a Long Bicycle Tour

Ok, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t cycling enough physical activity? Why would you need to maintain fitness while on tour? Well, let’s think about it. Bicycling is a very leg dominant activity. Sure, you need a strong core to hold yourself up. And the calves of bicyclists are notoriously huge. But, generally speaking, the majority of your power for cycling is going to come from your upper legs. A bicycle is a very efficient machine, and over time, you’ll get more efficient at riding. That means you can actually lose some of your fitness over the course of a long tour, if you’re not careful.

So what do you do about it? I have some ideas. I am planning for an upcoming tour, and I want to incorporate some extra-curricular exercises to help maintain my strength and endurance, for when I get off the bicycle. Here’s what I’m thinking: Each day incorporate some or all of these into a post-ride workout. Nothing too strenuous, and followed by some good yoga stretching poses, such as downward dog and pigeon.

  • Core
    • Planks
    • Wall Walks
  • Upper Body
    • Handstands and Handstand Pushups
    • Pushups
  • Lower Body
    • Squats
  • Cardio
    • Running
  • Total Body
    • Burpees

It’s convenient to focus on bicycling while on tour. But let’s not neglect the other aspects of health and well-being. By adding some of these other activities in, we’ll be more ready to tackle any challenge that comes our way. What kinds of exercises do you incorporate into your daily lives? What about when you’re on tour? Let us know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor an exercise expert. This post is intended for information only and contains my opinions. Please seek medical advice before beginning an exercise regimen.

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About the Author

is an avid bicycle tourist who enjoys sharing her love for bicycling with all she meets.



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