Most of the articles that you will come across about getting ready for a long motorcycle ride tackle the kind of equipment that you need to make sure you don’t leave behind, but almost none of them will tell you what you have to do with your body before touring.
It takes a lot of physical stamina, as well as mental focus, to ride your bike for a whole day. It can’t even compare to spending several hours behind the wheel in a car. You get uncomfortable, sweaty, too hot or cold, and you always have to make sure you maintain the correct posture so that you can ride for even more hours. Furthermore, motorcycle riding requires more strength, mostly because you constantly have to manoeuvre it.
Here are some pieces of advice that might be able to help you if this is the first long ride you’re planning.
Improving the fitness of your lungs and heart and increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen to your muscles can be done through aerobic exercises.
If you are out of shape and you’re not feeling up to going to the gym, you can start with simple exercises such as walking and light running. Cycling and swimming are two other activities that increase your endurance, so you might want to consider getting your bike out of the garage (if you still own one).
It’s highly recommended that you tend to your aerobic training routine for 30 minutes at least three times per week. However, before beginning any type of cardiovascular program, it is a good idea to consult a physician, particularly if you haven’t worked out in a long time.
Acquiring and maintaining flexibility
Flexibility is essential when it comes to making sure that your long ride will go as planned. If you aren’t flexible enough, you’re putting yourself at risk by affecting your muscle coordination and as such, increasing the chances of getting injured. You’ll also experience lower back pain, as well as sore muscles if you aren’t flexible.
The most effective way of improving and retaining flexibility is by performing stretching exercises on a daily basis. The areas where flexibility is essential are your back, your neck, your thighs, as well as your hamstrings.
There are many videos and books that can assist you in creating your own stretching program. You can begin by warming up for five to ten minutes with some aerobic activity such as cycling or walking as these solicit your most flexible muscles, the ones you use every day, anyway. When performing your stretching exercises, make sure you adopt the correct body position. If you do not, you risk injuring yourself, but you can do the same by overstretching, too.
Consistency and commitment are the keys to becoming flexible before you hit the road. Naturally, you cannot improve your flexibility just two days before your trip. Start at least several weeks before you go on a long motorcycle ride.
Core body strength
Improving your core body strength is a lot more important than working on the muscles in your arms, for example. The muscles that you will use the most when riding your motorbike are those in your back and in your abdominal area.
They are deep, you can’t see them, and that’s why they are often overlooked since most people associate the idea of being in perfect physical shape with the image of a bodybuilder. However, for a motorcyclist, the back and abdominal muscles are those that can maintain balance and stability. Yoga and Pilates are two types of exercise that can help you gain and maintain core body strength, along with abdominal crunches.
Before your trip
You need to make sure you do two things before you leave. It’s highly recommended that you refrain from consuming any type of alcohol the night before your trip because it can take you hours to regain the control you have when you’re completely sober. Besides, drinking alcohol before a long ride is a recipe for disaster as you’ll end up dehydrated, you’ll have to make multiple stops, and you’ll lose focus.
Almost 60% of our body is made of water, so it is extremely important for you to avoid getting dehydrated. Naturally, you needn’t drink a lot of it right before you hop on your motorcycle since it will be a nuisance to have to stop frequently. But making sure that you drink enough water beginning with a day before you leave will at least give you the reassurance that you’re not severely dehydrated even if you don’t drink water right before your ride.
Author: Patrick Cullard
Chief editor at blog youngchoppers.com.