- the condition of being physically fit and healthy.
“disease and lack of fitness are closely related”
synonyms: good health, strength, robustness, vigor, athleticism, toughness, muscularity
- the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task.
“he had a year in which to establish his fitness for the office”
synonyms: suitability, capability, competence, ability, aptitude
No matter which definition of “fitness” you look at, it applies to riding a motorcycle.
Any rider knows that riding is a good workout and it quickly gets us in shape during the exciting spring season, keeps us fit during beautiful summer trips and those wonderful, crisp fall days.
We may not have to implement extra fitness activities during those times in order to stay in shape. However, during the holidays and football bowl season and playoffs many of us tend to overeat and become couch potatoes.
If you are one of the many who fall into this pattern, maybe this year can be different.
Correlation of Motorcycle Safety and Fitness
It takes strength and endurance to properly control a motorcycle. The more control you have over your bike the safer it will be to ride. You need the ability to react quickly to a sudden change in road conditions, or the stupid maneuver that car driver just made in front of you!
On longer rides, you need to keep fatigue to a minimum. The more fatigue you experience, whether that be physical or mental, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.
Studies have shown that at least two things result from fatigue:
- Loss of quick judgement, and
- Decreased reaction time
Those two things are not conducive to safe riding, and when coupled with any strength issues that may cause loss of control of your bike, can lead to a serious motorcycle accident.
Accidents aside, good fitness can make your ride more enjoyable overall.
Motorcyclist Workout Components
Before I begin, let me state that this article is not meant to cover the fitness level needed for sport bike events such as motocross or taking laps at the raceway… it is a simple primer with tips for basic fitness to ride your street bike more safely.
The two basic fitness components are “aerobic” fitness and “anaerobic” fitness.
Aerobic fitness involves your body’s ability to do work over a sustained period of time. In this area your cardiovascular system is in play, oxygenating your muscles and your mind. Working out for aerobic fitness takes logging some time with endurance exercises such as swimming, running, walking, or pedaling.
The second area of fitness is the Anaerobic piece, which is more focused on the muscle system in your body. The workouts that increase anaerobic fitness are generally higher intensity exercises for shorter periods. The process requires your muscles to burn glycogen, not oxygen. Weight training is the classic anaerobic exercise, but another great one for those who can no longer lift heavy weights is yoga.
You’ll want to perform a combination of these two categories of exercise and do them on a regular basis. It is always easier to stay motivated to do if you enjoy the form of exercise you choose. The idea is to want to do an activity, not force yourself to have to do it.
In my next article, I will discuss specific exercises that will help you stay fit for maximum cycle riding safety and enjoyment.
Until then, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Lee D. Gaber, Esquire, Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney at 888-292-5352 (888-CYCLE-LAW) to answer any questions you may have about insurance coverage, motorcycle safety, and of course motorcycle accidents and injuries.