“The negative consequence of a cycle-only exercise routine is the loss of bone strength,” says Scott Rector, PhD, author of a study that determined that cyclists tend to have significantly less bone density than runners and weight lifters. Among other issues, this condition increases your odds of sustaining a fracture if you crash. Don’t let your cycle-centric exercise regimen leave you vulnerable. Include the following in your regular routine for a strong skeleton.
To add both mass and density to your skeletal structure, Rector recommends a combination of plyometrics (dynamic moves such as box jumps and clapping push-ups), rope-jumping and resistance exercises. For results most likely to keep you intact in a crash, work the areas you want to protect.
Some researchers theorize that, due to the duration of most training rides, cyclists are more likely than many other types of athletes to sweat out their mineral stores. Besides the obvious (milk), consume good calcium sources such as almonds, white beans, broccoli and figs. Another way to get your calcium is to bask in the sun—vitamin D regulates your absorption of it. Expose your face and arms for 15 sunscreen-free minutes three times a week.