In this guest post, Brooke Cade offers 5 compelling motivations to keep you cycling through the long, cold winter. It can be hard to stay motivated and keep cycling when the days are long and cold. Check out these 5 motivations to help you keep on cycling, so you can keep on experiencing the many mental and physical health benefits of cycling.
The history of the bicycle dates all the way back to the 15th century, when Giovanni Fontana built the first-ever version of the bicycle. It wasn’t until nearly 400 years later, however, that the standard two-wheel bicycle started its widespread popularity across the globe. Today, there are over a thousand different brands of bicycles and more than 66 million Americans partake in the activity of cycling.
Though everyone has their own reasons for loving cycling, one thing is certain: cycling has an array of attributes that undoubtedly boost happiness. Along with improving mental and physical health, cycling also helps you build strength, expand social circles, reach goals, and much, much more.
While weather in the spring, summer, and fall months is ideal for enjoying long rides in the saddle, staying motivated to cycle during long, cold winters can be difficult. By keeping these five motivational factors in mind, you’ll find that winter can be the perfect time to explore new routes, try different training techniques, take much-needed breaks, and more.
Motivation #1: Build Strength and Maintain Good Health
As you probably know, when it comes to improving your skills and abilities, consistency is key. Along with boosting your skills, being consistent with your training also helps ensure you’ll stay strong and healthy throughout the winter. On cold, sunny days, making an effort to get out and ride will give your body the chance to soak up the important UVB rays that produce vitamin D, the nutritional element essential for building strong bones, allowing calcium to be absorbed into the body, and boosting aerobic performance.
Motivation #2: Take a Proper, Effective Break
After months of hard training and consistent riding, giving your body a break is a must. Not only does a break help you freshen up physically and psychologically, but it’s also the ideal time to do light off-the-bike conditioning and cross-training. Experts recommend taking a two-week break in order to truly give your mind and body the rest, relaxation, and restoration it needs to hit next year’s goals.
Motivation #3: Expand Your Social Circles
Winter is the perfect time to ride with friends new and old, without worrying about sticking to strict training zones or laboring through intense training sessions. This is also a great opportunity to ride with club-mates or friends who might be at different fitness levels than yourself. You’ll find that these low-key spins provide a refreshing change from teeth-gritting sessions.
Motivation #4: Try New Training Techniques
Sticking to a strict training schedule all season often means missing out on regular races or events, simply because you don’t want to over exert yourself by training too hard and being too tired for the race. In the winter, however, you don’t have to worry about conflicts like this.
— HomestretchFdn (@HomestretchFdn) February 4, 2017
In the winter, you can train however you like, or switch up your regular training schedule. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to do less volume with greater focus or cut down on zone paces to experiment with fitness levels.
Motivation #5: Form New Habits
Perhaps one of the greatest perks to winter cycling is that it gives you the opportunity to explore new routes and form new habits. For example, rather than focusing on knocking time off your 10-mile trial time, focus on forming healthy training habits like getting on your bike six days a week — regardless of what distance you accomplish.
Once you form these habits, they become second nature to you without it feeling like it’s a chore. If you focus on riding your bike at the same time each day, you’ll find it easier to continue doing so.
And set realistic goals!
With these five motivational factors backing your training efforts, you’ll find that staying motivated throughout the winter is easier and more enjoyable than you might assume. Remember, under the blanket of winter, normal pressures are off and more opportunities are open.
About the Author: Brooke Cade is passionate about health and wellness. She enjoys writing about all the things she loves in life, including yoga, hydrotherapy, Nature’s Sunshine products, and anything related to living life to its fullest.
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