Life today has become more stressful, and most of us have chaos going on inside our minds. Due to our excessive work responsibilities, it seems difficult to get up and hit the gym once you’re home. We need activities that can make us fit and provide us a chance to get away from the worries of the materialistic world. Well if you’re in a similar situation, cycling is just what you need to consider.
Cycling is an exercise that offers many health benefits. For instance, cycling causes all of your muscles to move, which increases muscular strength and flexibility. It has also shown to improve mental and emotional health. A significant benefit of cycling is that it reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes. Now we all know about those health benefits, but did you know we can combine the advantages of cycling with meditation? Interesting, right? In this post, I have some fantastic tips for bicycling meditation.
Why is it Important to Practice Mindfulness While Cycling?
You may be wondering why is it important to practice mindfulness while cycling. The whole point of cycling is to stay fit and burn fat, so why do we need to incorporate meditation? Well, cycling provides you with a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness. While riding a bike, you need to be fully aware of your surroundings to be safe; being mindful helps you maintain focus. You get to experience the beauty of nature, and to be grateful for the moment you are present in. Isn’t cycling the perfect time to calm your mind and witness the serenity of nature?
How do I bring mindfulness to my cycling workout sessions?
Let’s talk about the basics, things you need to do before you hit the road to be able to meditate while riding.
Check Your Bike for any Faults
To have a perfect bike ride, it is essential that you have a properly functioning bike. You don’t want to lose the essence of meditation due to a flat tire or a broken chain. Carefully inspect your bike and make sure there are no faults.
Warm Yourself Up for Your Bike Ride
Like every other exercise, cycling requires you to do some warming up. You can do hamstring stretches, exercises for opening up the hips, and exercises for increasing blood circulation through your body. Inversions are an excellent way to improve the flow of blood to the brain, so you try them if you are able. Apart from physical activities, you should also run a mental scan on yourself, to consider how you are feeling at the moment. Let all the negative vibes fade away; just be grateful that you have the ability to pedal your bike and relax your mind.
Focus on your breathing, doing some exercises before leaving. Inhale, exhale through your nose via the diaphragm and not your mouth. Imagine the relaxing ride that you will have and let your mind feel happy. Once you are all warmed up and ready, hit the pedals.
Things to Do Before You Go for a Ride
Before I move on to the meditation part, I’d like to talk about a few basics. First and foremost is the choice of clothes. If you want to have a relaxing session, you need to wear the perfect clothing. You can put on a t-shirt, shorts or tights, making sure they are made of performance fabrics. Keep a cloth with you for dabbing away sweat, and to protect your skin apply good quality biodegradable sunscreen.
On the Road: Don’t Let the Negative Thoughts Get to You!
Meditation requires positivity. When you’re on the road a lot of defensive/negative thoughts might crowd your mind, since you have to protect yourself and others from accidents. Don’t let the bad vibes keep you from enjoying your ride. Spread positivity all around, even if you don’t always get the same response. If any adverse thoughts do bother you, try to let them fade away and live in the moment.
Breathing is Important for Mindful Cycling
Focus on your breathing while cycling. At times we even stop breathing during physical activities, but don’t notice it due to lack of concentration. Take slow and deep breaths rather than breathing at a fast pace and limiting the supply of oxygen to your muscles. Synchronize your breathing with your pedaling. Notice how your breath changes when you alter the speed of your bike.
Concentrate on the sensations you feel, such as the cold breeze against your body, the bright rays of the sun on your skin, the tranquility in the atmosphere and the serene views. Maintaining focus and keeping track of everything around you will make you mindful of the workout.
Don’t Let Your Mind Wander While Cycling
Remember mindfulness is all about staying in the present. You need to pay attention to your surroundings and keep your mind from wandering. Don’t think about the stressful issues and don’t let the distractions bother you, only then will you be able to feel calm and reap the benefits of meditation.
Thanks to Our Guest Poster, Kelly Newman
Kelly Newman is a Fitness Trainer and blogger. She loves to write about everything related to fitness and diet and wants to help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. She works with the team behind Health Listed and does extensive research to provide people actionable health and nutrition information.
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