How to fit cycling into a busy lifestyle
2nd February, 2022
Now that January is over the new year really begins. Our days get busier, work piles up and we loose the motivation that we started the new year with. It can be easy to make excuses for not keeping up with cycling or other exercise goals we made. We can forget the feeling of freedom, how refreshed and energised cycling can make us feel.
We’ve therefore put together some of our top tips to help you fit cycling into your busy lifestyle:
• Setting out a plan for the week can help you prioritise your time and ensure you're fitting a cycle in. Whether you just want to set aside a time to get outside and do some exercise or if you want to be super organised and plan your work, meals, social occasions and workout times. Whatever suits you! Staying organised is key.
• Get out early. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed, then try getting out early in the morning before the rest of the world switches on. There will be less distractions so you can keep a clear mind and just enjoy the ride.
• Set aside time at the weekend. Yes, it’s good to be productive at the weekend but it’s also your time to decompress from the working week. Make sure to set aside some time for yourself. Cycling in the fresh air is a great way for you to get some time to yourself to clear the mind.
• Make a day of it with your family or friends. If you’re not fancying alone time, make it fun and social. It can be hard to balance work, friends, family and your own physical and mental health. Taking the time at the weekend to go for a cycle with family or friends you can kill two birds with one stone.
Although you sometimes need to go easy on yourself and take a break from trying to do everything, making the time to exercise is an effective way to relieve your stress. Here’s how:
When you’re stressed and overwhelmed by what you’ve got going on, it can make it harder to focus on a task if there's lots of other things occupying your mind. Cycling, or doing any kind of physical activity, when you’re stressed can help you focus as it boosts the release of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. So, when you’ve got a lot on, try not to avoid exercising as it can actually help with productivity.
It is often difficult to sleep when you're stressed as you can’t switch off from all the things you have going on. A lack of sleep can then in turn contribute to you feeling even more stressed. Sleep studies have shown that over 75% of those who regularly exercise report having good or very good quality of sleep compared to just 56% of those who don’t exercise regularly. Cycling uses most of the major muscle groups so will tire you out for the day as well as reducing the level of stress hormones that usually disrupt a healthy sleeping pattern.
Being stressed, anxious and overwhelmed can increase your heart rate and make you breathe faster and shallower. Doing cycling and other forms of aerobic exercise force you to regulate your breathing better and in turn alleviate that stressed feeling.