Cycling is a unique workout with numerous health benefits. Besides forcing your muscles to move, which can increase your muscular flexibility and strength, cycling can lower the risk of diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular diseases. It is a fun and highly physical exercise that can do more than improve your physical health; cycling can also improve your mental health.
And combining the advantages of meditating with cycling can relax your troubled mind and help you forget about the numerous battles in your mind. It can also help you forget about your busy week and make you feel like you have answers to all your questions. With meditation, you can experience nature since you are aware of your surrounding while learning how to focus. Being mindful can do wonders for your mental health; after all, it will force you to focus.
How Do You Practice Mindfulness While Cycling?
Cycling is all about having fun, and nothing can mess up your workout other than a faulty bike with a broken chain or flat tire. So before planning your route, you must check your bike for faults and have it repaired. According to Cycling Hacker, every cyclist must do some warm-up before they start cycling. Therefore, you should do some inversion techniques to increase blood circulation to your brain, and some hamstring stretches.
Other than physical workouts, you can scan your brain and consider how you are feeling psychologically. And then let every negative vibe fade away by being grateful for the small things in life, like having the strength and time to enjoy your workout. While doing your warm-up routine, you should focus on breathing and making sure you breathe through your nose and not the mouth. Once your body is warmed up, you can start cycling while doing the following
1. Focus on Your Breathing
Breathing is crucial for mindful cycling, so try and focus on your breathing pace. After all, many people stop breathing for a few seconds while working out due to lack of focus. So try and take deep, slow breaths while cycling instead of breathing heavily and reducing the oxygen supply to your muscles. Synchronizing your breathing pace with pedaling can also help you focus and have fun.
2. Keep All the Negative Thoughts Out of Your Mind
Meditation is all about positivity, so try and keep all the negative or defensive thoughts out of your mind. Remember, bad thoughts can affect your concentration and endanger the lives of other cyclists and pedestrians on the road. So don’t allow bad vibes to hinder you from having fun and enjoying your workout. Try and live in the moment and spread positivity all around you, even if you don’t get any response from the other people on the road.
3. Be Mindful
Being mindful while cycling means focusing on how the workout feels like and not trying to change or fix any problem. Concentrate on each sensation you feel while cycling, and this includes the cold wind on your skin and the bright sun rays hitting your skin. You can even concentrate on the beautiful surroundings and serenity in the atmosphere. Focusing on your surroundings can help you be mindful of your cycling.
The best time to practice this is when you are riding on a normal road and not riding the pines. And that is because you’re in control and not trying to learn or tackle tough terrain. Remember, it will take time for you to perfect this trait, so you should try being mindful even before you hit the road. With time you can start focusing on your pedaling even when cycling with a group of friends.
Photo by Martin Magnemyr on Unsplash
4. Set an Intention
Despite the fact that you are working out, it’s crucial that you set an intention or goal and envision yourself finishing it. If you have dreamt of covering a certain distance or conquer a huge drop, then picture yourself doing it and then go for it. Setting cycling goals and pursuing them will help you focus and foster your ability and believe that you can accomplish anything in life.
5. Go Easy on Yourself
We are all guilty of being judgmental and harsh on ourselves. So try and accept the reality and accept that you are a human being capable of making mistakes. And even when meditating, it’s quite easy to lose focus when you start judging yourself and start breathing heavily. Remember learning something new, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself when you lose focus. All you have to do is just pick from where your mind wandered away and continue.
Mindfulness while cycling can help improve your workout and even motivate you to work out more often. It can help you enjoy the ride and always focus on the moment as you enjoy your surroundings. And with the above practices, you will be enjoying the benefits of meditation and cycling in no time.
Top Photo by Coen van de Broek on Unsplash