Cycling and Meditation
It is no news that life comes with a lot of stress, especially from adulthood sets in. It is so complicated that the factors we deem necessary for living are the same factors that have stress attached to them; it seems stress is inevitable after all. Knowing that stress is inevitable, we have the responsibility of finding ways of escaping the stress and getting reenergized to effectively face what life throws at us. Without these mechanisms to help us relieve stress, breaking down is inevitable. One of such activities that is pivotal in relieving stress is cycling. Cycling has a lot to offer, from muscular strength to muscular flexibility and movement. It has also been proven to improve mental and emotional health and cardiovascular health, among other benefits. Most times, we tend to focus more on the physical health benefits that cycling offers, forgetting that it is very beneficial in other aspects. For instance, people are often quick to notice the changes in their bodies due to cycling than the effects of cycling on their mental health and emotions. The reason for this is not farfetched; we live in a world where people are quick to notice the obvious and do not easily point out the subtle.
This article focuses on one of the unpopular benefits of cycling; the mental health aspect. For more specificity, it addresses the synergy between cycling and meditation. Has it ever occurred to you that cycling and meditation can be synergized, giving you all the benefits from both activities? If not, this piece has been written for you. It is a fact that the state of society and the world at large can cause a lot of stress to you, especially mental stress; it has also been established that you need to adopt ways through which you can relieve yourself from this enormous stress. Cycling and meditation are essential and effective ways of achieving stress relief. Combining cycling and meditation can help relax your mind and make you forget all the stress and rigors associated with adulthood and life in general. Combining both activities can make you forget your busy week or the workload you have ahead of you and gives you the feeling that you have answers to all your questions. It is important to note that engaging in the activities of cycling and meditation does not mean you deny reality or the existence of issues you have to handle. It just means you are choosing to focus on something else, which in turn influences how you respond to the issues you need to address. Meditation helps you experience nature better because you are more aware of your environment in learning how to focus. Meditation entails being mindful, which goes a long way in helping your mental health.
The importance of practicing mindfulness while cycling
I can guess that one of the questions popping in your mind has to do with why merging meditation and cycling is necessary since they are activities that can stand on their own. This article has been written to offer answers to questions like this and many others. Engaging in cycling means you have to be aware of your environment to be safe and to take the correct routes. This allows you to practice mindfulness which helps you focus. So while you are burning fat and strengthening your muscles, you are allowed to enjoy and appreciate the serenity of nature, which takes your mind off negative things that stress you. The duality of benefits you enjoy from cycling and meditation is not something you get from the activity. It is worth going for if you ask me.
How to practice mindfulness while cycling
Of course, it is expedient to know how to go about merging these two important activities, so you can enjoy the best of the benefits they have to offer. Majorly, cycling is about having fun, and this means you have to ensure that anything that can cause a break in that flow of fun is addressed. Checking your electric bike for any faults or drawbacks is one of the most basic ways of ensuring that the flow of fun is not disrupted. Studies have pointed out that every cyclist needs to embark on some form of workout before mounting their cargo bike as this helps to ensure increased blood circulation to the brain and gets the body ready. Furthermore, you can scan your brain and examine yourself psychologically to see if any negative thoughts can be a hindrance to you enjoying cycling. Be intentional about letting these negative thoughts and vibes fade away as you choose to be grateful for the little things in life, like having the strength to engage in physical activities. You should also ensure that you focus on breathing and breathing through your nose specifically, not your mouth. After your body is all warmed up, you can then mount your commuter bike and start cycling, bearing some important things in mind. These important factors include
- Focusing on your breathing: Breathing is one of the most important factors when it comes to mindfulness; it is important to focus on your breathing pace. Many people stop breathing for a few seconds in their workout routines because of a lack of focus. Ensure that you take deep, slow breaths while cycling as opposed to taking heavy breaths, which cause a reduction in the supply of oxygen to your muscles. You can also focus and have fun by ensuring a sync between your breathing pace and pedaling. In addition, you need to be intentional about concentrating on the sensations you feel like you cycle. For instance, the bright rays of the sun upon your skin, the cold breeze against your body, and the serenity of the views around you. Maintaining focus and being conscious of the things around you make you mindful during cycling.
- Getting rid of all negative thoughts in your mind: It is no news that meditation is essentially about positivity; therefore, you must keep all defensive and negative thoughts out of your mind. It is important to remember that bad thoughts affect your concentration and can endanger your life, the life of other cyclists and pedestrians on the road. You mustn’t let bad vibes and energy get in the way of having fun and having a free mind. Ensure you live in the moment and get the best out of it, as this goes a long way in influencing how you handle the negative thoughts when you are done cycling.
- Being mindful in the course of the cycling activity simply means you are solely focusing on what the workout feels like, and you are not trying to change anything or address any pending issue. It means concentrating on your surroundings and the serenity they have to offer. Focusing on your environment helps in being mindful while cycling. Note that the best time to practice mindfulness is when you are on a normal road and not one with contours and obstacles. Riding on a free road means you are in control and not bothered about maneuvering and tackling rough terrain. It is pivotal that you remember that imbibing this trait takes time and gets better with constant practice. So, start practicing mindfulness even before hitting the road, and you will soon discover that you can be mindful even when cycling with a group of friends.
- Setting a clear intention: Indeed, you are working out and burning fat, but you need to set an achievable goal and one which you are willing to meet. For instance, it could be the level of distance covered or conquering a huge drop. Picture yourself reaching your goals and going for them with determination. This helps you in cycling and influences your life outside the cycling world.
- Going easy on yourself: Humans generally tend to be judgmental and very critical of themselves, especially when they make mistakes or are not where they believe they are supposed to be. You should come to terms with the fact that you are capable of making mistakes. If you do not do this and focus on your mistakes, it is difficult to concentrate, and it is difficult to meditate; this defeats the purpose of cycling and meditation. When learning something new, you do not need to be too hard on yourself. Note where you have made a mistake and kickoff from there. Remember that you are not competing with anybody, and you need to get the best out of cycling and meditation. Therefore, it is important to take things easy. Practicing mindfulness while cycling goes a long way in improving your workout sessions and keeps you motivated. It also helps you enjoy your ride as you cover distances and helps you to focus on the moment and live in it. Life will always bring challenges and stress. You are responsible for choosing how to handle these challenges; practicing mindfulness while cycling is none of such effective ways.