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A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

A Few Interesting Things that Every Cyclist Loves

They say that the best things in life are free, and with the exception of fun new gear, the same goes for cycling. There are certain benefits to the sport that only cyclists can truly appreciate, such as the feeling of the wind behind you when you’re speeding down a street, or that rush of satisfaction when the new road you decided to travel on emerges as a cool new place to ride. Here are a few interesting things that every cyclist loves:

Difficult Uphill Rides

By now, you are likely a pro at handling obstacles while bike riding. One of the most common obstacles for a rider is steep hills, but these obstacles are also blessings, giving cyclists a feeling of accomplishment as they approach the summit of a hill or mountain. Though it is also the toughest part of any cycling workout, there is something amazing about feeling yourself and your bike move forward with every pedal. And once you finally reach the top of the hill, you are overwhelmed with endorphins and excitement because you now get to speed downhill.

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Riding Downhill or with a Tailwind

Coasting downhill, or riding with the wind behind you, makes you feel unstoppable, fast, and unquestionably stronger. You just can’t get enough of that feeling of freedom. Though riding downhill generally means you must ride uphill first, there are some days where you can enjoy a tailwind both on the way out to ride and on the way back, depending on the way the wind moves.

Green Traffic Lights

Drivers and cyclists hate waiting at red lights, but there is nothing more satisfying than speeding through several green traffic lights on a route that usually requires you to stop several times.

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New Bike Clothes

Of course, you will always continue to enjoy your old favorite pieces, but it is nice to upgrade every now and then, especially when it comes to fancy new bike gear. This also applies to clothes; aerodynamic shoes, wheels, and handlebars are always a must. Bike wear, special cyclist clothing, and gear like cycling goggles can greatly impact your ride, and it is always fun to deck yourself out in your favorite products before going on a ride. There is nothing a cyclist loves more than going online and browsing the wide range of smart cycling jackets available (besides going on a long ride, of course).

New Routes

Similar to clothing, while you may be tempted to stick with your old paths and resist changing your ways, it is always satisfying to find a new path or trail to travel down, allowing for a change of scenery.

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Not Counting Calories

Cycling burns a significant amount of calories, so regular riders typically do no need to worry too much about what they are eating, the amount of calories and fat they are taking in, and how they are going to exercise those calories off. Cycling gives you the freedom to eat that glazed donut or drink that cup of soda, without feeling bad about it later.

Avoiding Traffic

Two words: bike lane. Biking saves money that would otherwise go toward gas, eliminates the need for parking, and allows you to avoid dangerous and annoying rush hour situations. Though pedestrians also profit from these things, bikes allow you to move faster, offering the speed of a vehicle with the benefits of walking.

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Though they may be a little odd, these are just a few of the many things that only cyclists are able to fully appreciate. Each sport has its tiny joys and small benefits, and these are some of the ones that cycling boasts.

Featured photo credit: http://procyclingtour.com via procyclingtour.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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