1. Set yourself up with small habits.
Having a routine requires consistently building up smaller habits. In the book Own the Day, Own Your Life, author and holistic health expert Aubrey Marcus emphasises the importance of implementing small, actionable daily changes to feel better and perform more efficiently. When these daily habits become weekly routines, they become part of lifelong healthy choices. The same goes for cycling—by laying out your gear the night before for example, you can help avoid the temptation to hit the snooze button and the excuses that will keep you away from your next ride.
2. Find your friends.
Fitness is more than just getting in shape—it's about building community and strengthening relationships. Staying motivated to exercise regularly often requires the support of a larger network, and call us bias but cycling has a great community behind it. Whilst sometimes it can feel a bit nerve-wrecking joining a new group, there’s more and more clubs out there better representing all communities within cycling, like our friends at Black Riders Association and Moloko and so by joining a local cycling club in your area, you can cement a healthy lifestyle for yourself while forging new and lasting friendships.
3. Invest in your bike (and yourself).
Buying a bike can be a big financial decision, but not only is it a great investment in your health & wellbeing - you can save fuel and public transport also. Before deciding which bike to purchase, fettle’s expert mechanics recommend having a think on what type of cycling you want to do. Doing so will determine which kind of bike you should ride. For example, a road bike with thin, slick tyres is your best option if you want to ride on the road, and chase some speed; while a mountain bike with fatter tyres and suspension is perfect for the lumps & bumps of off-road trails. We also always recommend to think about how much you can afford on the aftercare of your bike, just as your car might need an MOT from time to time, to keep your bike working in good order expect to service it every 6-12 months and avoid more costly repairs further down the line. And remember - a £750 bike well looked after, will ride better than a £2,000 bike with a rusty chain and squeaky brakes - trust us.
4. Put good in = get good out.
Like any other form of exercise, cycling requires you to fuel your body. Put good stuff in = you’ll get good stuff out.. Eating plenty of carbohydrates and protein before you start riding to have energy for the ride ahead. Carbohydrates will give you energy, while protein will help repair damaged muscle tissue after exercise. Bananas & rice cakes are cheap & portable snacks to take with you, with a bowl of greek yoghurt or a protein shake post-workout a great way to replenish and repair your muscles.
Drinking enough fluids is key to a healthy lifestyle, especially on the road. To stay hydrated, drink before you start your ride and have a bottle of water with you at all times. Having a sip of water every 15 minutes during your ride, even if you don't feel thirsty is a good rule to stick by. Remember, by the time you feel thirsty - it’s probably too late & you’re already dehydrated.
Cycling is an excellent way to stay fit and spend time with friends and family. With the right mindset, you can make it a healthy habit, that benefits your physical and mental health (and your wallet).
Ready to start your cycling adventures? Ride away with complete peace of mind with our faff-free bike repair services for riders in London.
Article was specially written for fettle.cc by Annie Grace