While a thorough workout is certainly an important element of a healthy lifestyle, many people complain that getting enough exercise is difficult when it means making time for gym sessions and finding motivation to workout solo under the fluoro lights of a crowded fitness centre.
Well working workouts into your day needn’t be something to dread; in fact, if you find the right fitness activity it can be an absolute pleasure. Cycling is undoubtedly one of those sports that turn exercise into passion, and here’s why.
Getting Close to Nature
Riding a bike in the great outdoors is a feeling that simply cannot be rivalled from the back of a gym bike. There’s the fresh air in your lungs, the breeze through the gaps in your helmet, the smell of grass and flowers, the sounds of birds, and all the stunning sights unfolding in front of you as you cycle amongst your natural surrounds. It’s a multi-sensory experience that reduces stress and elevates your mood in more ways than an indoor workout can.
Exploring Your Surroundings
Whether for transport, fun or fitness, cycling allows you to see your local area close up and explore your own backyard. While you’re pedalling away at the gym you’re missing out on the chance to really take in the details of the places you live or work near. You’ll notice things you never noticed from the car, and see things you’d never seen from the gym. Cycling outdoors opens up your day to a wealth of subtle details and encourages you to interact with the world around you.
Making it Social
One of the best parts about cycling is the possibility for making it a social activity. This could mean joining a cycling group and meeting like-minded people who can encourage you and work together to achieve goals. Cycling with friends and stopping in for coffee half-way is not something you get to do at the gym.
This could also mean cycling with your partner, or bringing your kids along and making cycling a family sport. It can be a fun activity that you can do with your loved ones; a family activity that’s not only enjoyable but good for their health too. A family trip to the gym just doesn’t seem as appealing as an afternoon ride through to the park and back.
Saving Your Time
A gym session necessitates taking time out of your day for exercise, in which you cannot do anything else. Cycling, however, can be integrated into your daily routine and combined with other activities. This might be (as mentioned above) by combining cycling with family time, or could be by cycling for transportation, meaning your commute to work is combined with your exercise regime.
One of the major pitfalls of working out at the gym, especially when it comes to endurance or cardio training, is getting bored of your workout activity. Sometimes it’s much harder to push yourself when you’re lacking the motivation that comes with riding in the real world. If you’ve got goals like reaching the top of a hill and looking down at the view, or having to ride until you get back home rather than riding until you’ve simply had enough, the extra motivation is much more compelling and productive. At the gym it’s much easier to simply get bored of your stationary activity, focus on the pain or exhaustion in the absence of other stimuli, and simply call it a day.
If this all sounds appealing to you then maybe it’s time to cancel that expensive gym membership and switch to cycling instead. On two wheels you can experience the joy of cycling in real life, getting out into nature with the whole family on Merida bikes and turning your workouts into a fun, social and inspiring activity outside of the stark confines of stuffy gym walls.