Many of the old maxims that are frequently associated with success — hitting the ground running, burning the candle at both ends, no idea works until you do the work, and so forth — feel counterintuitive to the concept of self-care. Yet as Psychology Today explains, self-care will grease the wheels of success far better than a steady stream of hustle.
To that end, consider a cycling expedition as the ultimate break. It’s not only a chance to work on your fitness goals and get away from it all, but cycling is a tremendous stress buster. This is especially important if you’re self-employed and absolutely need to take time off. You’ll feel and work better as a result. Snowflake Whispererrecommends the following.
Preparing Yourself Physically
To prepare for such a tremendous physical challenge, training early is essential. Making sure your body is ready will help prevent injury. You want your adventure to be fun and exciting, but an injury or discomfort would put a major kink in your plans.
Depending on the type of riding you’ll be doing, amp up cardio or focus on weight training — wherever you’ll need to build the most ability. And as part of your training, go on a similar expedition or ride ahead of time. Completing a similar but smaller challenge will give you confidence that you’re ready for the bigger trip, or shed light on areas where you could improve.
For any biking expedition, Bicycling online magazine points out that hydration is critical. Some parts of your tour may have limited access to water, so plan ahead with extra water and possibly a water filter and extra bottle; Incycle Bicycles can help you find the right gear for your needs.
You will also burn through LOTS of calories, so expect to replace those with whole foods that are high in fiber, protein, and good fats. While you may be tempted to indulge in high-fat or sugary treats, filling yourself up on empty calories won’t sustain you in the long run. Choose foods like healthy granola, wholesome fruit leather, rich salads, and delicious nuts to keep you fueled.
Making a Game Plan
In order to have a successful and safe expedition, preparing the right gear ahead of time is crucial. For biking expeditions, the Adventure Cycling Association recommends keeping frequently used necessities in a handy spot, like in a bag secured to your handlebars. A sturdy smartphone mount can be a great investment as it allows for easy access to your device, hands-free, so you can fire up your trail map, ride tracker, and music player for a safer and more fun ride.
And while you need to have the essentials, one of the top three mistakes people make on biking expeditions is carrying too much gear. Think through the details of your excursion and maybe even talk to people who have done something similar before deciding which items you can’t live without and which ones will just weigh you down. When you pack your gear, make sure to leave some room for anything you may pick up along the way.
Get creative with our self-care focus: Take a break from your obligations with a cycling expedition. A big outdoor adventure can be the experience of a lifetime — just remember that preparation (or lack thereof) can make or break your trip. A complete mind-body approach to your expedition will ensure you can leave the worry at home and have a safe and rewarding experience.
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