Getting Back on the Pedals: Biking after the Winter Blues
Guest Blogger: Reed Hartman
Winter months don’t just put a stop to air traffic (I’m looking at you, North East.) It’s often difficult for people to continue their outdoor exercise regimens through the winter. I, for one, was riding my bike every day until the middle of December, when the temperature began to drop into the lower 40’s. It gets a little difficult to power through those long hills and straights when you can hardly feel your hands. But spring is upon us, and it’s time to get back on those bikes and back to the three or four rides a week. But how do you get back on your bike after the winter break? Don’t worry; I’m here to help.
1) Take It Slow
You may have been riding for two, three, maybe four hours at a time before the mercury began to drop. But as you began to slow down, your body did to. Don’t jump back on the bike and go for those long rides after being inactive for a while. Your body just won’t be able to take it. After dusting off those handle bars, start slow. The first time you get back on your bike, only go for 30 minutes or so. Through the first few weeks, push yourself to go an extra 10, 20, and then 30 minutes. Acclimate yourself back into your old habits.
2) Interval Training
Ahh the two words that bike riders hate to hear. Interval training can, and should be an integral part of your biking routine. After you get back into the swing of riding for a couple of weeks, start riding intervals. If you’re new to the biking world, intervals are periods of intense pedaling offset by periods of mild pedaling. My personal favorite is the ‘Telephone Pole’ interval. Push yourself as hard as you can for the distance between 4 telephone poles, and then relax off the pedals for the next 8. Don’t push yourself too hard, and never do intervals two days in a row. You’ll thank me for that advice.
3) Have Fun
This is, without a doubt, the most important tip of the list. Bike riding may be a religion to some, but you can’t take it too seriously. If you ride the same route every day, try switching it up! Go to a park, ride on some back roads, or just ride your regular route backwards. Don’t get bored. Some of the most fun riding I’ve ever experienced is on a backcountry road. Only seeing one or two other vehicles, hearing the birds chirp in the distance, the sound of a creek babbling next to you; it’s a good feeling.
Exercise is only one part of becoming healthy. Albeit important, exercise can only do so much. But, when added to a healthy diet and healthy frame of mind, you can transform yourself into what you’ve always wanted to be. Need some help getting off the ground or getting yourself out of that wintertime slump? We’re here to help. Click the button below to view our services, and see what we can do to help you get back on your feet, or in this case, your pedals.