Cycling is one of my favourite sports. I get an amazing sense of freedom and independence on a bike.
There’s something about going fast and knowing that your own legs are powering the speed (with a little extra help from the gears of course).
Cycling is also a great sport to take up if you’re looking to get into shape. It’s less intense on your joints and you can keep going for longer without running out of steam.
So with all these great benefits of cycling, the all important question is: how can cycling boost productivity?
A little routine I got into last year was to go for a 45 minute cycle ride in the morning before I started work, and again in the evening when I finished work. I did about 10 miles per cycle ride, so 20 miles per day.
When I first started out I’d be completely worn out after a cycle ride. I’d spend most of the morning trying not to pass out from exhaustion. But within a few days my body quickly adapted to the new routine.
Once I got used to the morning and afternoon exercise I found it to be incredibly beneficial to my productivity throughout the whole day. Once I started work at 9am I was buzzing. Brain 100% switched on, completely focused and ready to take challenges.
I then found that at the end of the day my evening cycle ride would provide a way for me to “de-brief” the day. Unwind, have a mini review of the day and start to think about the evening ahead.
Implementing a cycling routine
Firstly, in order for a cycling routine to boost your productivity, you need to be disciplined and you need to stick at it.
I find it helps to set a time each day when I’ll cycle (it could be to and from work for example), then I’ll stick to it – no matter what. Even if it’s pouring down with rain, I’ll still get on my bike and do the route I set.
Plan your route. This could change daily, or you could alternate it. You don’t want to end up getting bored of the same route. Either way, create a route so you know where your going. Also, plan how long it will take to complete the route and at what speed.
Once you know how long a route should take you, start trying to improve the time taken to complete the route. This comes down to goal setting. For example: a 10 mile cycle route might take you 40 minutes, so try getting it down to 35 minutes.
Obviously the time it takes to complete a cycling route will depend heavily on the bike and your level of fitness.
You might not notice it straight away – perhaps give it a few weeks. Your body will need to adapt to the new cycling routine and also to the increase in physical activity each day.
Be sure to take plenty of rest to recover between cycle rides. But, once your body has adapted to the routine, you’ll notice a big difference in your productivity.
Now your heart is pumping blood around your body more efficiently, your vital organs are being properly refuelled - and this includes your brain.
You’ll find you can concentrate for longer on tasks, see things more clearly, can more easily tackle challenges and problems as they arise, and you’ll get quicker at what you do. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself with more energy throughout the day too.