You can ride endless miles on your bike and you’ll be a strong rider, but you’ll be even stronger if you swap some of that time for activities off the bike. Winter is the perfect time to cross train and try a new activity.
- Focus on core strength – Find activities that will support this, like pilates, dancing or yoga.
- Make it attainable – You’re way more likely to stick with your chosen activity if it’s convenient. Choose something close to home or office at a time that works we.
- Commit yourself – Sign up a class series, buy a punch card, pay in advance. Often these options will save you money, and you’re way more likely to show up to class if it’s pre-paid.
- Use a personal trainer – It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but a personal trainer is an excellent way to get started on an effective fitness routine. Too often people stumble around a gym with improper technique, wasting their time, or worse injuring themselves. If your goal is to strengthen your body for biking, find a trainer who understands that. She or he can give you the basics, design a routine, then set you free to put it into practice. We recommend monthly follow up sessions with your trainer to ensure you’re still on the right track and for a bit of accountability.
- Work out the kinks – Do you have a nagging pain in your knee? Hands that fall asleep? A tricky hip? Use wintertime to figure out what’s up. Spend some time stretching, rolling around on the ground, and getting to know what triggers the pain and what helps ease the tension. Enroll in quality physical therapy (hunt around – really great physical therapists are not always easy to find) and diligently do the at-home exercises prescribed for you.
- Get Comfortable – It may be time for a bike fit. Cost ranges from $50-$250 with more extensive analysis as the price increases. A bike fit is imperative if you’re not feeling extremely comfortable on your bike.
- Play around – Take a class here and there. Sign up for all the free weeks you can find. Try boxing, Zumba, Tai Chi. Use this time to give your body a chance to play around and be challenged to use different muscles groups.
What’s your winter routine?
Do you cross train in the winter? What do you do to stay strong through the rainy months? Share your ideas below.