Mindfulness is the act of focusing on one single thing while you are doing it. Think of it as something that is totally opposite to multitasking. With mindfulness, you get to focus on just one thing and give it your undivided attention.
There are lots of benefits to being mindful. It decreases your stress and anxiety levels, lowers your blood pressure, improves your sleep pattern, reduces chronic pain and improves your well-being. If you are a cyclist and you are planning to join a cyclosportive event, then you might want to continue reading on for a few tips on applying mindfulness to cycling.
Start by Scanning Your Whole Body
Mindfulness starts with the brain and the body. Clear your mind and listen to what your body is saying. Once you feel like your thoughts are all clear, then go ahead and see which parts of your body needs your undivided attention.
Are your knees starting to hurt due to constant cycling? Is your back aching from all that computer job that you do at work? Are you hungry and might need to grab a protein bar before going on a ride? Whatever it is, make sure to listen to it and attend to it before riding your bike and going for a short course.
Practice Your Breathing
One of the most important things that you would have to practice is your breathing. You definitely want to regulate it so you can ride your bike for hours on end without getting too tired.
Before going on the ride, make sure to take a few deep breaths and feel the way your breath feels in your nostrils and how it expands your lungs. If you need to close your eyes during the process, then go ahead and do so. Think about how thankful you are that you can enjoy cycling outside with your bike in tow.
Focus on Cycling
Once you start cycling, make sure that you have everything else in focus. Look at your surroundings, listen to the sounds around you and smell the grass that grows on the side of the road.
Your mind may wander at one point or another, and when this happens, try your best to bring your thoughts back to the present moment. This will help you be more attentive to what is happening around you, such as the people passing by and the cars beside you. Avoid using electronics as this can distract you further.
Mindfulness starts and ends with your mind and your body. Once you are done with the ride, make sure to do a quick scan of your body once again and see what part of it needs to be taken care of.
If you practice mindfulness when cycling, then you will notice that your breathing will become regulated. Your stress will also start to vanish, along with your worries. Enjoy the ride and tell other cyclists about what you have learned today so they can be mindful when riding their bikes as well.