Christmas seems such a long time ago now ... but now that all the festivities are over thoughts naturally move to the year ahead and many a New Year resolution will have been made, but how many will be kept?! We’ve thought of some that we’re hoping to achieve – maybe they’ll give you some inspiration, too.
Get in shape and lose weight in time for the summer sportives
Unless you’re a pro athlete intent on sticking to a strict regime, the odds are that you’ll have over-indulged a little (or a lot!) over Christmas. It’s also normal to put on a little weight over the winter months anyway, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t like what the scales are telling you. If you’re planning on taking part in sportives in the coming months now is the time to start getting in shape. Being sensible about what you eat (no crash or fad diets!) is the best approach for sustainable weight loss. Combine that with regular exercise and you’ll soon be back to fighting fit and ready to take on those cycling challenges.
Cut back on alcohol
The very latest guidance on alcohol consumption suggests that we should all abstain from drinking alcohol at least two days a week. As well as health issues, drinking also contributes to weight gain – lovely as a glass of wine or a pint can be, alcohol has no nutritional value and who needs empty calories!
Get more sleep
We lead such busy lives and trying to fit everything in often means too little sleep. If you’re training for a ride constant tiredness will do you no good, so start being kinder to yourself. A good night’s sleep will give your body chance to recover from physical exercise and you’ll feel more mentally alert as well. Enjoy your cycling but remember to also enjoy catching some zeds!
Meet up with friends
When you’re a cycling nut it’s very easy to spend all your time on a bike, leaving little time for socialising. Have a think about who you might not have seen recently and make some dates to meet up, it’ll do you the world of good. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to encourage them to get on a bike as well, especially if you lure them with the promise of coffee and cake!
Save the planet!
A few weeks ago a petition was started by Italian radio presenters who believe the humble bicycle should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Getting on our bikes probably won’t solve international conflicts any time soon, but we all know that a bike is far more environmentally friendly than a car. So why not ditch the car whenever you can? Maybe you could commute to work by bike if it’s close enough – even cycling to the train station if you work further away will make a difference. And lots of ad hoc short journeys could easily be done by bike, whether you’re meeting a friend for coffee or popping out for a pint of milk – just remember to take a backpack or panniers for shopping!
Learn something new every month!
Book yourself onto a bike maintenance workshop. Try track cycling. Discover what cyclocross is all about. Of course, it doesn’t have to be bike related, it’s good to have diverse interests so if you’ve always wanted to learn Italian go for it!
Instead of saying ‘I’d like to do London to Paris, but I won’t be fit enough/I’m scared of the distance/I’ve never done anything like it before…’ try saying ‘I’m going to do London to Paris’ instead. Having a ‘just do it’ attitude is so liberating and you’ll be amazed by what you can achieve.
Watch less TV - get out on the bike
Let’s face it, there’s not much on the box to inspire the mind! So why not go for a ride instead – you know that a quick spin will put you in a much better mood than a dose of Eastenders!
Adopt a cute pet!
Okay, this might be a bit radical for some. But if you’re thinking of getting a dog or cat, why not consider adopting one – there are so many animals that need loving homes. And a doggy companion that needs a daily walk is also rather useful for your fitness.
Do something for charity
Why not add a charity ride into your sportive calendar – what could be better than doing something that you enjoy and benefitting others at the same time! Lots of charities run bike events as part of their fundraising, so you can easily choose one that’s close to your heart.Have you made any resolutions of your own? We’d love to know what they are!