Do you cycle to work? Or do you sometimes hear the rain and wind howling outside, and think ‘today I’ll give it a miss’?
Motivating yourself to climb out of bed and into the saddle to get to work can be hard going. No easier is finishing a long day in the office with the prospect of cycling home in the bucketing rain.
But the benefits of regularly cycling to work are well known. Obviously there’s the financial element, but it also brings huge benefits in terms of mental and physical health and fitness.
Few people embody the positive power of the cycle commute more than Teena Gates, the inspirational woman who transformed her life when she took up riding for work, loosing 13 stone in the process. That’s no mean feat!
These are her top tips for staying motivated and keeping commuting.
1. Set yourself a goal
Whether this is ‘I’m going to cycle to work tomorrow whatever the weather’ or ‘I’m going to cycle at least five times over the next two weeks’ give yourself something to aim for. You’ll get an immense sense of satisfaction when you achieve it.
2. Be prepared
Get everything you need to bring and wear for the commute laid out the night before. That way you can get into your cycling clothes straight away, which is often half the battle.
3. Remove the choice
Don’t think about whether you should or shouldn’t cycle, don’t look at the weather outside, just put your kit on and go! This is where point two really comes into play.
4. Chart your progress
If you’re new to cycling, it can be hard going to begin with, but you’ll soon start to notice a difference. Chart your progress and you’ll be armed with evidence that your commute is doing you good – whether that’s recording how much quicker your journey is taking you, or just realising that dreaded hill is just a bit easier to do each time you ride it.
5. Remember the positives
Think about how much money you are saving each time you ride, how much fitter you’re getting, or how many calories you are burning. There are other benefits too – like getting out in the fresh air, seeing the seasons change, and having a break from the everyday.
6. Think of the cycle as your gym
Fitting in time for the gym around a busy work and home life can be tricky – so instead think of your commute as your exercise fix. It’s also much cheaper than a gym membership!
7. Have fun!
Teena set herself a points-based game to make her commute more fun – we love this idea! There are other things you can do too, like changing your route from time to time, or taking a scenic detour.