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Mums' Corner

Reader’s Story: Time in the Saddle Makes me a Better Mum

Cycling not only keeps mums fit, it also helps you to keep your sanity in check!

Natalie Trice, mum of two is no stranger to the trials and tribulations that parenting brings. Since getting back in the saddle after a seven year absence, Natalie is feeling fitter and happier than ever. And she has noticed she is not the only mum opting to grab the bike instead of hitting the local gym. Here she tells us her why cycling is such an appealing sport for mothers with hectic lifestyles.

 

Being a yoga mummy is so 2013. For mums wanting to banish stress, sculpt abs, tone thighs and have fun at the same time (yes really), getting on your bike is where it’s at.

Following the amazing female success of London 2012 and with pedal power inspiration from cycling superstars like Laura Trott, it seems mums are getting more of a buzz from their bikes than their skinny lattes.

British Cycling aims to get one million more women on their bikes by 2020 and, from speaking with friends and doing some research, mums will certainly be part of that number.

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Andrew Straw from Saddle Skedaddle, told me: “We’ve seen a massive increase in the number of women, including mums, signing up for our cycling breaks. ‘Back in the day’ it was rare to see female cyclists on bike holidays but they currently make up around 40%, a figure that’s rapidly growing. Destinations like Cuba always get a heavier percentage of females, intro weekends are popular and our family holidays are really taking off too”.

Whilst there is no doubt the fairer sex are far from equal when it comes to cycling, even the manager of my local bike shop told me he’s seen a huge increase in female footfall and women are buying kit for themselves, not just their offspring.

Cycling after pregnancy, when to get back on the bike

Let’s be honest, being a mum is more than a full time job and when you’ve got Ninja Turtles flying through the air, felt tip pen on the walls and Frozen being screeched 24/7, you NEED head-space.

Whilst I was nervous about getting back on my bike after a seven-year break, it’s the best thing I’ve done for my fitness and sanity. After a stressful morning getting two lovable rogues ready for school, making lunches, feeding the cat and dog as well as getting myself dressed, I’m more than ready for my morning ride and honestly don’t know how I’ve managed without it.

Banishing ‘mum guilt’ and making time to cycle 

Whether it’s heading into town, training with the girls or a doing a little bit of hill busting, I love being on the road and getting my fix.

Jacqui Cleaver, Founder of New You Bootcamp, said: “Cycling is a phenomenal cardio workout and the perfect sport to slot into family life. Whilst it takes time get to the gym, you can simply jump on your bike and fit in a quick 30-minute or a longer ride depending on how much time you have.

“Cycling not only allows you to develop your fitness levels but it’s a great way to snatch a little bit of ‘me time’. Training gets the endorphins pumping so your cortisol levels decrease, you feel less stressed and that, combined with weight loss, can create a much happier mummy”.

Jo, mum of two and part time PA, commented: “I cycle with three other mums and we are having fun as we get into shape. We ride around 15 miles twice a week and I love getting on my bike and pedaling away from the demands of family life. I’m fitter now than I ever was as a gym member and that’s because I love being out in the fresh air and on the open road”.

Tim Lawson, the founder of Secret Training, added: “I’ve been in the cycling industry for 30 years and have seen the amount of opportunities for women rise significantly. With women-only training camps, sportives and cycling groups, such as the Breeze network developing there’s never been a greater interest in cycling for fitness, friendship and competitive challenges which is perfect for mums wanting to get on their bikes”.

I will warn you; once you start spinning your legs you will stop talking about the kids and husband and instead you’ll chat about gear shifters, padded pants and Marianne Vos’ latest performance.

 Also worth a read: 

Recipes: Fatigue fighting healthy treats

Does drinking chocolate milk improve your memory? 

How to: Get the best road bike for your budget

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