It’s Time to Thank Your Body for the Ride

Here's how to show your body the appreciation it deserves.

With indoor cycling and other hardcore workouts, it’s easy to get swept up in going full throttle, pushing your limits, and outdoing yourself in all sorts of ways, day after day. That’s fine as long as you don’t overdo it and set yourself up for burnout or overuse injuries. But have you ever paused to consider how much your body actually does for you during these workouts—or to thank it?

If you’re like most people, the answer is: Probably not.

At first blush, the notion may sound touchy feely but showing body appreciation is important. After all, indoor cycling tends to push your body hard and you likely expect a lot from it in terms of performance, when it comes to your pace, endurance or stamina, strength, and more. So you should acknowledge how much your body does for you in these respects.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, hit the pause button during your next indoor cycling workout or a recovery ride, to give thanks to your body, which does a marvelous job of allowing you to engage in this blast of a workout. It’s best if you can make this exercise as personal as possible but at the very least, here are 7 things to be grateful for:

  1. Express gratitude to the muscles in your legs for giving you the strength and endurance to keep pushing those pedals around vigorously, session after session.
  2. Say thank you to your lungs for helping you breathe efficiently as you push your body to new levels of fitness.
  1. Be grateful to your core and back for providing you with the stability your body needs to maintain proper posture in and out of the saddle.
  2. Say muchas gracias to your heart for adjusting its pumping action for different levels of exercise intensity, as you approach your maximum heart rate target or dial down your effort so that you can recover after an intense push.
  1. Appreciate your hips for generating the power you need to excel at different moves and challenges in indoor cycling.
  2. Give thanks to your body’s internal thermostat and your autonomic nervous system for making you sweat to help you cool off and stay healthy.
  3. Say merci to your neck for holding your head up, and acknowledge your mind for helping you stay focused on the challenges you’re facing and for visualizing how you’ll tackle them.

Now it’s payback time. To actually show your body how much you appreciate what it does for you both on and off the bike, treat yourself to an extra long stretching session after your ride. Or use a variety of feel-good tools to help soothe post-exercise muscle tightness. Your body will thank you for returning the favor. Keep this cycle of positivity going all year long and you’ll reinforce the indoor-cycling habit you're trying to establish.

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