Bike Your Way To Happiness

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Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein

Most of us are looking for happiness in our lives.  The things causing us to be unhappy include depression, stress, and being overweight to name a few.  What a lot of us don’t realize is that there is a way to combat those items; we can bike our way to happiness.

We’ve all heard that exercise is a key component to a happy life by providing many health benefits including reduced stress levels, better mood, and better sleep.  You can choose to run, walk, do yoga, or any other type of exercise you like.  Biking is one of the many great ways to exercise and clear your mind.

I have taken up biking within the past couple of years and I find I’m much happier after a bike ride.  It’s my time to disconnect from technology and enjoy the fresh air.  Sometimes I talk through my life goals with my riding partner and other times we enjoy the sounds of nature and nothing else.

In addition to the stress reduction I feel stronger and more confident after a bike ride.  I’ve increased my speed and distance over time and found that I’m a fairly decent biker.  Since my skill level was beginner when I started I have impressed myself with my improvement; it’s a self-esteem booster for me.

Outside of my own personal benefits there are many documented mental and physical benefits to bike riding.  Let’s take a look at a few.

Improved Mental Health – Bowling Green State University released a study showing an improved mood in both men and women who biked for as little as 10 minutes as compared to a similar sedentary group.  Aerobic exercise, like biking, can help your mental state by lessening feelings of depression, some say as well as anti-depressants, resulting in a happier you.

Stress Relief - Biking, as with any exercise, has been shown to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety in a person.  Exercise releases endorphins into your system, giving you the “exercise or runner’s high”.  It also lowers the cortisol in your system which means a lowered stress response while enhancing your well being.

Weight Loss – Biking is an aerobic activity; you’re burning calories during and after your ride.  As you move more you’ll also find an increase in energy.  More energy means more movement, resulting in a faster metabolism that’s burning more calories.  Biking for exercise is also less intimidating for a lot of people compared to going to the gym or jogging down the street.

These are just a few of the benefits to bike riding.  The key with biking, or any exercise, is to get started.  Once you do you’ll find that your attitude improves, your clothes fit a bit better, and your overall happiness increases.  Who couldn’t use a little more happiness in their life?

Do you like biking?  Have you found that you feel happier after a good bike ride, or any exercise session?  Let’s hear it!

 

 

 

Scheduling For Success

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Beauty of Planning - Upgrade In Progress

She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans.

- Kobi Yamada

I’ve had a lot going on recently.  In the middle of my current life I’ve also been working towards my ideal life.  A big part of this life change is starting my freelance career.  There are so many items I want to get started on that I find myself stuck.  That’s where I found the beauty of the schedule.

Between blogging, setting up a writer website, perfecting pitch letters, brainstorming article ideas, and way more, I found that I was slowly grinding to a halt.  Not because I wanted to, or because I was procrastinating, but because I wasn’t scheduling myself to succeed with this transition.

For instance, the following is what my typical evening would consist of:
Sit at the computer and draw a blank on all of my great ideas that I’d had through the day.
Decide to pick an unfinished project and just hammer it out.
Start work on my writer website.
Question if that was the best use of my time.
Then think I should write a blog post instead.
Question if that was the best use of my time.
Then start researching pitch letters.
Then question if that was the best use of my time. 

You get the picture.

By the end of the night I’d accomplished nothing and felt completely overwhelmed.  Between all of this I also felt guilty for not spending more time with my husband, our pets, our families, and that list goes on.

Then I reached my breaking point, and my epiphany.  I was stuck, again, trying to figure out which project took precedence.  During my frustration I realized that I was not setting myself up for success going at things the way I had been.  I am working on multiple projects and need to schedule accordingly.

That night I did not end up working on any of the items I needed to complete.  Instead I created a simple spreadsheet with a weekly schedule and a project timeline.  Then I gave each project a day or two in the week that I would work on it.  I detailed what items should be handled on those days, gave myself a “my choice” day, and set due dates for my bigger projects.

Once I completed my success schedule I immediately felt better.  I knew what was expected of me each day and I also knew when certain items need to be completed by.

It sounds so simple.  I had read multiple articles and posts about the importance of scheduling.  I had thought that it sounded like a good idea, but not until I was further ahead with everything.  What I realize now is that I wasn’t moving further ahead because I lacked the scheduled plan I thought I could wait to create.

Sure, I had my master plan all laid out in my head.  The daily steps I needed to take to get there hadn’t been put in place though.  Now that I have a schedule I have already found I do not feel as overwhelmed and I do not question whether what I’m working on is the most important thing at that moment.

Do you have a schedule for your life goals?  Did you start with a schedule or are you just winging it?  Let’s hear it!

 

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