cycling

Your last quarter goals for 2015!

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I'm a bit nervous about writing this blog. When you write about accountability you really need to be accountable yourself right? I can't believe it's almost the end of 2015. As I get older I begin to get quite panicky about how quickly life passes particularly when it comes to business development and growth. The point of all this is to expose my goals for 2015 to you all again and find out what I have done already and what still needs to be done, in the hopes it will spark some inspiration in you all about what you still have left to do for 2015. 

 

My 2015 goals - recap 

 

Reading

I've read 8 books this year so I'm on track with that! Check out my top 4 summer reading recommendations here. 

 

Meditation 

My Meditation practice is going ok. I do an average of 3 meditations a week which is better than any other year I've tried. Now I know when I need a meditative time out to rest my brain and quiet the noise. I'd love to do meditation every day so I'll definitely make a bigger effort for the last part of the year.  I've been accepted on to a 10 Vipassana silent meditation retreat in October where I'll be meditating all day so I'll make up for lost time then! 

 

Gratitude journal 

The Gratitude journal is something I do every day. I've only missed a few days this year. It's probably the best goal I've ever set myself. It's easy to complain about what we don't have but really we are so lucky. Expressing gratitude for what we have puts us in a wonderfully productive mindset too! 

 

Time outs 

I did go away early in the year to Prague which I really enjoyed. I also took a staycation in late July to enjoy London and then took a trip to Sicily in mid-August. And as mentioned above I'm doing the silent retreat in October for 10 days. I'm giving myself bonus points for time out I've taken already this year. I find it really hard to do! 

 

Selfless service  

I had planned to produce a free eBook this year which is not yet completed but other freebies are coming in the last quarter of the year which I'll reveal in the next couple of blogs.  I am also working on an outreach project which I'll be talking more about in 2016.... Watch this space! 

 

Education

My sports massage course is booked and I've added A-level biology which I need for planned study later on. I also added in a Japanese language course over the summer. Konnichiwa! Ogenki desuka? 😉

 

Fitness 

The Vietnam trip will not happen for me this year. I've been so busy with work that I've not been able to recruit a sufficient number of people to come with me. Maybe next year... 

I bought my bike in January and I've been cycling with my Dad 4 times this year. Not quite every month but better than nothing at all! 

So as you can see, I'm as human as you. Some goals I've done well with, others not so much. I am really happy about the reading, meditation and gratitude journal. But I can tell you, if I hadn't set any of these goals I probably wouldn't have achieved much this year! 

Anyway, my point of sharing this is for you to check in with your own goals for 2015. What do you still have left to do this year? It's ok if your goals have changed and it's also ok if you haven't achieved some things you wanted to. Don't give yourself a hard time. Evaluate objectively - perhaps it was unrealistic for this year, look at the deep rooted motivation for your goals. What can you still do in 2015?  

 

My closing message is - just do it. You cannot live 2015 over again. So if there are still goals to achieve this last quarter then do it.  That's what helps you grow and makes your life interesting and enjoyable. 

What to do if you have back pain from cycling

Bradley Wiggins
Bradley Wiggins

It's Tour De France time!  And if like me, you live in London, you could probably mistake London Town for the French Alps as there are so many cyclists on the roads these days.  In fact, cycling has become the most popular mode of transport in recent years.  Perhaps Londoners are becoming more health conscious, maybe it's the lure of trying out the Boris Bike.  I think it's amazing to see so many people taking a practical approach to health and making their commute part of their fitness regime.  I've seen a few people fall in love with cycling, getting the latest carbon fibre frame, custom aligned to their body, all the cycling garb, the cleats - before you know it they are wearing a yellow jersey!  But then, unexpectedly, back pain strikes and feeling pro very quickly becomes feeling low.  So how do you avoid back pain when your bike becomes your best friend?  Read on to find out....

The cycling position

If you assume the pro position on the bike or even a metropolitan modification of this position then you'll probably look a lot like Bradley Wiggins (see above).  Maybe you even think of yourself as looking a bit like Bradley but I'm not here to comment on that!  You can see that the spine is rounded - excessively rounded which makes you more streamline and therefore faster and more efficient.  However, sustaining this position for long periods can create imbalance in the spine which can lead to irritation, discomfort and injury.

Getting your bike fitted properly

There is not much you can do on the bike - although it goes without saying that you see a bike specialist to make sure your bike is optimally fitted to your proportions.  If you can, try to find a company that can observe you actually cycling so they can see what's happening when you move.  I would recommend www.bike-science.com who can do a 3D analysis of your position and movement on the bike.

Rebalancing your body

I have several clients that cycle to work and recreationally at weekends.  For these Tour De France wannabes, I make sure that I put in exercises that extend the spine or reverse the bike position curvature of the spine.  I also include exercises to upright and extend the upper back as well as externally rotate the arms and retract and depress the shoulders.  All these actions are the reverse of the position on the bike which encourages flexion of the spine, internal rotation of the arms, protraction of the shoulder blades.  I also include exercises that work the glutes, hamstrings and lower back in an extended position.  In cycling the glutes and hamstrings work against a flexed torso but we need these muscles to co-ordinate in upright as well.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started and make sure you go through them with a trained specialist to make sure you are in the correct alignment and use correct technique.

Precision Movement exercises for cyclists with back pain
Precision Movement exercises for cyclists with back pain
Precision Movement exercise for cyclists with back pain
Precision Movement exercise for cyclists with back pain
Precision Movement exercise for cyclists with back pain
Precision Movement exercise for cyclists with back pain

The best bike solution if you have a back problem

dutch bike best for back pain
dutch bike best for back pain

The best bike for bad backs is the Dutch style with high handle bars.  Yes it's more of a cruising bike with a vintage feel - you are not going to see Chris Hoy on one of these - but it is the best choice for those who have back problems or structural damage.  The higher handle bars encourage your spine to stay more upright which helps keep to maintain the discs and vertebra in the optimal alignment thus reducing the risk of discomfort. 

If you are prone to back problems or have an injury like a disc prolapse it is better to take short journeys between 20-30 mins and then get off and walk or stretch a bit rather than doing a 3 hour power cycle.  The spine does not like sustained postures so the more you can change up your position the less likely you'll irritate your back. Cycle for enjoyment which means take it easy with the speed and the resistance.  

Don't forget your helmet and happy pain free cycling! 

For more information on exercise for cyclists whether recreational or professional please contact KT at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk.  If you are injured and would like more information on how KT can help you please visit the website at www.precisionmovement.co.uk.