Walking And Counseling For My Health

For the longest time, I believed that I had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). If you had not heard of it, it meant that watery cysts were recovering my ovaries. It resulted from hormonal imbalance most of the time; however, it could also be because of excessive weight, stress, and other factors.

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The first time I learned about it was when I did not get my period for seven months. Mind you; I was not sexually active at the time. I was only 19 years old and busy studying in college. The only thing that changed was that I had too many projects and assignments around that time, and I could not get at least five hours of sleep every night.

The first couple of months that I did not menstruate, I was like, “Okay, this is fine. Some people used to say that it is normal.” But when the fourth month came, I asked my mom to take me to her OB-GYN to see what’s up with my reproductive system.

Health Issues

Since I was still pretty young, the doctor ordered an abdominal ultrasound. It was like those ultrasounds that expecting women get when they want to see their babies or hear their heartbeats. That’s when she said she saw tiny cysts around my ovaries and got me started on short-term medication to jumpstart my menstruation. However, it took three more months before the treatment worked.

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My periods had never been regular ever since. I had also been told that I might have issues losing weight because of it, so she even prescribed a drug called metformin, more commonly known as a pill for diabetics. She said that it could help my weight loss get started and hopefully fix my issues.

Six years later, though, it was still the same, so I decided to look for another doctor, who then asked me to get a trans-rectal ultrasound. In truth, she was surprised that the other doctor only asked for an abdominal ultrasound since you cannot really see much through the abdomen. She added, “A vaginal ultrasound would have been the best choice, but you are not sexually active, so that a trans-rectal ultrasound would be the next best thing for you.”

I did that and found out that I do not have PCOS. The doctor said that my ovaries were clean, and everything was normal. More importantly, I might not have even had it at all, contrary to what the other doctor told me. I was happy to know that, of course, but my new doctor pulled me off my high too soon when she then said, “Now, we need to look into other possible reasons why your menses are irregular. I would like you to take thyroid and fasting blood sugar tests.”

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Neither sounded good to me. My family had a history of diabetes, after all. My grandfather died because of it. Then, one of my aunts had Hashimoto’s disease, which was another thyroid problem. Both illnesses meant a lifetime of medication, and I did not want that.

Luckily, the test results came early, and it turned out everything was normal. I wanted to be happy about it, but I also felt baffled because I still did not know what’s wrong with me. The doctor asked me about my stress level, and I said it was as high as a skyscraper. She advised me to see a psychologist or counselor, believing that stress could be really good for correcting my hormonal imbalance.

Seeing A Counselor For My Health

The counseling sessions were everything that I expected and more. The counselor was also a psychologist, and she ruled out the possibility of me having depression. However, as I mentioned above, I was dealing with an incredible amount of stress, which could be affecting my well-being.

So, the counselor tasked me to learn how to manage my time better. For instance, instead of working at night, I should recalibrate my sleep pattern to do my job in the morning. If I ever went out, the latest time I should be on the streets was midnight so that I could still get enough rest.

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It genuinely worked, but my weight issues were still there. The counselor said, “I am not a physical trainer or nutritionist, but you may find walking beneficial in more ways than one. Aside from helping you sweat out the toxins in your body, it can also be an excellent de-stressing activity.”

I tried it on that day. Since the counselor’s office was only two blocks away from my apartment, I decided to walk home after our session instead of calling an Uber. Over the weekend, I walked up a mountain and on the shoreline. The sights, the fresh air, and the exercise made me feel good, so I promised to do it as often as possible.

Hands down, getting counseling was the best decision I ever made.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Depression

Being locked down in my house for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic made me a little paranoid about going out. Hence, even when the restrictions got lifted, I stayed at home as much as possible.

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I would say that the most beautiful thing I got out of it was my cat’s love. Lulu was a gift from my friends a year ago because they remembered me telling them that I wanted a cat a long time ago. However, the new feline member of the family did not like me very much in the beginning. She would not hiss or scratch me, but she always ignored me.

When I stayed indoors with Lulu more often, though, she somehow got used to my presence. She no longer left any room I was in; sometimes, she would even lay down near my feet or rub against my leg while watching TV. It honestly felt like Lulu already accepted me.

But then again, my boss ended our work-from-home setup and asked everyone to return to the office. I was hesitant to do that primarily due to the health risks that would come with this rule. What I failed to account for was its impact on Lulu. It took weeks of biking to and from work for me to realize that Lulu barely ate the food I left in her container and stayed in her bed for God knew how long.

Could Lulu be depressed?

How can I tell if my cat is depressed? 

Your cat may be depressed if:

  • It does not want to eat at all.
  • It hides more often than not.
  • It seldom wants to move.
  • It has become aggressive all of a sudden.
  • It tends to sleep a lot.

Do indoor cats get depressed? 

Although it does not seem too familiar, yes, indoor cats get depressed sometimes. You will notice it when they lose interest in their favorite foods or refuse to do anything in the house.

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How can you tell if your cat is feeling bad? 

The quickest way to know if your cat is dealing with a physical or mental issue is by checking its energy level. Cats may not be as active as dogs, but if your cat seems to be lazier than ever, it is often a sign that something’s wrong with them. Similarly, their food consumption also indicates cats’ moods. If your feline does not eat, they may not feel too well even if you prepare their favorites. 

Are two cats better than one? 

Yes, two cats are always better than one. The reason has something to do with getting two cats entails that two more animals have a new family to care for them. As for the expenses, there is not much difference between one or two cats.

What makes a cat depressed? 

The death of their partner can undoubtedly make a cat feel depressed. It is also possible when you relocate them, leave them behind often, or do not pay enough attention to them.

How do you cheer up a cat? 

  • Allocate time for your cat every day. Even if you do not leave the house and play with it for more than 30 minutes, that may make them happy.
  • Keep in mind that cats love to catch mice, light, or even a ball of yarn. You can buy those for them so that they don’t feel lonely when you are out.
  • Set up scratching poles or climbing towers at home. Though such structures may take up some space in the living room, they can cheer up a cat.
  • Bring your cat to a cat café or let it watch cat-stimulating videos on YouTube.
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Do cats feel sad when you give them away? 

Of course, cats feel sad when you give them away. It tells them two things: they need to get used to new surroundings and owners and are no longer wanted in your home.

Is it okay if my cat sleeps all day? 

Yes, it is normal for cats to sleep all day. Most pets do catnapping, which can take up to 18 hours daily. Despite that, their senses should still be sharp, in the sense that they wake up when someone walks nearby or touches them.

What does it mean if a cat sleeps on you? 

If a cat sleeps on you, it mostly means that they mark you as their own. It is technically a positive thing.

How do I rehydrate my cat? 

A dehydrated cat may want to drink more water if you add flavor to it. That flavor mostly comes from low-sodium chicken or beef broth.

What does a happy cat look like? 

A cat’s ears perk up when they are happy. You will also notice that they lick themselves or run around more when they do not feel depressed.

Is my cat stressed or sick? 

A stressed or sick cat typically does something that it does not always do. For instance, if your cat is used to doing its business in the litter box or playing with toys, and then it stops doing all that, something is undoubtedly wrong with them.

Should I let my cat sleep with me? 

Yes, you should let your cat sleep with you, especially if you are alone. Feeling it breathe may help you doze off more quickly.

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How do you relax a stressed cat?

If you wish to soothe a stressed cat, you need to do the following:

  • Give your cat a wide berth. You cannot force it to cheer up, no matter what you do. If possible, let it be alone in a room for a little while. Your pet will come out and play when it’s ready.
  • Try to keep the environment the same at all times. Even if you need to move to another house, recreate the original setup so that the cat will not feel alienated.
  • Offer play options to your cat all the time. Fake mice or laser is not enough for all pets. If possible, add a climbing tower or scratching pole in the mix, too.
  • Avoid yelling when your cat is around, mainly if it is newly adopted. You want to make it comfortable at your house, not scare it away.

Final Thoughts

I had to ask the vet to help me find a behavioral specialist for animals to determine if Lulu had depression. I felt sad when the specialist confirmed my suspicion. It felt like I failed as a pet owner. However, he advised me to spend more time with my cat or settle with a routine so that Lulu won’t get too depressed. After a few months, it worked, and she liked me enough to let me take her on my bike rides sometimes.

How My Mental Health Improved When I Started Cycling Everywhere

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I moved to New York from Minnesota not too long ago to pursue my dream of working with the US’s best marketers. If you have never been to my town, you will realize why I wanted to get away from it badly. There was no 7-Eleven store; the only shop you would find was Nelly’s, our family business.

In all fairness, my parents never took it negatively whenever I talked about my dreams of moving to the Big Apple. They used to say, “We will not be a hindrance to your dreams. If that’s what you want to do, we will support you in any way possible.” Therefore, a day after my graduation, my father drove my car for hours to New York and only rode a plane on the way back.

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Moving To New York

I did not have a tough time finding a great job in the Big Apple. After a month of sending applications, I became a junior marketer at a well-known agency. The condo I found was technically 20 minutes away from the office, so I thought it was cool. But when my commute started, I realized that cars wouldn’t work there – I needed a bicycle if I wanted to get anywhere on time.

Here’s how my mental health improved once I cycled everywhere.

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I Stopped Worrying About Being Late For Work

I used to get up at 5:45 A.M. and leave the house precisely an hour later in hopes of beating the morning rush. However, when you live in the heart of New York, there was hardly any time when cars were not in a traffic jam. Because of that, when I moved there for the first time for work, my heart always beats fast, and I was worried sick about being late and eventually getting a memo. That’s what happened to the person I replaced, as I had been told.

Then, one time I became late because of a roadside accident, I had a panic attack at work. My team leader found me in the pantry, hugging my knees. It was technically my first offense, but I still feared losing my job. The team leader took pity on me and pulled me outside for some fresh air. That’s when she divulged that the key to avoiding lateness was riding a bike to work. She even pointed me to the store where she bought hers.

Desperate, I bought a bicycle immediately after my shift. I found a bike route from my condo to the workplace. The next day, I tried this new mode of transportation. I left my unit around the same and reached the office with 15 minutes to spare. Hence, I was no longer worried about going to work late.

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I Became Rarely Angered By Thoughtless Drivers

No matter how long the distance was, I often felt frustrated because of the thoughtless drivers in New York. Some were too much in a hurry to signal turning or overtaking; others would honk so frequently even when they could see that the red light was on. In the last couple of months, I almost got into a fight with other motorists due to such incidents.

When I learned how to pedal everywhere, though, my car stayed in the garage most of the time. I merely used the bike lane, and there was no traffic at all. Although the vehicles remained at a standstill for an hour or two, the traffic could not bother me anymore. Wherever I went, I would arrive smiling.

The people who used to see me scowling every time I hopped out of my car found the change refreshing. They asked about my “secret,” and I pointed towards my bicycle. Some of them followed my lead and started cycling, too.

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I Learned That Patience Was An Excellent Virtue To Have

Admitting this might put me in a bad light, but I had always been impatient. I had been like that ever since I was a kid – I wanted to do everything in fast forward. That’s the reason why I begged my parents to get me a car on my 16th birthday and hardly walked anywhere. However, it turned out to be a bane when I arrived in New York. The bigger your vehicle was in the Big Apple, the slower you could reach your destination.

Things changed once I used a bicycle as my preferred mode of transportation. Even though there were bike lanes, it was still inadvisable to pedal as fast as I could in the metropolitan since I had to be mindful of overtaking cars around me. It meant that I could only go up to 15 or 20 kmh, so my travel time became longer.

Instead of feeling frustrated, I learned to enjoy the ride. It was the fastest way to go anywhere around the city, after all. If I got upset with cycling, I might have to walk or, worse, drive my car again. Hence, I altered my mindset and appreciated the fact that I would not have known how to be patient if I didn’t buy a bicycle. Doing so allowed me to avoid exploding at work if a colleague forgot to do their tasks, among other things.

 

If you live in a busy city and are always commuting light, consider riding a bicycle. It will be good for your physical and mental health, I swear.

 

Playing Indoor Soccer With Your Family? Here Are The Best Shoes For Men

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A large family group can perform all kinds of sports, but the best one seems to be indoor soccer. Imagine that if a sizeable piece of land is attached to the house, you need not leave the property. You can play as soon as you wake up or right before you sleep. That is especially ideal for soccer fans, of course.

Despite the convenience of playing indoor soccer, you should know that you are not supposed to do it while wearing regular shoes or slippers. Even if you don’t have an official match, your feet won’t be safe if you don’t put on proper footwear for every game.

On that note, here are the best indoor soccer shoes for men.

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Source: pxfuel.com

Diadora Men’s Capitano LT Indoor Soccer Shoes

Diadora used to specialize in mountain boots and work shoes in the past. As expected from this brand, it has made the best indoor soccer shoes with no less than a premium Italian leather. The Capitano LT is constructed with more of this material than synthetic rubber in general, which can compete with other world-class brands when you talk about performance and durability.

What we appreciate in these soccer shoes is the old-school vibe that the pair gives off. Although many colors and intricate designs are getting invented to attract consumers these days, Diadora has remained true to its core values and continues to prove that leather can be incorporated in sports stuff, too. If we are honest, it can be beneficial for players, considering the leather will initially be tight. It can expand a little later on to accommodate their feet.

The insole is a thing of beauty as well. It is a similar kind of foam that you see in kids’ rubber stickers. If you had played with those when you were young, you know that they do not tear easily unless you snip them with scissors. It is also crack- and water-resistant, so you will be able to use the shoes for a long time.

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Under Armour Men’s ClutchFit Force 2.0 Indoor Soccer Shoes

Under Armour, a brand that many individuals in the sports world trusts, has come up with ClutchFit technology, which has been employed to make this product. ClutchFit Force 2.0 is the best indoor soccer shoes, in the sense that the consumer can genuinely feel as if he is one with the shoes, and the ball can be touched by his feet. The new system works on the upper layer of the shoes, and its role is to protect the user while kicking the soccer ball to victory.

ClutchFit Force 2.0 is available in five different colors. It is meant to be worn indoors and is so light that you will not feel burdened to pay with this one. This also has a die-cut sock liner inside that can keep your feet comfortable and safe from injuries. These features are incredibly relevant for soccer players since that part of their body serves as their bread and butter in the sport. That’s why they only want to deal with shoes that can secure them. Luckily, Under Armour has got everything covered.

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Nike Men’s Mercurial Victory Shoes

Nike Mercurial Victory are the ultimate shoes to look for if you wish to play soccer indoors. We are saying this with a strong conviction. We have already seen firsthand how Nike has beaten the others in terms of endurance and convenience.

The shoes’ collar has a carved-out layer, allowing the player’s feet to flex more freely. It rests around joint, so it will remain protected even if the ball bumps into it. The design seems so-so at the front at first glance because apart from the glittery Nike logo, there is nothing else there. However, once you look further, you will realize that the color gets darker in an ombre fashion, which is “in” nowadays.

Its outsole is on a different level, too, since its stitches on the upper layer won’t come undone quickly. As for the design, think of the image that forms on the paper when you give your fingerprints. The smallest circles start on the joint of the largest toe and in the middle of the heel and extend throughout the foot.

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Final Thoughts

How lucky can you be to play your favorite sports with some of your favorite individuals in the world? And because there are ideally ten or 20 members of your family, you may hold annual competitions in an indoor soccer area and come up with rewards or punishments (whichever sounds more fun).

Before you jump on a deal, though, try to be more sensible and let your relatives know about the best shoes for indoor soccer. After all, you undoubtedly don’t want to see your family injured, mainly when a little information may prevent it.

Good luck with the games!

 

 

Self-Care Tips For Cyclists In These Challenging Times

 

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These are devastating, scary, challenging times. We often worry about our family and significant others. We worry about our jobs, our finances, and ourselves. Despite all these challenges, our previous coping capabilities – racing, cycling, and group rides – are all interrupted or prohibited. For those who are used to endurance sport to release their toxins and bad vibes and to deal with their mental health during the good times, when routines are canceled during this tremendously stressful period can affect not only their physical but their psychological well-being as well.

Some may think that engaging in physical activity is less important during a global crisis; long-term health and self-care is indeed very crucial with or without COVID-19. If you believe this, then you must strive to take care of yourself while finding ways to help flatten the curve. Self-care alleviates mental health problems that may persist after the coronavirus has subsided.

Below are some recommendations from health experts regarding mental health and exercise.

Be Mindful Of Mental Health

If you usually take a ride, maintain that routine while sticking to the social distancing measures implemented in your state or community. This could mean cycling alone, doing the trainer once in a while, or moving your trainer in the patio or backyard if you are not allowed to leave the house that day. Whatever you plan to do, do it without hesitation. The pandemic is a time to be active. When we take care of ourselves, we are keeping ourselves safe, healthy, and helping our community.

This is particularly vital for endurance athletes who love utilizing their endorphins. Being idle and sedentary can result in pessimism, hopelessness, and depression that may influence other areas of your life. Try to do something every day. It will help keep your brain and body active.

 

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Set New Goals

Endurance athletes are typically very driven and focused on achieving their goals. Most probably, their goals are not in a balance right now, so it would be great to set new ones. Short-term goals like holding 30-second or 1-minute planks or doing more squats are a start. Monitor your time and strive to improve on it daily. Challenge yourself to find more complex activities when you achieve your first few goals. List several short-term goals that could be done while you’re at home and can’t bike. Look for new workout regimens online – anything that’s healthy, feasible, and ones that will get your heart rate up and about.

These new goals will not only help you surpass the COVID times, but they will definitely be beneficial down the line when you realize at times that you’re not following your routine for some annoying reason.

Take This Time To Reevaluate

Despite the disappointment and devastation of the lockdowns, quarantines, and cancellations, perhaps deep inside you feel a little relieved – not because of the pandemic but for the downtime, the time for you to take a breather from the hectic life you previously lived. And that’s fine too. Some cyclists said that they felt a sigh of relief when their events were canceled. The upside is that this crisis has slowed down everything, including the responsibilities, the ego, being responsible for others, and waiting for others’ approval. It has enabled people to reflect and find the reason for their journey through life. Some are just so weary and realize that they do need a break from racing or cycling. If you’ve suffered from injuries or experienced burnouts, this is a chance to heal completely and get your groove back.

 

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Always Connect With Your Community

Seclusion is among the worst things that can happen to mental health, so make sure that you stay connected with your family, friends, and other members of the community. Though you won’t see them as often as you want, you can keep in touch with them virtually through chat or video call.

If, on the other hand, you feel sad or out of the weather, look for someone you can talk to. Training and cycling can be a tough façade for other existing issues that have not been attended to. If you’re feeling troubled or don’t have the appetite, or just feel depressed, seek help from a professional who can address these concerns medically. Your usual routine has been disrupted, and sometimes your mental well-being can be affected, so find ways to protect your health physically, mentally, and emotionally.

By prioritizing self-care in times when you can’t ride the bike or do your usual routines, you can quickly move toward the new normal if and when it happens.

 

 

 

 

Guidelines For Cycling Amid The COVID-19 Outbreak

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As the COVID-19 outbreak progresses day after day, cycling competitions and other major biking events have eventually been postponed, if not canceled. If you love biking, you might worry because you have been used to going for long rides for your physical health, along with the races that you join from time to time. It might consequently hinder you from getting the training and improvement that you are aiming for this year.

Don’t worry too much! We asked an expert to provide us with some important guidelines that you can follow if you decide to go biking admit the virus outbreak.

It’s safe to ride outdoors as long as you’re alone.

When you ride with other people and someone coughs or sneezes, droplets might reach you or onto objects that others or even you might touch. Now, that’s not safe. The best way to bike safely is to ride alone, enjoy the outside environment by yourself, and make your way through less crowded areas. Also, you can check the time when your favorite biking spots become secluded or when people are not loitering anymore. Biking for 30 to 60 minutes strengthens your immune system and this is very good in keeping yourself protected against Coronavirus. If you’re sick, however, you’ll have to rest and stay at home. You can walk around your house or if you’re not too weak, you can even do some weights.

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Wearing a mask is necessary.

Yes, it is. The Center For Disease Control has released a mandate ordering everyone to wear a mask for other people’s protection. That is the main goal – not to protect you but to protect the person near you. Wearing a mask definitely helps decrease the spread of the virus since it prevents saliva and other droplets from being transmitted to other people. If you are biking and you are going solo, it may not be important to wear a mask at all times. But if you ever wander into a crowded area, you better keep it on. Athletes should be one of the first people to show adherence to these serious guidelines. Health professionals also discourage taking your mask off and on, as this increases hand-to-mouth exposure.

You can ride solo during a shelter-in-place mandate.

A shelter-in-place announcement was made last month in the state of California. This means that everybody is advised to stay indoors until further notice. However, most mandates have now been modified to allow people to do activities outdoors as long as they do these by themselves. They are to follow strict social distancing guidelines as well. Officials have made considerations like this because they are aware that people also need to walk, bike, or hike to keep themselves healthy. To be safe, do check your local health facilities and be aware of the recent updates in your community.

Never ride in groups – that is overemphasized.

This is totally prohibited. The danger isn’t only in people who ride smaller bikes but even mountain bikes as well. Do it solo to cut down the risk of spreading the virus to other bikers. Currently, there are no existing competitions, small or big, and even group gatherings where biking is concerned. All races lined up for this year have been postponed or canceled.

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Just to be clear – your sweat is not the reason why you should avoid biking with friends or bike mates. Sweat has not actually been confirmed to be a channel for transmission. The transmission happens when someone sneezes or coughs and you happen to be close to this person. If you don’t get lucky, you could catch those droplets from a distance and if that person’s contaminated, you will be as well. So if you want to keep biking, follow these guidelines and you’ll be fine.

 

 

 

Life After Rehab: Bouncing Back From Drug Addiction Through Biking

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Drug addiction is one of the worst and most frustrating experiences you can face in your lifetime. For some who have gone through rehabilitation, the process after recovering might be just as hard. It leaves you feeling lost and confused, even ashamed to face life after being an addict.

Most people set out with the best intentions but lose their will to commit to consistent exercise over time.  — Scott Dehorty MSW, LCSW-C

Unfortunately, life is bound to change after addiction. For some, relapse is also common. You are not alone. But how do you handle it? Here, we offer an unconventional way you may not have thought of before: biking.

Biking As A Recovery Mechanism

Think back to when you were enjoying a drug-free life. Revisiting your hobbies (sports, arts, music, etc.) will help you remember how much you enjoyed life without any substance involved.

Biking is useful in this respect. It has always been one of the most celebrated physical activities because of its several benefits. Whether you are a recovering drug addict or not, here are three reasons on how biking helps you get back on your feet:

  1. It gives you a reason to move and go out.

Life after rehab may trigger you to lock yourself at home and do nothing. If you have never found a reason to enjoy outdoors, you may have a hard time appreciating your new life.

Learning how to bike (or getting back to it) will make you feel as if you’re officially a new person. It allows you to look at your surroundings with greater appreciation. Not only that, but you will also get to experience the beauty of life. It will help you stay motivated as you stay drug-free!

Physical activity provides a great opportunity to practice mindfulness and stay in the moment, and cycling is a wonderful way to achieve that. — Mirsad Serdarevic Ph.D.

  1. Biking relieves stress, tension, pressure, anger, and more.
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You will have bad days for sure. Especially when you are in recovery, the bad days can quickly become the start of a bad relapse if you let go. If you’re having a bad day, you may find that being on your bike will turn things around for you.

Find your rhythm in biking to help soothe your nerves. You can start slow and then pick up speed until you find yourself calmed down. The frustration will go away, and it can be a pretty effective natural therapy for your mind.

  1. It keeps you fit.

Maintaining a good physical shape as well as a good routine is vital for anyone. But for those in drug recovery, doing so might have more significance. Drug use can have long-term effects on the body, and it requires someone to be extra mindful of what they do.

On top of that, leading a healthy lifestyle is an announcement of you taking back your life. Biking doesn’t even feel like a workout. In each ride, you will enjoy yourself without realizing you’ve already spent a few hours on it.

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  1. Biking will help you love yourself.

Drug addiction can take away so much self-confidence and replace it with remorse and hatred. But biking will help push you out of your comfort zone, give you a sense of freedom and control, and give you back your lost self-confidence as you take care of your well-being. In no time, you will realize that biking has literally and figuratively taken you to places you’ve never been before. You will soon look at yourself in the mirror and begin loving yourself again.

I look at that little dial on the bike, the one that will determine whether I get stronger or whether I break down in injury. I think of all the times I lost touch with my inner voice and pushed myself toward destruction. — Sara Gluck, PhD, LCSW

Another means of getting your life back and learning to love yourself more is by reaching out to BetterHelp, an online platform that is dedicated to providing you with various ways and strategies to bounce back from past hurts and challenges. Check out their Instagram page or learn more about how you can get counseling now.

Final Words

Recovery is a hard and courageous thing to do. If ever you feel like your life is falling apart, you can try this simple activity. The joy of riding on your bike can be the answer to unlocking a new and better life. Good luck!

Staying Safe While Cycling

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There are many ways to combat the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle: walking, jogging, gardening, playing ball, and swimming come to mind. Still, there is no better feeling than getting on your bike and riding around the neighborhood. — Mirsad Serdarevic Ph.D.

Cycling is a type of exercise that can benefit both your physical strength and mental health. While you’re working up a sweat, your brain’s functions improve, and your muscles grow stronger. More than that, biking around can help lower your levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. When you make cycling a regular habit, you get a particular “high” that puts you in a great mood.

Cycling can also act as a meditation, which helps you clear your mind and feel calm. However, even when you’re zoning out of your daily worries as you bike, you should still prioritize safety. That is why it is necessary to know the safety measures while you’re cycling on the road.

When you are on a traditional bicycle seat, almost all of the pressure is on the base of your penis or vulva, with none of it being shared by the broader back part of your rear end. — Paul Joannides Psy.D.

Getting The Right Gear For Biking

Before you get your bike out, you should make sure that you’re correctly Geared up for the workout. And this does not only apply to you; your bike should also have the necessary accessories to keep you protected. Here are some of the equipment that you need:

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  • Lights. These items are a must-have, especially when you’re cycling in dark areas. You should have a red light on the rear of your bike and white light on the front.
  • Tool kit. When you encounter a problem while on the road, this accessory will come in handy. Be sure to carry a puncture repair kit, tire levers, and inner tubes.
  • Reflective clothes. Wearing a reflective jacket or vest will keep you visible in heavy traffic, especially at night. Drivers of large vehicles will spot you quickly with this gear.
  • Appropriate shoes. Investing in a pair of suitable footwear will make your cycling comfortable and allow you to control your grip on the pedals.
  • Helmet. Wearing a helmet is required by the law. While this headgear won’t necessarily keep you from accidents, they can lessen the possible damage from a fall or crash.

Observing Road Safety

Now that you’ve got the needed equipment, it’s time to learn the rules of riding on the road.

Source: ilovebicycling.com

Riding the roads this summer hasn’t been much of a problem. I get up early, and I’m out at daybreak. Traffic usually hasn’t been that bad, and when I do encounter a congested area, I go up on the sidewalk—just like the few other cyclists in this area. — David Ludden Ph.D.

Remember that you share the way with other vehicles. That means you have a responsibility as a biker to practice safety measures to ensure no one gets hurt. Learn the hand signals used by bikers so that you can communicate with other drivers and cyclists. Don’t use earphones while you bike since this could distract you from what’s happening on the street.

Always obey traffic rules and be a smart driver. Be aware of your surroundings and anticipate what will happen next.

At the same time, be a predictable cyclist. Ride straight, and don’t make unexpected maneuvers. Furthermore, since you need a sharp mind while cycling, never try biking when you’re intoxicated. Riding under the influence of alcohol has caused several accidents.

Remember to check your mirror or look behind you when you’re turning. Take extra precautions when you’re approaching an intersection, especially if it’s a busy one. Stay on the sidewalk unless your area prohibits cyclists from doing so. Maintain biking on the right side of the road.

By getting the right gear and observing these safety measures, you can have a ride that is accident-free and highly enjoyable for you.

Getting Started With Walking For Fitness

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Researchers have discovered that moderate exercise, such as walking for 40 minutes three times a week, can enhance cognitive skills. Specifically, the exercise can improve the connectivity of important brain circuits, mitigate declines in brain function associated with aging and improve performance on cognitive tasks. — Rick Nauert PhD

Walking is one of the simplest but also one of the most underrated exercises for fitness. An average person walks at least 2000 steps per day, but for exercising, you should walk at least double that number or 4000 steps a day.

It may look easy at first glance, but there are proper ways and techniques on how to integrate walking for fitness or weight loss. Brisk walking is a moderate-intensity cardio exercise that burns excessive fats. The pace is different for each person, depending on your age, height, weight, heart rate, and fitness level. It can be from 13 to 20 minutes per mile and can improve as you get used to it.

Heart Rate Level

In walking for fitness, you have to be aware of your heart rate level, particularly your maximum and target heart rate. Your heart rate level will determine the range you can do and the intensity level that fits your fitness plan.

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1. Resting Heart Rate

It is the number of your heart beats per minute when at rest. For most, the normal count is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). Lower resting heart rate means better conditions of the heart muscles.

2. Maximum Heart Rate

Your maximum heart rate is the difference between 220 and your age. In the course of walking, this should be the highest BPM of the heart. It is highly recommended to exercise within 55 to 85% of your maximum heart rate.

3. Target Heart Rate

Once you get your maximum heart rate, you can now calculate your target heart rate. If you’re new to walking for fitness, you can aim for a lower range of your target zone and gradually build up your pace. You can use an online calculator to get your desired target heart rate.

Speed And Warm-Up

Getting into the fitness zone will require you to walk a certain speed. To walk faster, you need to have a good posture, proper back-and-forth arm movement, and rolling through each step. Having a good posture will also help you walk easier and breathe better.

 

Here’s a guide on walking intensities and the speed you need, depending on your fitness zone.

  • Health Zone: 120 steps per minute or a 20-minute mile
  • Weight Loss Zone: 135 steps per minute or a 15-minute mile
  • Aerobic Fitness Zone: 150 steps per minute

Moreover, it is essential to do warm-up exercises before walking to avoid sprains and accidents. You should stretch your body and do at least 30 seconds on five warm-up moves such as ankle circles, leg swings, arm circles, jumping jacks, and pelvic loops.

Rhythmic exercise hushes the overthinking, overreasoning, and overanalyzing cortex. It calms the mind, quiets the unwanted thoughts, and creates a sense of well-being. — 

What Do You Need?

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1. Comfortable Shoes

Invest in a comfortable and appropriate pair of walking shoes. Running shoes is also alright if walking shoes are not available. Find a shoe that bends easily through the ball of the foot. Avoid shoes with high tops or elevated wedges.

2. Pedometer

A digital pedometer would be your best companion in your walking journey. It records your steps and converts them into miles. Some pedometers also estimate the calories you’ve burned based on your given data.

Calorie intake is only one part of the weight-loss process, and if physical activity monitoring showed very little activity, it would explain why the pounds were coming off so slowly. — Judith J. Wurtman Ph.D.

3. Safety

When walking outside, always observe safety and watch the traffic around you. Always walk on sidewalks or the left side of the street. If wearing headphones, it is better to use only one earpiece so that you can stay aware of the traffic and the noises around you. Wearing reflective gear is also recommended so that you can remain visible to drivers.

 

Knowing these tips will help you reap the health benefits of walking for fitness. Find a routine that suits you, and enjoy the journey.