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5 ways to balance family and fitness this festive season

December 4, 2023

Believe it or not, there’s more to life than waking up at 5 am on Sunday morning, slurping a cup of coffee before heading out for a couple of hours of suffering on the bike. Time is a rare commodity during the holiday season and between family gatherings.  

1. Set up your trainer alongside the pool.

There’s nothing better than a pool day. Warm sunshine, cool water and a refreshing drink in your hand. This “down” time is the perfect time to get some training in. Dust off your indoor trainer and set it up outside. By “riding” next to the pool, you can act as a lifeguard, keep an eye on any kids splashing about and chat with the rest of the family lazing about. Make sure you’ve got a couple of bottles of water or electrolytes nearby, as you’re bound to work up a proper sweat.  

2. Plan a family riding trip or day.

It might not be the 3-hour zone 3 ride with VO2 max efforts that you had written into your calendar for the day. However, including the family in an activity you love is always well received.  If you don’t have kids, it’s easy to pump up the tyres on your partner’s bike, clip up your helmet, and go off. Make sure that the route is easy enough for all, especially those with little legs. The youngest can be towed in bike buggies or carried in bike seats. You can also rent an e-bike for any family members interested in joining the fun.  Announcing an ice cream stop mid-way or a swim is a great way to encourage participation and cool off.

3. Ride to family lunch.

Skip the chaotic car ride to your sibling’s house for the family lunch or dinner and ride there instead. Remember to pack a change of clothes; you won’t be the favourite child if you’re sitting at the table in sweaty lycra. You may have to convince someone else to drive, as after indulging in a big meal, you probably won’t want to ride home again.

4. Try different activities

You can participate in numerous activities that directly positively influence your cycling fitness. Think tennis or padel, running, or even a gym class. Padel is a spin-off of squash, tennis and badminton and is the sport taking the world by storm. You can easily find a club and court near you on the Padel Australia website. Most clubs have racquets for hire, so there’s no need to invest in expensive equipment. Swimming is another fantastic summer alternative. It’s incredibly time-efficient, and we promise that a 45-minute swim will let you doze off in the shade later that afternoon.

5. Enjoy the time off.

Something that many of us cyclists are bad at is taking time off.  We’re notorious for riding ourselves into the ground day in and day out. Use this family time to hang up the bike for a week or two and enjoy the time off. Spend time cleaning your gear and clearing out your bike cupboard. Tidying up, recycling the old tyres you aren’t going to use again, and restocking all your supplies. Many bike stores may be closed during the festive period, so double-check this to make sure you’re stocked up beforehand. Sleep in, go to brunch, wear something other than lycra on a Saturday. The rest could positively impact your fitness and mental health, leaving you refreshed and ready to tackle the new year with renewed enthusiasm.  

If you’re visiting family and friends in Victoria or Queensland and looking for a trusted bike shop in the area, you can find out more about some of our favourite Queensland and Victoria stores here.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing this holiday season, we hope you’re doing it with the people important to you and enjoying the festivities.

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