Stress Less with Smooth MondaysMaddy Slade | 12 Apr 2022
It's Stress Awareness Month and this year's theme is community. Here at Apex, we consider ourselves a family, and you guys, our A-Team, are at the forefront of everything we do.
The rides we offer are all about engaging and connecting you to one another. We're here whenever you need us, offloading your stress and making your day that little bit better.
With that in mind we thought we'd delve a little deeper into our Smooth Monday rides. Smooth Mondays are all about easing you into your week and getting you energised and in the right headspace for the week ahead.
You can expect a calm start and smooth beats as you build power and work to your own pace. These rides include weights to pull your body into focus and will incorporate breathwork to get you in command of your body and your ride. You'll finish with a stretch at the end and head off feeling bright and ready for anything!
We sat down with Apex instructor Carol Ann to learn a bit more about Smooth Mondays and what she does to destress and gear up for the week ahead...
What are Smooth Mondays about for you?
Smooth Mondays are about easing into your week in a way that allows you to be more productive and tackle your weekly tasks with greater focus. It's a ride where you can not only get a great workout, but also decompress and create focus all in one.
Can you explain some of the benefits of breathwork on and off the bike?
I think we hear 'breathwork' and immediately think that it's only for calming us down. This is definitely true; certain types of breathing can stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system helping us to feel calmer. However, there are so many other types of breathwork with different benefits such as breathing for mental clarity or energising breath.
Do you have any tips for riders around managing stress?
I find lists enormously helpful. They help me prioritise and give me perspective. It's also important to remember that stress is a normal and functional part of how we live, but how we react to stress is what is key. There are a lot of cognitive-behavioural techniques for managing stress that don't take long to learn and are hugely helpful for me. One of the most helpful tools for me is diaphragmatic breathing, which I hope to get into once or twice during a Smooth Monday warmup.
What helps you get into the right headspace for the week ahead?
I love starting the week with yoga or meditation. I used to get to Monday after a big weekend and think "OK I've got to hit the gym or a class hard today to make up for the weekend." I know this works for a lot of people, but for me, it turned into a vicious cycle of me never really slowing down and I ended up being less productive and not having the balance in my life that I wanted. This is why I love the idea of Smooth Mondays. It's the perfect opportunity to start the week with more clarity and focus.
What does your wellness routine look like?
It's a work in progress. Some days it involves journaling, lots of nutritious foods and mindfulness...other days it's a simple walk or a 5 minute breathing exercise.
To learn more about our favourite ways to de-stress and reset, check out our blog post here.
Smooth Mondays are released on-demand on your Apex app every Monday at 7AM and are streamed with a live leaderboard at 6:15PM.
We'll see you on the bike A-Team!