Why your brain needs you to practice during the pandemic


Hi everyone, I’m Griff Wigley, Mountain Bike Geezer and host of the MTB Practice Lab podcast. 

One of the things we’re all facing in this pandemic is uncertainty. And of course, it’s the anxious/fearful type, not the exciting/thrilling type.

If your situation is not dire -- you and your loved ones are healthy and have no immediate worry about food and other necessities -- you may wonder if practicing mountain biking skills is relevant. You might see the benefits of going out riding, either by yourself (a great distraction during the pandemic) or with others (pretty straightforward to follow social distancing guidelines when biking). 

But practicing at a time like this? Doing something deliberately hard to try to get better at it when the world has been turned upside down and could remain so for many months?

Yes. The #1 reason? Your brain needs it. No doubt you already see the logic in taking care of your heart and lungs through regular exercise, a healthy diet, and minimizing bad habits that compromise their function.  And you most likely are aware of the explosion of research pointing to the importance of getting enough quality sleep for our brains to function at their best.

But our brains also serve us best when they’re continuously challenged by our trying to learn something difficult. So if you can turn some of your mountain bike riding time into mountain bike practicing time, you’ll be doing a good thing for your heart, lungs, and your brain all at the same time. 

So whatever your future is with this pandemic, if you’re hoping to live through it like I am, you’re going to need your brain. Why not do what you can to make sure it’s one that’s running on all cylinders? 

Try to make time for practice. 

In the meantime, take good care.