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I’m a group exercise junkie. I love the positive atmosphere, the comradery, the competitions, and of course—the sweat! Especially when it comes to indoor cycling.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes (when I am not teaching at CYCLEBAR) I need a little extra push to get myself to SpinX® class. Knowing that my favorite instructor will ask where I was or that I left my bike buddy hanging helps to keep me motivated and committed.
Feel like you’re just spinning your wheels when it comes to cycling class? Whether you’re all about black lights and hard beats or it’s your first time clipping in, here are a few tips from my experience as a rider and instructor on how to take your indoor cycling class to the next level.
If you’re uncomfortable or something hurts that shouldn’t, nine times out of ten your bike is set up the wrong way. Come to class a bit early and ask your instructor for help—that’s what we’re here for! This will guarantee a comfortable, injury-free and more enjoyable ride.
Never come to class without your water and towel. Everyone loves to hydrate during class, but remember to stick to healthy H2O habits. You should be hydrating hours or even a whole day before class. You lose a lot of sweat during cycling. Being hydrated ensures a cramp-free workout.
Fitness is a personal experience, especially when you’re in that dark cycling room. Take advantage of the darkness. Instead of trying to beat workout Barbie in the front row, focus on pushing yourself to do better than your last class. Remember why you came into that room. Competing with people who are at different fitness levels will only leave you disappointed—which is not what those Spin® endorphins should do for you!
As instructors, we spend a lot of time on our music and riding to the beat. Gear recommendations are essential to keeping to that beat, that’s why where we guide you on where to be. Going too fast out of the saddle and not syncing to the song can be bad for your body. You actually use more energy and burn more calories when you use the right resistance and push through those gears. So listen up—and listen to us—for a safer, more efficient ride.
You are in a room of like-minded people. Find a Spin® buddy that will keep you honest and hold you accountable for that next class. Get to know your instructor. From your favorite workout jam to your birthday, we enjoy a little one-on-one chat! We’re here to give you the best class and a great workout, so come talk to us and help us do so.
If you’ve never been to an indoor cycling class, look on the MINDBODY app for a studio in your area and go try one! Don’t be intimidated; cycling is one of those things that everyone can do. You can always go slower, or use less resistance—I promise you get better quickly and you’ll be wanting that front row seat in no time.
For all things spin and fitness, follow Kateri at @thehealthybusylady!
I’m celebrating week 21 of pregnancy. Baby is the size of a banana or bell pepper. I don’t know why it’s so fun to compare a growing fetus to a fruit or veggie, but it gives me a much-needed laugh while I make note to avoid consuming bananas for the week. This is also ultrasound week. I’m no longer able to bring my husband and daughter to the appointment, but we understand that these restrictions are put in place to protect us. Like so many pregnant women and mothers across the world, I’m doing my best to adapt to the new norm and changes that COVID-19 has introduced to my already stressful life.
Pregnant women across various metro cities are beginning to face fears of delivering their baby without a birthing partner by their side for the duration of the hospital stay. Family members and friends may not be able to meet baby in-person for quite some time, so those special first meetings happen over FaceTime. New mommy groups switch to virtual meetups. I’m feeling the weight of it all (and I’m not referring to the extra weight I’ve gained from WFH snacking), the heaviness of the unknown that we all carry as we navigate through all of this change.
Tuning into nightly news or googling the latest COVID-19 death tolls is a surefire way to lose sleep, but we do it anyway because we want to stay informed as we wrap our heads around how much this pandemic will change our world. Maybe your anxiety and personal despair grow as you hear from a friend who recently lost their job or read about your favorite restaurant unable to keep its doors open. Canceled events, long-anticipated vacations, and temporarily closed fitness studios are not only inconvenient, but force us to reframe our attitudes.
I can hear my mother’s voice telling me to relax. She tells me that the baby can feel my stress, and that isn’t good for anyone. I begin to feel guilty about my inability to quiet the negative feelings and decide that something needs to change. We can’t change what the media reports, the pressure at work, or predict how long it will take for the economy to recover. But what if we reminded ourselves to do the best with what we have and keep moving forward—one day at a time. Amidst the chaos, we’re becoming a stronger, kinder community, and that is truly a beautiful thing to see.
The journey to my second trimester wasn’t an easy one. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage a few years ago. I made time for my body and mind to heal after the loss. Float tank sessions, meditation, vinyasa power flow, and frequent facials helped me connect with my body. I can’t say self-care alone healed my depression, but it certainly helped me discover the importance of self-love and repaired my self-confidence.
After many pregnancy tests and negative results, I was at peace with accepting that having another child may not be in the cards for me. Fast forward to age 37. I was shocked to see a + symbol on three pregnancy stick tests. Although I’m medically referred to as a geriatric pregnancy, my OB/Gyn said there was no reason for me to go into this pregnancy with a negative mindset. Eat healthy, stay active, and focus on being POSITIVE. Maybe the pursuit of happiness and path to personal wellness was really that simple.
On my 38th birthday, I celebrated my 20th week of pregnancy—I’ll refer to it as the “Pregnant in a Pandemic Party.” I blew out a candle on a warm chocolate chip cookie that my husband and daughter baked together. They were my only party guests, but I didn’t need a room full of people at a fancy restaurant to feel pure gratitude. People across the world continue to test positive for COVID-19. I was safe in my home with my family. I was right where I needed to be.
Although the past few weeks have brought a wide range of emotions for all of us, I’m choosing to use this extra time to self-reflect and bond with family. I’m mentally recording my five-year-old daughter as she whispers to my stomach and tells her baby sister that August couldn’t come soon enough. This is life. So perfectly imperfect at times, but beautiful in more ways than we know. We may be housebound, down to the last few rolls of toilet paper, and our hair hasn’t seen a salon in over a month. The loss of control and routine over our daily lives can make us feel like failures. Trust me; we’re not. We were never meant to get through this alone. Together, we will get through this—one day at a time.