Stationary cycling has been all the rage recently, in particular during the pandemic where exercising indoors became a necessity. Indoor cycling classes are certainly worth a try, if you haven't already. Here are five tips to help you get started!
1. It's Not Just Riding a Bike
You got riding a bike down pat, but indoor cycling classes aren't quite exactly the same as riding your bike to work. Indoor cycling is more like actually dancing on a bike. Make sure to get some of the basics down by doing some research before your first class. Pay attention to getting the moves right, as it's important to ensure you are working out the proper muscles to prevent muscle injuries.
Set up of your bike properly, so that you have a comfortable and productive ride. Adjust your seat height to a position where you get good knee extension. The handlebars should be comfortable and such that your shoulders are level. Your instructor will help you if you have any questions with set up.
2. Prepare Your Body and Your Environment
This may be obvious, but please remember to drink lots of water before you ride and have bottles of it with you for refreshments as needed during your workout.
Also be mindful of what you eat right before, as a heavy meal may induce more of a food coma, than put you in the mood for an indoor cycling class. But riding while being low-blood-sugar-hangry also doesn't help. Eat a small healthy snack before class.
And lastly, make sure your room is well ventilated and your bike is clear from anything that may get in the way.
3. It can be a royal PITA - No really, Your Butt Muscles Are Gonna Hurt!
Your thighs, calves and glutes will be in for a ride as well. Indoor cycling is quite the workout. It won't be easy, and the repetitive motions and resistance may make for a deadly combination to your muscles. It will get you aching even more on the day after. It may be painful to walk, but I promise you that it's all worth it. Before you know it, your muscles will get stronger and it won't be nearly as bad!
Indoor cycling is great because it's a total-body workout. Your core and back muscle groups help you with balance and stabilization as you ride. Meanwhile your upper body acts as support. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves will be challenged with each pedal. And of course your glutes will also be tested, especially as you increase the resistance levels.
4. Rise Up to the Challenge But Also Be Easy on Yourself
Even pros who have been doing this for many years may find themselves struggling with the resistance levels. Don't let it get you down if you find it hard to keep up at first. When it comes to fitness, slow and steady wins the race. Start off at a level you are comfortable with and slowly work your way up. Consistency is key. Don't bite off more than you can chew at once! Safety comes first.
5. It's Actually TONS of Fun! You're Going to Love It!
(Tip from the Editor) I'm not just saying this but indoor cycling is actually a lot of fun. Before I began it was hard to muster up the motivation to take the plunge and finally do my first at-home cycling class. But since I started, indoor cycling has really changed my life for the better. It got me motivated not just for working out, but also to make healthier lifestyle choices in general. I feel so happy after each workout and it really gets me pumped for the rest of my day. Trust me, you're going to love it!