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Cycling has zoomed into popularity in the recent years as a form of cardio that gets your heart pumping. Whether you’ve never tried it before or are a seasoned pro, consider these tips for the best biking experience possible:
It’s ideal to arrive 10–15 minutes early to allow yourself enough time to get comfortable on the bike and start warming up. The bikes are adjustable in multiple places, and the most common adjustment is the height of the seat. Standing next to the bike, raise or lower the seat until it’s in line with your hips. You should be able to sit comfortably on the bike with your arms naturally on the handlebars with a slight bend. If it doesn’t feel like you can bike for 45 minutes to an hour in that position, it’s going to be a long class (and probably a painful one).
Depending on the class and studio, you can either wear normal athletic shoes or cycling shoes. Some studios have straps that hold your regular shoes in, while some require you to have or rent cycling shoes that clip in. Check ahead of time if they specify.
From start to finish, it's crucial to have the proper form. Not only will it maximize your ride and results, by it will also prevent injuries. Riding a bike may seem all about the legs, but your core and arms are equally as important to pay attention to. The core is your secret powerhouse that helps you push and climb your way to a stronger version of yourself. Avoid tensing up your upper back and wearing your shoulders as earrings. Take a second to check out your arms—they shouldn’t splay out towards the side, elbows stay close to your body and slightly bent. Focus on keeping your core rock-solid, upper body loose, back straight and shoulders down throughout class. It seems like a long list, but checking in helps keep you safe and strong.
Each bike has a knob under the handlebars that controls the resistance or "road" for your workout. Your instructor will call out when to turn it up or down, simulating hills or flat road throughout class. Some bikes have visual representations of the level you’re on, some are just a dial. If you don't have a visual way to see where it's at, go by the feel of it. It's important to remember that, though the instructor gives you cues, listen to your own body first. Don’t feel pressured to keep turning the knob just because you are told to—push yourself to your edge, but don't push it to the point of injury or pain.
Although it’s tempting to take off all your road when class gets tough, make sure you aren’t riding with no resistance at all. Sure, it’s a lot easier, but in the end it can be detrimental to your hips and knees. How can you tell if it’s not enough? Hips don’t lie. If you’re pedaling with too little resistance, your hips will bounce all over the place and your knees will look like they’re doing a crazy legs dance. Don’t let the bike do all the work, this is your time to shine and make a positive change.
After all the pushing and pulling, hill climbs and sprints, jumps and hovers, it’s no secret that cycling is a killer lower body workout. As with any intense class, it’s absolutely vital to stretch it out at the end. This not only protects your body, but helps build the muscles you just worked. Don’t skip out on the last five minutes of class saved for stretching and cool down—take some time to reward your body for the work it just did, and save yourself from some pain and soreness later. Although it seems like you mostly used your lower half, be sure to indulge your upper half by stretching your sides and core, as well as your neck and upper back. When it comes down to it, your entire body can benefit from cycling and could use a good recovery so that it can recharge and be ready for the next ride.
Whether you want to explore a new studio in your area or you're loyal to your favorite spot, use MINDBODY.io to book your next class!
February is Black History Month—a celebration of the achievements and contributions of African Americans in society. As the beauty and wellness industry becomes a more welcoming and inclusive space for all, we are taking this opportunity to continue to shine a light on the gap of inclusivity and diversity in our industry, and take action to promote, empower, and honor the Black community that shapes and grows wellness.
While the beauty industry is making improvements—it's important to showcase and support Black businesses and the creatives in this space every day. To honor them, we're shouting out some of our favorite Black-owned beauty and wellness businesses to support.
Beauty Bin is a full-service day spa and dry bar located in Asheville, NC. With a focus on inclusivity for people of all backgrounds, genders, and races, their MO is to match the outer beauty of every client to their inner beauty. From eyelash extensions and hydrafacials to waxing and massage, Beauty Bin is a one-stop-shop for all the spa services.
The KIKA Method® is a gentle assisted stretching process that loosens up tight muscles freeing your body from pain and stress. By practicing this method, clients can experience decreased muscle tension, increased energy, enhanced flexibility, a substantial reduction in stress, improved posture and relaxation, and increased mental clarity. While its headquarters is located in Las Vegas, NV, they have multiple locations sprinkled throughout the US, including Atlanta, New York City, and Dallas—just to name a few.
At Kimberly Coleman Salon, their philosophy begins with promoting healthy tresses, elegant sets, unique accouterments, perfect pampering of hands and feet, and precision cuts. Known for working with models and celebrities, they fully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of their clientele which also includes super moms and warrior dads.
Pressed Roots was developed with the simple concept in mind—that everyone deserves access to easy, and quality hair care. What started as a single pop-up shop in Boston, grew to a multi-city pop-up tour, and is now slated to be the largest national hair salon franchise specializing in the care and styling of highly textured hair, they launched their first flagship location in Dallas, TX.
Jersey City resident, Alyza Brevard-Rodriguez started SW3AT. The company began as a fitness apparel line in 2015 but evolved into a sanctuary catered to health and wellness now known as SW3AT Sauna Studio—the first infrared sauna studio in Jersey City. The healing power of infrared heat therapy is a phenomenal option for holistic health proven to strengthen the immune system and provide relief from joint stiffness and muscle pain. It is also supportive of any fitness program as it aids in weight loss (you can torch up to 900 calories in a 45-minute session) while also detoxifying your body from some of the most harmful toxins.
Kelli Coleman and Anika Jackson opened The TEN Nail Bar in Detroit to address a void in their city. They saw a need for a quality, modern nail bar that could also serve as a fun social space for Detroit’s residents and professionals. They designed the TEN to provide their clients with a #Perfect10 experience—where you can relax, enjoy music, a drink, your friends, a clean and precise manicure, and a much-needed break from all your hectic days.
Located in the beautiful downtown Hyde Park Chicago area, Bettye O Day Spa specializes in first-class treatments. They aim to nurture and relax each of their clients with individualized and innovative therapeutic techniques. From body wraps and massages to facials and hydrotherapy, this day spa promises to be a safe place for healing to occur.
Looking for more businesses to support? ClassPass has also created a list of Black-owned business to check out all year-round. While both of these lists are a great start to get you familiar with many of the Black-owned businesses either in your neighborhood or around the globe, we have only scratched the surface. We'd love to keep these lists growing.If you have any businesses you'd like to see on this list, click here to submit a Black-owned business we should be highlighting as well!