9 Tips to Jump-Start Your Indoor Cycling Resolutions

The best ways to turn your New Year's resolutions into reality

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As we embark on a new year, if you’re like many people, you’ve resolved to get fitter and stronger, and indoor cycling may be a part of your game plan. That’s great but have you considered how you’ll keep yourself motivated and inspired on the journey? Once the initial enthusiasm of setting New Year’s resolutions or goals begins to fade, your best intentions can fall by the wayside. That’s why it’s important to do things every step of the way to keep your exercise routine fresh and energizing.

Here are 9 great ways to do that:  

Find a cycling mentor. You already know about the social perks of riding with a group. Why not capitalize on them by befriending a more experienced cyclist and asking how he or she became so skilled? Getting insiders' secrets can help you learn how to build endurance or strength faster, develop smoother pedal strokes or be able to make position changes more fluidly. 

Try a new instructor. Different instructors have different approaches to indoor cycling, varied drills, and their own unique music choices and cueing styles. Your workouts can benefit from cruising between instructors, rather than sticking with a particular favorite, because this way you’ll be challenged in new ways.    

Continue to set inspiring goals. When you have a lackluster lather-rinse-repeat pattern to your exercise routine, your fitness results can plateau and your enthusiasm can wane.

As you get fitter, your body will adapt to a given workout; to continue making progress, you’ll need to change the challenges periodically to shake up your body and shock it into getting stronger. The solution: Try setting specific goals for each indoor cycling session. One day you might strive to maintain a certain range with your RPMs; another day, you might try to climb hills at a faster pace or push against more resistance than usual.

Cross-train smartly. Doing the same form of exercise day in and day out isn’t beneficial whether it’s indoor cycling or running or another activity. If you’re an indoor cycling junkie, try a complementary form of exercise—such as yoga or Pilates—that will stretch muscles (like your hip flexors) that can get tight from indoor cycling.

Adjust your mindset. Rather than thinking of indoor cycling as just a pulse-pounding workout, start viewing it as a way to rejuvenate your energy, relieve stress, and save your sanity in the midst of a hectic day or week. Appreciating the body-mind benefits of indoor cycling can help you get hooked on the healthy habit.

Take the DIY approach. Create your own ride, complete with hills, sprints, endurance segments, and more—and your own playlist. Map out your ride ahead of time or take a free-form, spontaneous approach; either way, you’ll come to own it, which can help you stick with your program.

Reward yourself. After a certain number of rides, treat yourself to a massage, some new workout clothes or gear, or some fresh songs for your go-to playlist.

Feeling refreshed or having something new to bring to your workouts will infuse them with a dose of freshness that will make you want to keep pedaling.

Train for a reason. You may be pedaling to nowhere in an indoor cycling class but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a destination in mind. Set your sights on training for a charitable event like Spinning® Nation, a fundraiser designed to bring awareness to heart disease among women, or Cycle for Survival, a nationwide indoor cycling extravaganza that raises money for research on rare cancers. Or, set a goal of working up to doing an outdoor bike adventure or vacation.   

Treat yourself to props after your workouts. Give yourself a mental high-five and feel proud of yourself for completing each ride. It’s an accomplishment, every single time. Letting yourself feel the power of what you’ve done and bask in that glory will serve as positive reinforcement to keep up the great workouts.

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