Staying Cool for the Summer

Your body can adapt to working out in
warmer temperatures, but it takes time.

We had a taste of the summer heat last week and we’re choosing to believe that it will be back again soon, and here to stay this time! Even though we’re working out indoors, away from the sun, the warmer temperatures do affect our bodies as we ride. We want you to always have the best ride possible, so we’ve compiled a few tips for staying cool while you spin:

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1) Supplement with electrolytes.

Increased heat probably means increased sweat, so you need to hydrate more strategically. Take advantage of our water bottle refills throughout the ride, and consider supplementing with electrolytes to replenish the minerals that you’re sweating out. Read more about electrolyte supplements here.

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2) Eat hydrating snacks.

You need to keep your energy up even more than usual when you’re exercising in heat, so snacks are important. Use your snacks as another opportunity to hydrate. On hotter days, opt for juicy oranges and berry smoothies rather than nuts or bars as your pre-ride fuel.

3) Take a cold towel.

We always offer you cold towels throughout the ride, but if you know you’re prone to really feeling the heat, then ask for one before the ride gets started! We’re here to set you up for success on the bike and make you as comfortable as possible, so just let us know what you need.

4) Wear breathable clothes.

Cotton t-shirts and wool socks are not the best choice when spinning, especially on warmer days. Look for light-weight, breathable, sweat-wicking, quick-drying options, such as bamboo and nylon. And make sure everything fits – a too-tight sports bra will be especially uncomfortable as you heat up!

5) Allow your body time to acclimatize.

Your body can adapt to working out in warmer temperatures, but it takes time. Remember this at the start of the season and be patient with yourself. Your first few rides of the summer may not be your best as you adjust to the heat, but you body is figuring it out – there’s just a learning curve. Take care of yourself with the tips above and you’ll be beating your max again in no time!

Post-Ride Recovery Shake

Nutrition is so important not just before your ride to fuel your work out, but also after your ride to help your body replenish and recover. After exercise, nutrition is responsible for initiating the rebuild of damaged muscles, restoring energy reserves, and enhancing body composition. Essentially, nutrition shifts your body from a catabolic (breaking down) state to an anabolic (building up) state. 

If you do not refuel adequately within the anabolic window (that’s 2-4 hours post-work out), you risk moving into the catabolic state. Your ride has primed your body for catabolism; it’s acidic and inflamed from all your hard work, and now desperately needs a boost from food in order to continue building rather than breaking down.

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The quickest and healthiest way to get all the nutrients you need after your ride is with a homemade recovery shake. Smoothies and shakes are great when you’re in a state of fatigue, because they have been pre-digested (or “pre-chewed” – sounds gross, but basically blending all the foods up is taking some of the work away from your digestive system, which is a good thing). They also allow you to pack a whole lot of good stuff into one cup.

Here is a simple formula for whipping up a post-ride recovery shake, with lots of ideas for delicious combinations:

  1. Choose a base liquid: coconut water, nut milk, fresh pressed juice, green tea, or just filtered water.

  2. Add a carb: banana, dates, frozen mango, pineapple, or berries.

  3. Add a protein: hemp hearts, chia seeds, nut butter, or protein powder.

  4. Add an antioxidant-rich superfood: spinach, spirulina, turmeric, ginger, or cacao nibs.

That’s it! The ratio of carbs:protein should ideally be 4:1 in order to adequately promote glycogen recovery and stimulate muscle synthesis. The antioxidants help to offset any oxidative damage that occurred from your huge expenditure of energy over the past 45 minutes.

Our favourite combo? Almond milk, frozen banana and mango, a scoop of hemp hearts, and a handful of spinach with a chunk of fresh ginger. Yum!

Enjoy!

Cross Training

The faster you move your legs on the bike,
the faster you’ll be able to lift your foot from the ground when running
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Race season is upon us! We’re so lucky in this city to have such a beautiful backdrop to our outdoor runs, but we believe that coming inside for a sweat once in a while holds tons of benefits. For those of you training for upcoming races, you should consider adding spin to your regimen! We know – we might be slightly biased in our love of spin . . . So, here are the cold hard facts on cross training!

Cross training is an exercise regimen that uses different modes of training in service of a particular type of fitness. If you’re training for a marathon, for example, the idea is that adding spin, yoga, weight-lifting, etcetera to your schedule will improve and support your running.

Cross training in general has tons of benefits. First, it reduces the likelihood of injury by spreading strain over various muscle groups and joints. Second, it keeps you mentally engaged; shaking up your routine is fun and keeps you committed longterm. Finally, it improves your total fitness by balancing strength training with aerobic conditioning with stretching and so on. You get to improve the entire package while working towards a specific goal.

Here are a few reasons why spin in particular is an effective cross training option for runners:

-Spinning is non-impact. This is a healthy alternative to the high-impact of running. It’s a good break for your joints and tight muscles.

-Spinning is interval training. The continuous switching of position, speed, and resistance in a spin class trains both aerobic and anaerobic systems. This will help runners to conquer hills and regulate speed on up-and-down race routes.

-Spinning strengthens your legs. Pushing your leg through a pedal stroke is simply harder than pushing your leg through a running stride. Again, this will help you to fly up hills when running.

-Spinning burns calories. Because a spin class works large muscle groups intensively and consistently, it creates a metabolic effect. This means that your body will continue burning calories after your class, helping you to control weight as you train for a race.

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-Spinning speeds up your legs. There is a connection between pedal stroke cadence in spin and foot stroke cadence in running. Basically, the faster you move your legs on the bike, the faster you’ll be able to lift your foot from the ground when running. The result is that you have less impact with the ground, reducing risk of injury, and you move faster, shaving time off your run.

-Spinning is sweaty. The most effective cross training exercises for a runner are those that keep the heart rate up. Spinning is a safe way for a runner in training to work hard and get sweaty.

Good luck to all the runners out there! We hope to see you on the bike soon!



References:

https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/36/what-is-cross-training-and-why-is-it-important

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/could-spinning-be-the-best-cross-training-for-runners

https://www.active.com/running/Articles/How-Cross-Training-Will-Help-Boost-Your-Mileage

Exercise as Recovery: Part I

It’s an act of strength to put your wellbeing above your ego.

Welcome to our new series looking at exercise as recovery. Over the next couple months, look out for posts about the role that exercise, specifically group fitness and indoor cycling, can play in recovery from injury, mental and physical illnesses, pregnancy, and more.

We all know the benefits of exercise for your overall health and wellbeing on an ongoing basis, but what about those times when you’ve been forced to take a break? How do you come back from an injury or illness and safely reincorporate exercise back into your routine, and what are the benefits of doing so?

Returning to spin will bring you back into a community full of support.

Returning to spin will bring you back into a community full of support.

Today, we’re looking at exercise as recovery from physical injury. Whether you’ve taken a week off due to a busted knee or sprained ankle, or you’ve been spending months resting after a back surgery or broken bone, climbing back onto the bike can be daunting to say the least. Not only does your body feel a little bit shaky, maybe weaker than you’re accustomed to, but you’re probably nervous about the possibility of re-injury. 

Those feelings are totally normal, but here are some reasons why returning to the bike post-injury can be great for you:

  • It sets aside scheduled time for you to focus on your own health and healing.

  • It brings you back to a community full of positivity and encouragement.

  • It puts you into a setting that will guide you through work outs safely, with instructors who can help you gradually build and modify along the way.

  • It’s a low impact exercise that will build your strength back up with minimal opportunity for re-injury.

  • It gives you a great measuring stick for progress as you move through the stages of recovery.

  • It improves heart health, increases muscle and bone density, and reduces inflammation – all of which can help you recover from injury faster.

So, you’ve gotten the go-ahead from your doctor or physical therapist to return to exercise, and you’ve decided that the benefits outweigh the nerves. It’s time to clip into that bike. It’s important, though, to remember that you can’t, or shouldn’t, ride exactly the way that you did pre-injury, at least not right away. There’s going to be a learning curve for body and mind as you get back into the rhythm of the ride.

Here are some general rules of thumb for returning to spin class after an injury:

1) Take it slow.

Do not jump back into your regular routine of spinning multiple times a week. Ease back into it, a little at a time. This is not just because your muscles have weakened while you’ve been away, but also because the communication between your body and mind needs to be built up again. This takes time, and requires breaks in between work outs.

2) Hold yourself back a little bit.

This is easier said than done. When the music gets going and your instructor starts telling you to crank the dial to the right, your instinct might be to try to keep up with the group around you. But remember, this is your ride, and you’re here to do what’s best for you. To help keep you accountable to easing back in, talk to your instructor before class. Let them know that you are recovering, and your priority today is to simply get moving rather than pushing to your 10/10. Your instructor will be happy to support you in this, and it will help to prevent you from re-injury.

3) Listen to pain.

Drink extra water as your body acclimates to sweating again.

Drink extra water as your body acclimates to sweating again.

Always, but especially after recovering from an injury, pain is your cue to pull back. Work on being extra attuned to your body and knowing when to stop. There’s no shame in that; in fact, it’s an act of strength to put your wellbeing above your ego.

4) Pay extra attention to nutrition and hydration. 

Drink extra water as your body acclimates to your sweaty work outs again. Eat leafy green vegetables and nuts, full of magnesium to help with sore muscles, and lots of anti-inflammatory foods, like turmeric, ginger, garlic, salmon, flaxseeds, and hemp hearts.

We hope these tips help you to get back on the bike with confidence if you are recovering from an injury. If you have any questions, please comment below, and let us know if you have any questions you would like answered in upcoming posts about using exercise as recovery from mental illness, surgery, pregnancy, etc.



To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse?

It’s a launching pad for clean eating,
a stepping stone towards optimal health.

We all know that to be “healthy” we have to eat our fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, exercise regularly, and sleep deeply. If we do these things, we’ll probably feel pretty good most of the time. But what a lot of us don’t know is that it’s possible to feel more than pretty good. It’s actually possible to feel great, a lot of the time, and what’s crazy is that so many of us don’t even know what that might feel like. We’ve gotten used to feeling pretty good.

As a holistic nutritionist-in-training, one of the epiphanies I keep having over and over again is that we’ve given up on optimal health. We’ve decided that feeling fatigued, sleeping restlessly, having digestive problems, experiencing debilitating PMS, and more is normal. These things might be common, but they don’t have to be normal. There’s so much more contributing to your health than vegetables and water, and when you start to nurture these other areas – like relationships, time in nature, a diet rich in local and seasonal foods – and when you start experimenting with possible ways to lend your body a hand – like with supplements, different food preparation techniques, and cleansing – you might notice that you feel better than you thought you could.

Cleansing is the practice that scared me the most. I eat a lot. My days are long, typically keeping me on the go from about 6am to 10pm, and I work out for work, teaching 10-12 spin and barre classes a week. Those two factors combined mean that my calorie consumption is probably much higher than it is for other women my age and size (although I’ve never counted a calorie and couldn’t begin to guess how many I consume and burn in a day, sorry not sorry). I also love food. I see it as fuel, I see it as medicine, but I also see it as the most fun and creative part of my day. I like to cook, I like to eat, and I did not like the idea of not doing those things for a few days.

In school I learned that one of the major health practices missing from Western culture is fasting, or cleansing. Plenty of ancient traditions and Eastern cultures have fasting built into their customs and rituals. And guess what? They have much healthier digestive systems than we do. (There are other contributing factors, of course. For example, fermented foods are missing as a staple in most Western diets. And we eat a lot more sugar and refined carbohydrates.) Digestion is the bodily process that takes up the most energy. If your digestion is sluggish, it could not only be stopping you from absorbing necessary nutrients, but could be contributing to that overall feeling of fatigue that seems to plague so many of us. We abuse our digestive systems, pouring in tons of processed foods, alcohol, dairy, and other foods that are tough to break down, but, what’s almost worse is that we never give our digestive systems a break. While it’s still working on the ice cream from last night, we’re up again and giving it some coffee to contend with.

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I knew all of this, but I was still resistant to try a cleanse myself, because I didn’t want to feel hungry. I couldn’t imagine having only water or juice for several days in a row. Then, a local smoothie company called Blended For You approached me and asked if I would try one of their smoothie cleanses. This sounded like the perfect fit for me: I could give my body the break from food that it needed, but still get all the vitamins and nutrients I craved for fuel, and enjoy different blends of flavours and ingredients throughout the day.

I tried the Trainer Cleanse, which consists of five smoothies a day for three days. I loved that each smoothie was so different, and that I was given an order in which to enjoy them – it took out the guesswork and made me feel supported along the way. I started my day with the Greens Daily Dose, had the Greens Detox, The Athlete, and The Remedy on-the-go throughout the day, and ended my day with the Blueberry Boost. Each one was packed with a hearty base of fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like coconut oil or almond butter, and had different therapeutic boosters such as dandelion root, spirulina, turmeric, and more.

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The smoothies come to you packaged and frozen. I would simply move tomorrow’s smoothies from the freezer to the fridge, and when I was ready to enjoy, I would add the smoothie to a mason jar with either coconut water or just filtered tap water, shake it up, and drink. It was quick and easy, and delicious. My favourite smoothie was definitely the Greens Detox. It’s a spicy smoothie made with spinach, kale, lemon, avocado, cucumber, cayenne, vegan protein blend, turmeric, ginger, dandelion root, and chlorophyll. Wow! That’s a good pre-work out smoothie. I hadn’t felt that energized in a long time.

What I love about Blended For You, aside from the fact that they’re a local company making health more accessible, is that they really aim to use the smoothie cleanse to set you up for success moving forward. This cleanse is not about taking a break from bad habits so that you can return to bad habits with more vigour; rather, it’s a launching pad for clean eating, a stepping stone towards that state of optimal health the we were talking about. They provide an awesome ingredient guide that gives you plenty of ideas for how to structure your diet after the cleanse so that you can continue to feel great.

So, how did I feel on the cleanse? I felt good! Mornings were the best part. I had more time, I had a kick of fresh vitamins, and I felt motivated by my healthy choices. I also probably taught some of the best classes I have in a long while, because I felt lighter, more focused, and more energized. By dinner time, I was hungry. I ended up steaming some broccoli and carrots for a small meal, just to get the sense of my stomach feeling full. But in terms of energy levels, strength and endurance, mental focus, and mood – I was feeling better than usual.

The key, as always, is to listen to your body. That sounds a lot easier than it really is. It takes time to build that connection that allows you to really hear what your body needs. If you haven’t yet gotten the message that you need to cleanse, then don’t do it. But if you’re starting to sense that your system needs a bit of a break, I highly recommend the Blended For You smoothie cleanse as a safe and approachable option. And again, when cleansing, be flexible. Listen. A cleanse is not about starving your body (at all!), it’s about supporting your body.

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Cleanses don’t seem so scary to me anymore, but I do think I’ll stick to a Blended For You smoothie cleanse next time my digestive system needs a break, rather than diving into a water cleanse (not for me!). Since my cleanse, I’ve been turning to their smoothies to supplement my diet. I love the Greens Detox whenever I need an energy boost midday, and the Maca Energy is a great coffee replacement in the morning. Blended For You doesn’t only offer cleanse packages; you can handpick your own selection of favourites, and sprinkle them into your diet, which is a great option if you feel like you need a boost of nutrients.

And guess what? All Cadence riders get a discount on their first purchase from Blended For You! Use code CADENCEVAN$15 upon purchase to get $15 off your first order, valid until March 31.

If you have any questions about the smoothies, or about cleanses or nutrition in general, feel free to reach out by leaving a comment below or finding me in the studio.

-Olivia

Couples Who Sweat Together

Working out together unites us around a common goal.

Our community is such a supportive place, and we especially love the energy in the studio when loved ones show up to support each other. Seeing families and friends ride together and celebrate each other’s successes is so special. So, in honour of Valentine’s Day, we are featuring one of our favourite Cadence couples. 

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Harper and Michael have been riding together at Cadence for over a year now, and they never fail to impress us with their positivity and determination. We sat down with them to find out a little more about why they love riding together and how they’re able to coordinate their schedules to prioritize their shared work outs. We are so inspired by them, and we know that they’ll inspire you, too!

Cadence: Tell us a bit about how long you two have been together!

Harper: We’ve been together for ten years. We met at UBC in the Greek system where we played on multiple intramural sports teams together. We just got married last year! We had two weddings – one in Canada last August and one a few weeks ago in Kenya!

C: Congratulations! Can you describe each other in a sentence or two? What stands out about the other’s personality?

H: Michael is the most outgoing, charismatic person I know! He’s amazing at connecting with pretty much anyone.

Michael: Harper is the most wonderful and loving soul with unlimited talents including delicious cooking and overly-competitive Catan!

C: So how and when did you find Cadence, and what has made you stick around?

H: We’ve been spinning together for about a year and a half. When we were getting back into exercise leading up to the wedding, we found Cadence and fell in love with the laidback, non-pretentious, and friendly vibes. Everyone at Cadence is so incredibly supportive and encouraging of our goals!

C: What do you love about taking class together?

H: We love signing along to the music and encouraging each other to push harder! The high five at the end of a class you’ve both crushed is super sweet.

C: Are you competitive with each other or mostly cheering each other on? Or both?

H: A bit of both for sure! We always compare average watts at the end of class. But we celebrate each other showing up every time because that’s what counts!

C: Do you have any tips for coordinating your schedules so that you can commit to making it to class together?

M: We have a shared workout calendar on iCal! Whenever one of us books a class, it shows up for the other. That’s really helpful in coordinating our schedules and it helps us to stay consistent. We usually book a week in advance so we never miss out on our favourite classes.

C: That’s such a great tip! Why does working out together matter to you and your relationship?

H: Working out together unites us around a common goal that is outside of our careers, which brings us closer.

C: What inspires you most about each other?

M: Harper is so goal-driven and holds herself and everyone around her to the highest standard.

H: Michael is absolutely fearless in pursuit of his dreams and never gives up.


Happy Valentine’s Day from everybody at Cadence!

The Scoop on Supplements

Usually a normal diet and lifestyle keeps your electrolyte levels
in check, but excessive sweating (due to, say, spinning)
can diminish your electrolyte store.

An ongoing conversation in the health and wellness industry is whether supplements should be recommended, or whether a well-balanced diet of whole foods makes supplementation a moot point (if you’re not eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods, then supplementation is less controversial). Taking vitamin B12 as a natural energy booster at lunch, magnesium to help you relax before bed, and vitamin C to improve your immunity could be daily occurrences as long as they fit certain criteria that work for you (namely, does doing so address a deficiency, does it make you feel better, and are you supplementing food rather than replacing food).

But what about supplementing under special circumstances? For example, when working out. Usually, consistent supplementation (daily) is necessary to see the desired benefits, but when it comes to exercise, you might need an extra something. In fact, you may be supplementing without even thinking about it. Do you bring sports drinks to class? Do you add any powders to your water? Do you crave a salty snack post-spin? If so, you’re supplementing with electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals, specifically sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate, that are found in your blood, sweat, and urine. They’re essential to the proper functioning of your body. Your body is constantly working to maintain homeostasis – the dynamic equilibrium at which everything from salt-fluid balance, to temperature, to pH levels is held within a very narrow window that keeps you ticking – and your electrolyte levels are crucial to regulating this balance.

Sodium is essential to proper functioning of your nervous system, potassium helps to regulate proper fluid balance, calcium and magnesium are needed for proper contraction of your muscles (that includes your heart!), and all the electrolytes contribute to the most important factor of homeostasis: regulation of internal pH levels. Usually a normal diet and lifestyle keeps your electrolyte levels in check, but heat, illness, or excessive sweating (due to, say, spinning) can diminish your electrolyte store. You feel thirsty as a result, but replenishing with water is replacing only the fluid, not the lost electrolytes.

What happens when you’re low in electrolytes? Well, a mild disturbance will go unnoticed. (You may just feel the need to crack open a bag of potato chips to curb the salt craving). But a more severe imbalance will result in fatigue, an irregular heartbeat, numbness or tingling, confusion, muscle weakness, cramping, headaches, or convulsions. If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms post-spin, it may be a sign that you’re sweating out more electrolytes than you’re taking in.

In the spirit of turning to food first, here are some foods containing electrolytes that would be great options for pre- or post-spin snacks: bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes (for potassium), nuts and seeds (for magnesium), leafy green vegetables (for calcium), and pickled and salty foods (for sodium and chloride). Making a green smoothie packed with spinach, bananas, and nut milk would give you a good dose of electrolytes.

If you’re still experiencing signs of an electrolyte deficiency as a result of your sweaty ride, then consider supplementation. Most people turn to sports drinks like Gatorade for this, but the additives like sugar and colouring are less than ideal. You can make your own electrolyte drink by adding a bit of salt (1/4 teaspoon), some lemon juice (1/4 cup), and some coconut water (about a cup), to your bottle of water. Or, you can add electrolyte tablets or powders to your water. There are plenty to choose from, so consider ingredients like added colour, sugar, flavouring, and so on, as well as additional nutrients, like vitamin C, when making your choice.

The key is to listen to your body. Excessive supplementation is not good (there’s such a thing as too many electrolytes), so if you’ve never experienced any of the signs of low electrolyte levels, then your diet is probably providing you with sufficient amounts. If you have experienced the signs, try altering your snack choices on the day of your work outs to see if that helps, and if it doesn’t do the trick, look for a supplement that fits for you. Everybody’s body is different and needs different support, so it’s all about tuning in and listening closely. Leave a comment if you have any questions!

Goal Setting

Spend time defining your motivation.

Lately it’s become trendy to reject the idea of New Year resolutions, in favour of the perspective that goal-setting should not be isolated to one point in the year. Whether or not you agree with this opinion, there’s no harm in taking the beginning of a new calendar year as an opportunity to refine intentions and priorities!

We also have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps the reason why people have turned their backs on New Year resolutions is that their goal-setting techniques are not as effective as they could be, and so they wind up feeling as if it’s all a waste of time. So, we’ve compiled some goal-setting strategies for you. You can take January as an opportunity to set some new goals, or you can wait until it feels more natural for you – either way, we hope these tips will help you to find success in achieving your goals this year.

1) Set yourself up for success, not failure.

We all know that the number one rule of goal-setting is to be realistic. Don’t give yourself an insurmountable task that you’ve already, on some level, accepted that you will not achieve. When you do this, you’re setting yourself up for failure and all the crappy feelings that come along with it. Instead, create a goal that you know you can achieve. Then, identify the specific blocks you’ve had in pursuit of this goal in the past – the reasons why you haven’t yet achieved it even though you know you could. Once you’ve got those reasons, you can work towards setting yourself up for success by addressing those blocks.

2) Be clear on your why.

Spend time defining your motivation. Write it down if you have to. Before committing to a specific goal, be very clear with yourself on why you want to achieve it, and then remind yourself of this motivation whenever you need an extra push.

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3) Have an accountability partner.

Find somebody you trust to help hold you accountable! Let them know what you’re working towards and why, and ask them to check in with you once in a while. Your closest accountability partner and biggest motivator should be yourself, but if you have another person who can be there to surprise you with check ins, and to hear your successes and struggles, you’ll be a little more likely to continue down the right path.

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4) Celebrate your successes.

Know the stepping stones towards the bigger picture, and celebrate those small successes. Decide in the beginning what your treats to yourself will be. Is your goal to spin three times a week? Maybe after a month of consistent spinning you treat yourself to a new water bottle or go out for brunch. You should acknowledge your efforts and be proud of all you accomplish in pursuit of your ultimate goal.

5) Know that it’s not all or nothing.

One of the greatest downfalls of reaching goals is the idea that one misstep means that we’ve failed. If you want to spin three times a week, and one week you only make it onto the bike once, it’s easy to throw your hands up and decide you’ve already failed, so you may as well give up. Instead of buying into this “all or nothing” attitude, be gentle and remind yourself that it’s a learning process and a slow build towards your goal. You can try again next week to make it to class three times, and if you only go twice, well that’s still a step in the right direction!

Do you have any goals for 2019? Share in the comments below!