Ditch The Stationary Bike: How To Trade In The Gym For The Pavement
It’s no secret that biking leads to amazing fitness transformations. So many swear by it for the perfect supplement to their everyday fitness regimen. There are so many fun ways to ride — whether you’re indoors, in a spin class, road biking or mountain biking, you’re making a *big* impact on your overall endurance + health.
As the weather gets warmer, we often feel like we need to get outside + *go*. When you’re on a stationary bike indoors or in a fitness class [especially in the summer] it can start to seem like you’re biking to nowhere — making it hard to stay motivated. This season is a time for change ++ a great way to start is by switching up your routine for the best summer ever.
We totally understand the fear involved in getting outside your comfort zone + leaving the gym behind. We *love* our indoor classes [hello, Soulcycle ; )], but there is no reason to hold yourself back. Biking outside can be an amazing, refreshing experience — for starters, you control your route, the pace + the level of intensity. Plus, taking your cycle sesh outside can even enhance your workout — it naturally includes muscles other than your legs. Your core is much more engaged on a standard outdoor bike [to keep you stabilized] — whereas in a group class, you’re likely relying on hand weights to involve other parts of your body.
Take your cardio to the next level — here’s a few tips on breaking out your bike + making the switch this summer from the gym to the pavement!
1] BRUSH UP ON THE BASICS
If you haven’t gotten on your bike in a while it can be tricky [#noshame ; ) ] — take some time to remind yourself of your own bike. Practice switching gears on roads you’re already comfortable on + get a feel for what works best for you. Before you go, don’t forget to adjust your bike’s position by moving the seat or handlebars from their original position to make for the most personal fit + comfortable ride.
2] CONSIDER THE ROAD // ETIQUETTE
This is often everyone’s biggest fear when it comes to biking outdoors. Making yourself fully aware of roads you’re riding on is the best way to move forward from this fear + begin to feel more comfortable in any kind of traffic. Take note of stoplights, if the street is already biker-friendly or if there is a sidewalk nearby. Also, it’s a great idea to start on a bike path [or a wider sidewalk] farther off the road until you’re more experienced. When you’re ready to hit the road, try biking to your fave coffee spot with another CHAARG girl! : )
3] DRESS//PREP FOR SUCCESS
It’s a myth that biking outdoors requires too much gear to be simple, but by devoting some time to prep before your ride, you can ensure that you’ve set yourself up for success from the get go. : ) Pack a light backpack with your cycling + workout essentials ++ don’t forget to store a water bottle on your bike — especially in the summer heat. Try testing out some different bottoms [such as tights or bike shorts] to find what feels the best for you before you start. Don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes for ease of pedaling ++ of course, your helmet. ; )
4] CHECK YOUR POSTURE + POSITION
Unlike in a spin class, your upper body won’t be moving with the beat of the playlist — it will be stationary + used to balance you ++ your bike. The most important thing to remember is to keep your shoulder blades lowered + stay light on your hands. This is the best way to absorb shock, keep the pressure off your back + avoid unnecessary soreness. Keep checking in throughout your bike ride to make sure you’re maintaining this position — soon, it will come naturally!
5] MAKE THE MOVE
The best way to get familiar + comfortable riding outside is to just get up + go. Once you realize there’s nothing stopping you, the options are endless — finding your favorite route//path is an amazing feeling + opens doors for a completely different type of ride!
Whether you’re an avid spinner or new to cycling all together, try it out + share your journey to the pavement with us via your #inCHAARG insta! ; )
++Abigail [abigail.inchaarg] // UK CHAARG