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Indoor cycling has been hugely popular for years now. Riding in an in-home gym or joining a spin class has motivated millions to ride regularly, without the distractions of the open road and unpredictable weather. This guide will walk you through the basics of indoor cycling so you can get in the saddle and start pedaling.

1. Home vs. Gym
The first decision you have to make is whether you are going to ride at your home or at a gym facility. Obviously, having a stationary bike in the home is convenient as you never have to leave your house to work out. But it requires a good deal of space and a hefty amount money upfront to get a decent setup. Additionally, it demands a ton of self-discipline to stay on task at home and not skip workouts.

For those who love cycling but don't have tons of time, having a stationary bike at home can work wonders. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an incredibly efficient way to burn calories in just 10-30 minutes. Keep in mind though: efficient does not mean easy. If anything, it's harder. Others need to get out of the house to be motivated, regardless of workout length. Those who fall into this category should join a gym.


2. Solo vs. Class
This is all about knowing yourself. Similar to the "Home vs. Gym" question, you need to be honest when considering whether you will be more motivated to ride alone or in a group class. Some riders want to be locked in, with headphones on and nobody to answer to. Others crave the camaraderie of a group environment and the ever-present instructor keeping them from slacking off.


3. How to Prepare
You've decided how and where you are going to start your indoor cycling adventure. Now it's time to prepare yourself for your first session. If it will be a longer ride (45 minutes or more), try to have a small, balanced meal 2 hours beforehand. Bring along a bottle of water or your favorite sports drink to remain hydrated throughout. Wear light, breathable clothing as you will be sweating quite a bit.


4. First Ride
Try to arrive ahead of your class - or if you're riding solo at the gym or at home, ahead of when you want to start your workout. Adjust your bike to make sure you can sit, pedal and ride comfortably. This step cannot be stressed enough. Practice clipping your bike cleats into the pedals and pedaling lightly. You should pull up as you pedal just as much as you push down, as it's a different feeling than riding a bike around the block in sneakers.


Follow these steps, choose what's best for you and begin your cycling journey today.