I’ll state the obvious: living through a pandemic is stressful. Exercise, one of the best ways to manage stress, has been made more difficult as gyms and studios are temporarily closed during this time. Many of us have been left to our devices to stay active during this time. As we creep closer to reopenings, you may be concerned about picking up your old workout. Well, don’t let your excitement be clouded by this worry. Made in PGH spoke with the staff at CycleBar North Hills about this issue. The staff assures us that keeping in shape while off bike is possible. Here are some of their best ( and tested) tips on how to work on your health during this time: 

cyclebar north hills

1. Move everyday, but you don’t have to move mountains

Make sure you move everyday. It can be as simple as playing a game of tag with your family, walking around the block, or flowing through a twenty minute yoga workout. A little will go a long way to help keep yourself in shape ( and keep your stress at bay!) While the intensity may not match the level of a cycle class, it will still help your mental and physical health. So, get moving! 

Inspired by Ashley Gottwald, Instructor at CycleBar North Hills

2. Keep up by working on the core 

Think cycling is all legs? Think again! The key to being a great cyclist is all in the core. An engaged core will help you hold the proper position needed to cycle well. So, make sure to isolate those abdominal muscles while working out from home. 

Inspired by Kara Ionadi, Instructor at CycleBar North Hills

3. Find motivation by mixing it up. 

“Diversity is key” to sticking to an at-home workout routine. Make sure you add in a mix of workouts to keep boredom at bay. If you’re interested in your workout, you will be more inclined to stick to a routine. Not sure where to start? Head to youtube! There is a great selection of free at-home workouts for any level of fitness and equipment.

Inspired by Niki Dimond, Instructor at CycleBar North Hills

4. Help yourself through HITT

One of the best workouts for building fitness is High Intensity Interval Training ( HITT).   HIIT workouts increase your total exercise capacity – the ability to use oxygen and burn fat – in a fraction of the time than when you workout at lower intensity. These workouts are great for anyone who has been consistently working out, and wants a new challenge. 

Inspired by Lauren “LoLo” Wilson, Senior Master Instructor for CycleBar Corporate

5. Socially Distant and Strong

Building muscle is a great way to burn fat in your daily routine. No weights at home? Make your own out of everyday household items! Turn laundry detergent, buckets, and more into weights. Here are some lifts to try to help you get started.

Inspired by Lauren “LoLo” Wilson (Senior Master Instructor for CycleBar corporate)

6. Flex you mental muscles 

In addition to your physical muscles, don’t forget your brain! Try to focus on what you can control. Think of your everyday successes ( like trying a new workout!) and challenges outside of the pandemic. Think of what you have accomplished ( finally did that spring cleaning?) and what positives the future will bring.

Inspired by Marissa Vulakovich, Instructor at CycleBar North Hills

7. Post-workout positivity 

Looking for motivation to work-out? Think of the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel after working out. If this is not enough, think of everything you’ll lose ( stress, calories, stress) and gain ( strength, pride) from a workout. The end truly makes it all worth it.

Inspired by Nancy Ryan, Instructor at CycleBar North Hills

8. Build strength with bodyweight exercises 

Bodyweight exercises include cardio and strength training. An example is doing a set of squats then mountain climbers and finishing with pushups. These types of exercises help with your cardiovascular and heart health! In addition, these exercises target and improve areas similar to how a CycleBar class does for your body. 

Inspired by Jess Cifelli, Master Instructor for CycleBar corporate)

9. Stretch and slow down with Yoga

Try yoga! Yoga is great because it moves your connective tissue. This is a key component to being a good cycler. Stretch your body and mind by adding yoga to your weekly routine. 

10. Head out and hike

Breathe in some fresh air by taking a hike. As you adventure out, your quads and hamstrings will develop. These muscles are vital to performing well in cycling classes. Learn more about trails surrounding Pittsburgh. 

Returning to the studio

cyclebar north hills

And just like that, you’ll be ready to be back on the bike! When CycleBar is allowed to reopen, expect nothing but the best. 

Greg Venbrux, owner of CycleBar North Hills, says  “One of the important things that sets our studio apart is that we have limited touchpoints.  Unlike some large gyms, we only have one piece of equipment that you touch, which makes sterilization and social distancing much easier and more effective.”  

The studio has been reworked to provide a safe and sanitary environment to riders. These changes include a state-of-the-art air purification system, remote check-ins, limited class sizes, extending spacing between bikes, and extended spacing between lockers. Safety is the ultimate priority for all returning cyclers. In the meantime, use the above times to stay in great shape for your return to safe and sanitary spin classes.

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Katherine Lewis

A Virginia native, Katherine moved to Pittsburgh in 2016 to attend the University of Pittsburgh. After earning her B.A. in Media and Professional Communications in December 2019, Katherine begun working as a Marketing Intern and Public Relations for two different Pittsburgh-based organizations. She loves to travel, read ( big Carnegie Library fan), and explore Pittsburgh during her free time! All while fueled by an unnecessary amount of caffeine, of course.

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