Cycle Love

Monday’s Workout: cycle – interval

Tuesday’s Workout: cycle – strength; CSI (weights with cardio intervals)

A few words about indoor cycling:  It’s obviously a passion.  It has changed my life.  It inspired a new hobby (outdoor cycling).  This class is similar to the “Spinning” classes that have garnered so much attention as of late.  We just can’t call it “Spin” because they don’t have the trademarked Spinner bikes and because the instructors aren’t certified by the trademarked Spinning program.  But the equipment and class structure is basically the same.  There are three types of classes:  strength, interval, and endurance.  Strength works your muscles with high resistance.  Interval works your heart and burns fat with short bursts of intensity followed by recovery.  Endurance focuses on keeping your heart rate relatively low and steady.

I got hooked on indoor cycling about two years ago.  My weight had crept up to a number that didn’t quite suit my 5’2″ frame.  I had become disenchanted with the gym I belonged to at the time – the crowds were insane and it was not a super-friendly environment.  I switched to the local YWCA and everything changed.  I attended my first cycle class and I was the only one there!  I was initially totally intimidated, but the instructor was kind and encouraging.  The music was awesome.  After the first few classes, my butt finally stopped hurting and I was able to really focus on my ride.  I totally dug the dim lighting, pumping music, and intense effort required to complete the class.  It was exactly what I had been looking for.  I quickly dropped ten pounds and felt like my old self again.  It was the only thing I had ever tried that actually achieved weight loss results.  I had been running prior to that with very minimal results as far as weight loss.  Weight loss is no longer a focus for me, as I have been able to happily continue with cycling and keep it off.  I love it so much that I broke down and purchased an outdoor road bike this summer, which is just as exhilarating but in a whole different way.  I just cannot say enough about this activity!  I highly encourage you to try it if you never have.  Give it a little time – your butt WILL be sore after the first few classes but don’t let it discourage you.  :0)

Take three minutes and check out this video.  I think it captures the fun and intensity of indoor cycling.  Maybe you will get some sense of why I love it.

And now for a quick recap of food since Sunday night:

Monday morning was a bowl of bran flakes with skim milk and topped with fresh blueberries.  Not local or in season but still so good!

Mid-morning snack was Greek yogurt with trail mix:This was a new brand of Greek yogurt that was on sale at the Whole Foods.  It was good!

Lunch was leftover quinoa and black beans on a bed of spinach, topped with 1/2 an avocado and my home made balsamic vinaigrette.

Dinner last night was a favorite:  curried chicken with cashews served over brown basmati rice.  SO DELISH.  I have my dear friend Pam to thank for this recipe.  Let me know if you want it.  It features curry, ginger, garlic, and cilantro.

Today’s meals included a repeat of the bran and blueberries for breakfast; another yogurt snack; and leftover curried chicken for lunch.  I won’t bore you with more pictures of the same.  Immediately upon arrival home from the gym and prior to dinner, I refueled my muscles with the easiest protein beverage ever:  a tall glass of chocolate skim milk.  Read about this perfect post-workout protein drink here.  Following that, I was greeted by dinner a la Joe:

Whole wheat spaghetti with Italian turkey sausage and homemade red sauce, topped with a generous helping of Parmesan cheese.  Comfort food at its best.

Aaannnd I’m outta here.  Thanks for reading!  Good night!

What is your exercise passion?  How did you find it?  How has it changed your life?

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