Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Bites Exclusive Interview: Cycle Instructor Dale Foster Shares Beginner Tips and Advice

Meet my cycle instructor, Dale Foster. He's 40 years old and in the best shape of his life. After cycling for 13 years, he decided to be a part-time instructor though he runs a local business. Dale regularly tells the class about his inspirational story of how he lost 100 lbs doing cycle class! So I asked him to share some of his valuable tips to the Quick Bites readers. If you're putting off trying a fitness routine like group cycle classes, you'll see it's okay to try. Listen up!

Quick Bites: As a cycle instructor, you must see a lot of people come and go. Why do you think people should stick with cycle versus other fitness routines?

DALE: I do see many people come to cycle class. I think people should stick with cycle class because of the high calorie, low impact benefits. You can work at your own pace and in time get gradually better and better.

Quick Bites: What do you think are the benefits of cycle for long-term health and well being?

DALE: I think the benefits of cycle for health and well being are: Increased Energy, Increased Calorie burn off of the bike. Your body continues to burn calories thought the day. Cycling is very low impact so there is not a constant beating on the joints.

Quick Bites: What is the proper form for riding the bike?

DALE: It is always important to come in early before a class starts and ask the instructor to help you set up your bike for proper fit. Comfort is the top priority! If you are not comfortable on your bike, it will not be very enjoyable. It is also important to pay attention to the instructor and follow their instructions on proper form during the class. One thing that I can suggest is to limit your time out of the saddle until you develop the muscles to support you when you're standing out of the saddle. Otherwise you can cause some strain in the upper back.

Quick Bites: Can you recommend equipment for cycle class? Keep in mind, if people are on a budget. Where can they can get the most bang for their buck?

DALE: I recommend some form of saddle padding. Sore rear ends are a common complaint. Bike shorts have a nice fit. I suggest going for 1/2-inch padding to cushion those tender areas, and also alleviate any chaffing. Shorts can be found at any of the sporting goods stores, or local bike stores or on line (MAKE SURE THEY HAVE THE PADDING). For a more economical choice, a bike seat cover can be purchased for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart or any other sporting goods stores. I use both. Not at the same time though!

Quick Bites: What tips can you give first-timers that are interested in trying cycle it for the first time?

DALE: Ride at your own pace. Don't overdo it the first few times. Take your time. Just relax and peddle through the class. It is not a race and have fun.

I hope you see that it's really not that scary! Thanks to Dale for his practical insights for beginners to indoor group cycle. I've been taking cycle class for a long time to keep fit and my asthma is in check (see my previous post about natural asthma maintenance). Now, I can run! I've never been able to do that before cycle class. But as Dale suggests, you can get better and better over time so these results didn't happen over night.

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