Is Sugar Holding You Back from Hitting Your Goals?

Is Sugar Holding You Back from Hitting your Goals in Class? 


With Halloween right around the corner it feels appropriate to touch on the topic of sugar… and I am guessing you have already heard there is a big hate on sugar right now. I mean…sugar is bad for you, sugar causes inflammation, sugar slows down the brain, sugar affects hormone health. But did you know that the WHO recommendation on sugar consumption is no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, and the average American consumes up to 25 teaspoons per day? Oops. 


Do YOU have a problem with sugar? Well, below are a scenerios to help you answer that question… and don’t worry if you get to the end and you are like – CRAP! I said YES to everything on the list. You are not alone. Sugar is highly addictive and the good news is that it’s easy to treat…with the right food and exercise! 


You crave sugary foods or refined carbs at least once a day

You love having a big donut or muffin with an afternoon coffee. Or maybe you’re more of a savory type of person and you enjoy a croissant loaded with cheese or a bag of chips. In the end it all turns into sugar.

You often keep eating even if you’re full

When you get your hands on a big piece of chocolate cake you can’t stop yourself from finishing it, even if you’re totally full.

You eat sugary foods or junk food even when you know you don’t need to

You had a nice healthy supper an hour ago, yet you want to snack on some jelly beans, chocolate or a bag of chips even though you KNOW that it’s not nutritionally necessary, nor are you truly even hungry.

You make excuses to eat sugar

You buy organic sugar or honey so that you can make excuses and claim that it’s healthier. In truth, sugar is still sugar, and you know this yet you can’t stop yourself from indulging.

You make special trips to the store or restaurant to get your fix

Uh oh, your ice cream stash is empty, there are no more chips in the cupboard. Time to run to the store and stock up, or go for a treat at your local cafe just because you can.

Sugar becomes your reward

Oh I’ll just clean the kitchen and then I’ll deserve to have a slice of cheesecake. I had a rough day, I deserve to eat chips and drink pop for dinner.

You’ve got a secret stash and when nobody’s around you dig in

This is a big one, if you have a stockpile of unhealthy snacks that you hide from your loved ones, it’s time to open your eyes and put down the candy.


The good news is by reducing sugar from your food and drinks it doesn’t take long for you to feel the difference within your mind and body. When combined with exercise - of course we suggest a healthy dose of RiDES - your body will rebalance and reset within 3 weeks. Some people start to feel better and see results within the first week. 



So instead of hunkering down with that bowl of candy over Halloween, think about booking a class and knocking back some extra water.  Go for a walk in lieu of hitting the pantry if you are not sure you are hungry (or choose a high protein snack instead). By cutting down on sugar, you will have extra energy in spin classes and you will even start hitting goals you never thought were possible!


Sinead O’Conner, RiDER and Health and Wellness Coach


+1 415 767 6993


Posted Oct 14, 2018 0 Comments

Should You Foam Roll?

You see people rolling out in the lounge at RiDE – are you ever wondering what they are doing (and whether you should be doing it)?


Foam rolling is basically a way to practice myofascial release on yourself, sort of like a mini self-massage with the primary goal of breaking down adhesions in your muscle and connective tissues. Foam rolling can also increase blood flow which can help with athletic performance and recovery.


Should YOU foam roll? Unless you can afford a daily massage, the answer is YES, especially if you are participating in any kind of strenuous exercise or athletic endeavor. But, you need to make sure you are doing it correctly and not damaging your tissue and creating inflammation in the process.


When using the foam roller, avoid these common mistakes:


Mistake #1 – Rolling to the point of excruciating pain. No pain, no gain, right? Well, not really. We want to break down adhesions but not cause further trauma to an area. Try to gently roll around the affected area first, and work your way to the big knot.


Mistake #2 – Rolling directly on the IT Band. The ITB (or iliotibial band) runs down the side of your leg and is a big, tough, piece of connective tissue. That piece of tissue is not very pliable so you want to work the big muscles that connect to it (like the glute, the biggest butt muscle) and the tensor fascia latae, the muscle that runs along the outer edge of the hip. Focusing on these will also be less painful (see above) and you will get more out of your roll.


Mistake #3 – Rolling too fast. Take a deep breath and R-O-L-L. Rolling should really be done slowly and methodically. Take your time, feel where the irksome muscle fibers and connective tissues are and givie them attention. Go the length of the muscle.


The bottom line is that yes, you SHOULD be foam rolling. And if you really want a treat, take a 60 minute foam rolling class @ Remedy: Barre + Foam Rolling (another awesome women owned studio in Oakland!). You will literally roll your entire body – even your jaw muscles - and walk out feeling SO relaxed, light, and ready for your next adventure.


Deb Collard, MSPT

Owner, RiDE Oakland (and licensed physical therapist!)

Posted Sep 26, 2018 0 Comments

Tagged: recovery indoor cycling Fitness Health RiDE Oakland goals community

RiDE Instructor Tips

Our instructors find their joy in making sure you get the most out of your ride and that you are living your best, healthiest, and happiest life. We've gathered a few of their favorite "tips" that will help you tackle that next ride, find inspiration, and hit those goals head on. 


Jeremy If you are having trouble engaging your core in class, do some abdominal exercises beforehand, and make the muscles a bit sore. You will feel your core and know whether it’s engaged or not.


Luci In fitness, we often focus on the front of the body because that is what we can see in the mirror. In indoor-cycling, riders tend to round their shoulders forward as gravity is taking their body in that direction on the bike. This is not only bad form but constricts the breath flow.  By increasing back body awareness and engagement and strengthening the back muscles by doing weights with flys, rows etc., one will find more openness and width across the chest - voila ... better posture with more efficient breath flow.  


Sarah L Close your eyes at some point during the ride and focus on your breath and body.  Going inward will help you tune in to the work.


Helen RiDE, ROLL, REPEAT . If you’re riding, you need to foam roll to keep everything lengthened & in the right place. For 5-10 minutes in front of the TV at night or even before or after class, move those sweaty bodies out of the way and stake your spot on the carpet. 


Donna After you finish your RiDE, one of your first priorities should be to replace the fluids you lost during class, mainly by drinking water! Second, you should replenish your muscle reserves by eating a small balanced snack of carbohydrates and protein to help your muscles recover quickly. How soon after you should be eating depends on the intensity of your workout. – usually between 15 to 30 minutes.


Megan Cross Train! Be sure to include something that adds rotation, extension and lateral movement to your workout or fitness game! Cycling, running and even some styles of yoga are all done on the sagittal plane (front and back) in flexion and extension. In order to keep your muscular and connective tissue balanced, it’s important to train your body through all planes. Try sports or workouts that take you side to side and open the chest and hips through rotation (tennis, golf, swimming, Vinyasa yoga and roller skating will include these movements and are great summer time activities!).


Deb If you are having trouble motivating to make it to class (especially if it’s 5:30 am!), tell yourself you don’t necessarily have to work that hard once you get there. This is sometimes all you need to get out of bed and in the door. Once you are there, and you’ve got the instructor, the music, and the pulse of your neighbor, you will have tricked yourself and will be giving it your 100% effort!


Proverbs Eat a snack or small meal 2 hours before you come to class. Any earlier and you might not be fueled enough for the entire RiDE. Any later, and you’ll throw up on a fellow RiDER.  Either way, not cute!


Jess Getting the most our of your ride is all about mindset. When I RiDE for my personal workouts, I like to remind myself when I walk through the door I'm there to give myself the best I have to give. My best is always ENOUGH. If I have to sit during a standing sprint, I embrace this and maybe choose to add tension to work on strength.  If I''m not feeling 100%, it doesn't mean I'm not giving 100%. Every day is different and how I perform varies on a variety of circumstances (these are not excuses). Sure, there's always room for improvement, but I focus positive energy on acknowledging myself for my effort. 

Posted Aug 5, 2018 0 Comments

Muscle Soreness or Injury?


You’ve been coming to more classes and really notice the positive change in your body - and mind! You might be considering adding a another RiDE class to your weekly schedule but are nervous about over-doing it. How do you tell the difference between healthy muscle soreness (good!) and injury (bad)?


We have all experienced muscle soreness after a great workout, especially one that uses our muscles in a new way. But there are a few key differences you need to know between muscle soreness and muscle or joint injury: 


    Muscle soreness typically lasts 2-3 days but not much longer.

    Muscle soreness often gets worse with rest (feels like stiffness) and better with movement.

    Soreness feels tender to touch and “tight” but not like a sharp pain. 

    Injury often feels more like a sharp pain (torn ligament or tendon) or joint pain both during AND after exercise. 

    Injury often has related swelling/inflammation. 

    Injury is often worsened by movement (and feels better with ice and rest). 

    Injury can last much longer than 2-3 days and can become chronic if not addressed. 


So if you think you’ve got muscle soreness, it’s okay to power through it and jump back on that bike. If you’ve got an injury, YOU NEED TO REST (and see your doctor or physical therapist if pain persists). And remember, cross training is ALWAYS a good idea to keep your body stretched out, strong, and healthy.

Posted Jul 8, 2018 0 Comments

Mind Your Mind

This Month: Mind Your Mind

by Proverbs


Of course you know a well-rounded, balanced diet and a vigorous mix of exercises are important for health. After all, you’re a RiDEr!


You are in touch with your body, in sync with your soul, and plugged in to your community. I wonder, though, if there’s room for even more growth on your health and wellness journey?


May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Some of us are already in the counselor’s office once a month, once a week, or even more frequently (doubles aren’t just for back-to-back RiDEs!). But many of you aren’t thinking about your mental health in relation to physical health.


Every Sunday at 2pm you plan your RiDEs for the week, but do you plan to go see your therapist with the same fervor? Do you set alarms that say: Book your therapy session!?


Listen…I get it. Mental health gets a bad rap in lots of different cultural communities, BUT, life is hard. Add in tough issues like stress, loss, grief, trauma, divorce, addiction, anxiety, depression, self-doubt - the list goes on and on - and it’s easy to see why there is no shame in getting the support that you need to help you process through your life’s experiences.


Honestly, even if you had the picture-perfect childhood, it doesn’t hurt to sit down and talk to someone who is formally trained to help you figure out your behavioral patterns. Why do you do what you do? How did you come to think, act, be this way?


On this beautiful, gritty journey of life, it’s important to take time for self-reflection (and by that I mean more time than what you get in a 50 minute spin class!).

As your instructor, I want you to live your best, healthiest, most fulfilling life. No one but you knows what you come into the studio with. You could have had a crap day at work, you and your spouse aren’t seeing eye-to-eye again, or your parent’s chemotherapy isn’t going well. Sick kids. Ill pets. Life. Happens. And that’s why we love having you as RiDErs. Because you consistently show up and show out for yourselves, even when things get tough.


So, keep coming. But keep adding on, too. If you want change, you have to challenge yourself, turn up the tension, and push past discomfort to get to new personal bests. As in RiDE, so in life.


Visit to check out therapists in your area. You can find someone based on race, gender, sexual orientation to “build” the perfect listening ear. And I know that even considering mental healthcare is a major feat. Finding a therapist is a lot like finding a romantic partner; you may have to try more than one before you find one that’s the right fit. Keep at it.


Lastly, if you’re a mental healthcare provider and would like to be listed as a service, please let us know and we’ll be sure to pass on your contact info.


Remember RiDE Tribe…we’ve got your front, back, side, and saddle.


See you soon!

Posted May 20, 2018 0 Comments

Tagged: therapy therapist mental health indoorcycling