A primer on outfitting yourself for Spinning success.

On your body: You can wear an exercise shirt or t-shirt and padded bike shorts (its pretty much guaranteed that youll experience soreness in your bottom and/or crotch area after your first session). Rest assured: The soreness diminishes as your butt muscles get more toned and your legs become stronger, which prevents you from sinking into the saddle as much. Cycling gloves are optional.

On your feet: Stiff-soled shoes, ideally cycling shoes that allow you to clip right into the pedals. Soft-soled shoes (like cross-trainers, running shoes, or aerobic shoes) absorb too much of the pedaling force, which makes pedaling inefficient and can make your feet uncomfortable or numb when youre in a standing position. If youre not wearing cycling shoes, shoelaces should be tucked in so they wont get tangled with the pedals, and your shoes should be snugly strapped into the foot cages to prevent your feet from slipping off the pedals during the class.

On your head: Some people wear caps or headbands; others pull their long hair back in a ponytail or clip. This is really a matter of whats comfortable for you, given the sweat-inducing nature of the activity.

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