When you think of working out you probably think of weight lifting, treadmills, and various core exercises like push ups. You probably don’t think of indoor cycling- but maybe you should, as it offers a variety of surprising benefits.
Surprisingly, cycling is a great way to build muscles in the lower body. Cycling primarily targets the leg and glute muscles. As your workout cycles through the simulations of various cycling terrains, you will be using different parts of the lower body. For example, if you’re cycling up a hill, you will be in an upright position and using your quads and glutes. Although cycling is ideal for building leg strength, it can also build a bit of arm muscles are your arms are engaged and holding onto the handles for support.
Like any workout, indoor cycling burns calories. According to a study by Spinning.com, one hour of cycling on a stationary bike can burn anywhere from 420- 620 calories. Although the amount of calories you burn depend on factors such as incline, indoor cycling is a fun way to burn off that extra sandwich.
Low-Impact/ Cardiovascular Workout
The typical 45-60 minute indoor cycling session is intense. It keeps your heart pumping and gets you sweating, giving you a full workout. This being said, however, it does so without jarring the knees, hips, or other joints which makes it agreta low-impact workout for people with joint problems or arthritis.
If you’ve heard of “runner’s high”, you’re probably familiar with “cycling high”. Although not a coined term, cycling high is essentially a form of runner’s high, as it comes alongside a good workout. When you experience this phenomena, your brain is flooded with feel-good chemicals that work to improve your mood. A good workout is a fool-proof way to improve a bad mood.
Not a health benefit, but a benefit nonetheless, indoor cycling can be done in a class setting. Many gyms and fitness centers offer indoor cycling classes for free or for affordable rates. Attending a cycling class will keep you motivated and help you to make friends, as well as keep you focused on the task at hand. Many class instructors play great music, too!
You have ample control over your workout if you chose to take up indoor cycling. When riding a regular bicycle, you don’t have as much control as you do using an indoor bicycle. Indoor cycling gives you the ultimate control over your speed, intensity, terrain, resistance, and the length of your workout. This means that you can intensify your workout or slow it down as you choose- no more pushing yourself to the top of that huge hill because that’s where your house is.
Indoor cycling is a great option for workouts on hot days. It can be as intense as a 3 mile jog without hurting your joints and while building muscle, burning fat, and improving your mood at the same time. So, what are you waiting for? Join a class, get fit, and have fun!