10 Healthy benefits of indoor cycling
Indoor cycling is quite a challenging and tasking form of cardio exercise, it is great in building strength and muscle endurance.
This exhilarating workout is packed with lots of benefits, it is a great help to the heart, it helps to strengthen and build up the muscles of the body and it is also an effective way to burn calories.
To reap the benefits associated with indoor cycling, individuals are advised to include resistance and strengthening exercises in their routines.
If you are a beginner to the world of indoor cycling this should be your guide on how to begin your routine.
Due to the pandemic (COVID-19) and the second wave that has hit the world, a lot of gym devotees are avoiding their gym like a plague. In fact, quite a number of indoor cycling studios have also been shut down, however, the pandemic has also led to the introduction of high-tech home bikes that individuals can use for their indoor cycling. Learn some basic tips here before exploring your new bike.
Cycling is an exercise that minimizes the amount of pressure or the impact exerted on the joints. Most exercises greatly impact the joint leading to severe forms of injuries however cycling minimizes this impact hence reducing the occurrence of injuries.
A bonus guide for beginners
The first cycling experience can be nerve-wracking as there are so many adjustments you might need to make to your seat or the handlebar depth which you might be unfamiliar with.
A quick tip for your seat height: your seat height should be at the level of your hip bone when you are standing close to the bike.
As for your handlebars keep them at an even position with your seat or just a little bit higher.
Most beginners make the mistake of setting their seats very low and their handlebars very high, this is a wrong positioning that will prevent the muscles of the core from being engaged while cycling.
A common mistake beginners also make is cycling every time. While cycling is great for the body and health, excessively engaging in it can cause pain in the body or lead to an injury.
Focus on maintaining a certain degree of consistency for instance try to indulge in cycling twice a week for thirty minutes. Try to keep this up for a month or two.
Benefits of indoor cycling
If you wish to enjoy the full benefits of indoor cycling, you should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of cycling in a week.
When you are consistent in the routine, you will reap the amazing benefits associated with indoor cycling. There are some noticeable results you will experience when you engage in indoor cycling however, there are long-term benefits that occur when you are consistent with your cycling sessions.
1.Improves heart health
Indoor cycling is a great way to elevate the health of the heart, it is a form of cardio exercise similar to running and jogging. If you’re searching for a cardio workout to add to your exercise routine, then indoor cycling can be a perfect addition. Indoor cycling brings lots of cardio workout benefits to the body without exerting too much pressure on the joints.
Yearly people die as a result of a deficiency in their cardiovascular system, the addition of indoor cycling to their routine helps to prevent the body from the risk of certain heart-related problems.
When your cycling routine is consistent it leads to the reduction of the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increases the quantity of the good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) in the body. LDL cholesterol makes the body extremely susceptible to the occurrence of heart diseases.
- A great way to burn calories
In our present society, not everyone wants to keep a weight that negatively impacts their life, restricts them from wearing the clothes they like, or engaging in the fun activities they want to.
A lot of people want to stay fit and maintain a great shape but the emergence of the 2020 pandemic Coronavirus has negatively affected the lives of so many people globally.
It has triggered stress, overeating, and pounds of additional weight coupled with a lack of motivation to engage in any fitness related activity.
Most gyms have been shut down and a lot of people lack the zeal to engage in a full-body workout without an instructor or a workout partner.
Indoor cycling offers a solution to this problem, it is an effective way to burn calories. The act of cycling in a stable position is found to be lots of fun by a lot of people especially beginners.
When you workout, the body releases endorphins which makes one feel good and helps to deal with stress which is one factor that triggers weight gain.
Indoor cycling is a cardio exercise that is an efficient way to lose weight. Ensure that your diet is healthy (low in calories) and together with indoor cycling this would lead to an obvious decline in weight gain.
- Alleviate stress
The global pandemic has lead to a mental and physical stress among many people in the world, however, there are so many effective ways to deal with stress.
Indoor cycling is an example of an effective way to deal with stress, all forms of exercise the release of endorphins. Endorphin is a hormone that fills one with a sense of excitement which is the complete opposite of what stress does.
When a person is mentally stressed they lack excitement, they feel tired and emotionally drained therefore the feeling they get when endorphins are released is completely different.
Through exercise, endorphin is produced, it helps to improve one’s mood which in turn helps to relieve stress.
- Strength building
One of the most important benefits of indoor cycling is its ability to build strength. A lot of people hate lifting weight therefore they search for an alternative that can help them build strength.
Indoor cycling is a perfect strength-building however you need to engage in 150 minutes of cycling weekly in order to build strength.
- Protects the body from the risk of diabetes
Diabetes has led to the death of so many individuals especially when it is not properly managed. Cycling is not just a cardio workout, it is also a great way to improve the body’s tolerance to glucose (I.e it makes the body less resistant to insulin).
This process helps to protect the body from the risk of diabetes (type 2 diabetes).
- Leads to improvement in posture
Achieving an accurate form is the first thing any good instructor will teach you. A great form can help to deal with posture deficiencies and even prevent one from occurring.
Cycling is a great way to improve posture. Bad posture can be traced to an incorrect form while exercising or stiffness. Consistent cycling helps to deal with this problem and restores one to a perfect posture.
- Lean muscles are formed
Don’t expect to build muscle mass if you only engage in indoor cycling. If you want to build muscle mass, add running and sprinting to your workout routine.
Indoor cycling helps to build strength, stamina, and endurance within the muscles, it targets small muscle fibers in the body that are not prone to fatigue and increases their development.
The development of these muscles are evident in the well defined, toned muscles include the quadriceps and the glutes.
- Higher endurance
When you constantly engage in indoor cycling you tend to build up your ability to perform the exercise for a longer duration.
Not only does your duration of workout increases, but your recovery time is also elevated.
- Improved blood flow
As you consistently engage in indoor cycling the supply of nutrients to your muscles is also increased ( I.e the flow of blood to your muscles will be greatly increased).
- Improves mental health
A lot of happenings in the society can negatively influence our mental health making one easily stress, this can lead to anxiety and depression.
Now more than ever, it is important that we pay special attention to our mental health and engage in activities that can wade off depression.
Muscles targeted when engaging in indoor cycling
Indoor cycling is a muscle intensive exercise that involves the collaboration of so many different muscles in the body. It is a full-body workout hence it targets lots of muscles in the body.
Let’s take a look at the muscles targeted by indoor cycling and how you can engage them in order to reap the benefits associated with engaging them.
The quadriceps are very important muscles in the body needed for the major movement that involves the lower extremities, the quadriceps in everyday movement e.g. cycling, climbing, or pedaling a bike.
Indoor cycling helps to tone these muscles, building strength, stamina, and endurance of the muscles.
The core is involved in so many activities, it serves as the support system of the body and stabilizes the body while engaging in indoor cycling.
A well-developed core helps to maintain balance while standing. Ensure that your seat height is at hip bone height and your handlebar is even with your seat height in order to fully engage your core.
The hamstrings are used in lifting the pedals on the bike while you cycle. It also plays a vital role in maintaining the stability of the joints when you engage in indoor cycling.
Indoor cycling helps to strengthen the hamstrings, it also prevents the occurrence of tightness in the hamstrings.
If you don’t feel your glutes working as you cycle, this means that you are not properly engaging your glutes.
Engage your glutes by slightly inclining your body.
- Muscles of the Back
The muscles of the back support the body while engaging in indoor cycling, it also helps to strengthen and tone the muscles of the back.
- Muscles of the upper body
The muscles of the upper body as a support mechanism to the body while you cycle. Some forms of indoor cycling exercises might also incorporate upper body exercises.
Tips for indoor cycling
- Hydration is really important, ensure that you drink lots of water before, during and, after cycling in order to prevent dehydration. While cycling you will lose a lot of fluids, it is important that you drink a lot of water to replace the lost electrolytes.
- Bend at your hip: Standing up straight can cause injuries at your hips or knees, it is advisable that you hinge at your hips to prevent the occurrence of injuries. Don’t place your shoulders over your ears as this could lead to hunching which is an inaccurate form.
- For more comfort, while cycling, you should use a padded cycling short or purchase a padded seat cover.
- Do not punish yourself too hard, start slowly before advancing to higher intensity and duration.
- If you are a static person who sits a lot, try to add strength training exercises to your routine.
- If you experience pain and discomfort, consult your doctor.
There are so many benefits associated with indoor cycling and although it is expensive to begin, the benefits it offers are important and essential to the overall body’s health.
If you are looking for an indoor exercise to add to your routine, indoor cycling will be a great choice.