Indoor cycling workouts are as popular as ever – pedalling in a group environment, great sounds, sweat on the floor and lots of spandex!
UK and international master trainer for Schwinn® Fitness, Stefano Ruggeri, lets you in on the amazing health benefits, and for those of you who think it's not real cycling – it's time to think again ...
Indoor cycling has the same principles as riding a real bike on the road but instead we ride a static or purposely-designed indoor bike.
It's a fun way to work out, challenging and guaranteed to deliver some great health benefits.
Here are my top twenty benefits of indoor cycling workouts:
- #1 Joint-friendly
Indoor cycling involves remaining seated for a good part of the class, therefore joints are well protected and the only movements are rotation of the hip and bending of the knee and ankle. It's not as harsh on the body as running.
- #2 Fat-busting
It has been proven that indoor cycling can be part of a very effective weight management programme, together with a good nutritional diet of course. The calorie burn factor is calculated by the weight of the person.
For example, a person who weighs 56kgs (125lbs) and rides for approximately 30 mins, will burn approximately 210 calories. A person who weighs 84kgs (185lbs) will burn approximately 311 calories.
- #3 Promotes Sound Sleep
Exercise aids good quality sleep (just remember not to cycle too vigorously late at night).
- #4 Cholesterol Clever
Increases the good cholesterol HDL and reduces the bad cholesterol LDL.
- #4 Enhances Muscle Definition
Shapes the legs!
- #6 It’s For Everyone
Whatever your age, gender or fitness level. There is no restriction - everyone can take part. You could be sitting next to an athlete on one day or a pregnant lady on another. No stabilisers required!
- #7 Increases Energy Levels
Your body uses the energy more efficiently over sustained periods of exercise, which helps to tackle day-to-day tasks. This can help you cope with fatigue and enjoy better levels of energy during the day.
- #8 It's Social
Creates a community of people with the same interests. Promotes camaraderie.
- #9 Boosts Feeling of Wellbeing and Happiness
After an indoor cycling session, your brain releases endorphins, which provides a feeling of wellbeing that is conducive to maintaining overall happiness.
- #10 Gym Alternative
Great exercise alternative for people who don’t like or feel intimidated by gyms or gym workouts.
- #11 Combats Depression & Anxiety
Listening to uplifting music whilst pedalling gives you that feel-good buzz, brightening your mood, releasing tension and anxiousness.
- #12 Improves Self-esteem & Confidence
Having fun, getting fitter and working out in a group makes you feel good.
- #13 Motivational & Challenging
Yes it can be tough – no one ever got anywhere by staying comfortable.
- #14 Boosts Physical & Mental Endurance
Improves transport of oxygen into muscles and tissues by using the red blood cells more efficiently. Improves efficiency and better distribution of oxygen intake.
In an indoor cycling class, endurance levels improve as you pedal against resistance, increasing the strength in the legs: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and even the calf muscles.
- #15 Better Body Awareness
You get to know your body and its capabilities
- #16 Enhances Immune System
Increases the production of endorphins to create a feeling of euphoria by lowering stress levels and enhancing the body's immune response.
- #17 Reduces Stress
A session is great to do before your working day so you're ready to face the day ahead or after a busy day, to chill out whilst you work out! Clears brain fog.
- #18 Anti-ageing
It sends fresh blood to the cells, bathing them in oxygen and increasing longevity.
- #19 Natural Detox
You will sweat!
- #20 Bone-friendly
Increases bone density and combats osteoporosis
Outside the indoor cycling room, these health benefits mean you'll be able to perform your daily activities with greater ease.
Walking that quarter mile to your car with shopping bags, whilst talking on your mobile, will be easy! And don't forget, indoor cycling is a great way to complement your outdoor cycling training too.