Though he spent most of his time on camera, covering major sports events, Nick’s life-long dream was to become a sports columnist. Today, Nick researches and covers workout routines, exercise-related tips and tricks and sports diets. In need of an effective training routine? Look no further than Nick’s articles.+ info
In times when the types of exercise people can do are somewhat restricted, indoor cycling presents itself as a very seductive possibility. Not only is it increasingly more available, as new stationary bike models flood the market every day, but it can also bring you many physical and mental health benefits, both in the short- and long-term. Read on to find out which these are!
Lower risks of injury
It's common knowledge that some forms of cardio exercise are more gentle on your muscles and joints than others. Cycling is one of these: a non-weight-bearing workout that doesn't present high risks of joint strain or tear. This is especially beneficial in the long term, as the body ages and harsh cardio workouts can cause injuries or weaken your muscles and joints.
Prevention of heart disease and type II diabetes
As you may already know, the risks of developing heart disease can be decreased with higher HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind). This, together with a reduction of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind), can be achieved through a frequent and consistent cycling routine. In addition to this, exercise can boost your body's glucose tolerance and decrease insulin resistance, a good way to prevent type II diabetes.
Increased maximum oxygen uptake
Indoor cycling can positively impact your body's blood flow to your muscles. This means that these will have a more efficient and complete supply of nutrients and oxygen, which is very important for further training and for your body's overall health.
Higher calorie burning levels
Metabolically active tissue, such as the one on your muscles, helps burn calories. An exercise session will change your body composition by replacing fat with muscle, which in turn leads to calorie burning. Indoor cycling isn't any different: a half an hour training session can help your body burn an average of 350 calories.
Higher body efficiency
In the long term, cycling can greatly improve your body's efficiency. Not only will you be able to increase the frequency and intensity of your workout sessions without suffering it, but you'll also experience a faster recovery time. In other words, you'll start needing less power to do the same activities, and less time to physically recover from them.
Mental health improvements
Exercising, including indoor cycling, releases endorphins, which give you feelings of happiness and contentment. Not only will this improve your daily mood, but it's been proven that regular exercise can help combat long-term depression. There's no time more important than now to start taking care of one's mental health!
Because cycling is a type of endurance training, you'll notice that the muscles it focuses on are usually those related to fatigue-resistance and small movements. While this means that your chances to boost your muscle mass aren't especially high, it'll help you develop toned, lean muscles.
If you suffer from bad posture, cycling is a good exercise to improve this condition. Paying close attention to the position of the seat and the handlebars will make cycling the best solution to stiffness. You'll notice if you're angling your body in the wrong way, as this type of workout becomes harder to perform, which will help you check your posture during the whole session.