Indoor cycling has become a very popular activity and has received the presence of lots of new people. Learn everything from it!
Indoor cycling in itself isn't a particularly difficult exercise, both in theory and in practice. However, there are some measures to take in order to prevent risks of injuries and rapid exhaustion. Every beginner should know these if they want to enjoy the full benefits of indoor cycling!
Let's start with the bike adjustments. The standard recommendation is to stand next to the bike and raise or lower the seat height until it's at your hipbone's level. Then, use it as a reference to adjust the handlebars to the same height or a bit higher.
It's very important to get these pre-cycling measures right before starting your workout session. An extra-low seat or some overly raised handlebars won't let you exercise properly, as they'll prevent you from engaging your core during the session.
When coming up with a cycling routine for beginners, experts recommend sticking to a frequent, consistent, and short session. Training half an hour for a minimum of 3 times per week is one of the best choices, as it'll help you balance this new workout by letting your body get used to it while enjoying the release of endorphins each time you get on the bike.
Be aware that spending too much time and doing very intense cycling sessions can negatively affect your health when you're just starting. Even if the happy feeling left in your body afterward seems to make up for it, a beginner's body can suffer the consequences in the long term. Instead, take it easy and pay more attention to a frequent workout rather than an intense one.
For your future plans, you can alter the duration and intensity of your cycling routine. After the first month of regular sessions has passed, you can increase the intensity by 10 percent every 2 to 3 weeks by lengthening your sessions to 45-60 minutes or increasing their frequency.
If, after a while, you find yourself trying to psych yourself up to cycle instead of being motivated to do it, try setting yourself challenges to keep up your drive. Whether it's from a fitness coach, from yourself, from virtual exercising groups, or from friends, you can find a challenge that calls you and gives you the power you were looking for to continue your indoor cycling sessions.
In conclusion, always remember to check how you're feeling, both mentally and physically. Cycling, like any other type of exercise, requires your attention and won't be as beneficial if you start feeling wrong or pained when doing it. Be aware of possible changes in your feelings and body, and see a doctor if you believe there's a problem!
8 Short- and long-term health benefits of indoor cycling
1- 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.
2- 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.
3- 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.
4- 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.
5- 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.
6- 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!
7- Leaner muscles
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.
8- Better posture
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.