We all know the benefits of cardiovascular exercise – chronic disease prevention, promotes healthy weight, increased confidence – just to name a few. And if you’ve ever taken an indoor cycling class, you understand the marvelous mix of fun, challenge and feeling of accomplishment it provides (especially once you get over the saddle soreness!). There are numerous indoor cycling benefits, and in case you want more concrete reasons as to why you should include cycling in your exercise regime, here a few reasons that paint a bright outlook for your workout future.
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Cycling has a place for all fitness levels
- The non-weight-bearing nature of cycling makes it an excellent option for beginner exercisers or those recovering from an injury.
- Variable intensities and resistance levels means cycling can enhance all exercise goals and abilities. Bonus: indoor cycling is a great group activity – you can workout with others without needing similar fitness levels.
- When you’re ready to take your fitness to the next level – cycling is there for you. Improve your cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and power all in one ride!
You can make cycling work for you
- The more efficient your pedal stroke, the more effective your ride. Taking the time to set up your bike properly will decrease your risk of injury and ensure you are maximizing your efforts.
- Start with seat height: stand next to the saddle and align the seat with your hip. Then hop on the bike and make any minor adjustments so that your knee is slightly bent – at about a 30 degree angle – at the bottom of your pedal stroke.
- Handlebar height: choose a level that promotes natural alignment of your neck, shoulders and upper body. Height will also depend on your hamstring and spine flexibility.
- Make minor adjustments from time to time to find what feels best to you.
Tailor rides to meet your physical goals
- Most experts agree that 60-100 revolutions per minute (RPM) is an optimal cadence range for most riders.
- Pedaling faster – 80 RPMs or higher – places more challenge on cardiovascular endurance. A slower cadence – lower than 80 RPMs – puts more focus on muscular strength.
- What should you do? Both! Increase RPMs at a lower resistance for sprint & endurance training and then add resistance (while decreasing RPMs) to simulate a ride up a hill (or mountain!).
- A Harvard Medical School study found that 30-minutes of vigorous exercise on a stationary bike burned some serious calories:
- 125 lb. person: 315 calories
- 155 lb. person: 391 calories
- 185 lb. person: 466 calories
- Compare that to 30-minutes of high-impact aerobics:
- 125 lb. person: 210 calories
- 155 lb. person: 260 calories
- 185 lb. person: 311 calories
- This means on average, you burn 50% more calories per minute on a stationary bike than doing aerobics!
Minutes on the bike = Years to your life
- The American Heart Association reports that people who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight live about 7 years longer than those who are inactive and obese.
Now that you’ve seen the beneficial evidence, it’s time to hop on the bike and start cycling! Remember to always listen to your body, and if you’re new to the activity, focus on increasing your cardiovascular endurance first.
ICOD classes are cycling workouts that include instructor guidance and fun & energizing music. In other words, you can take a cycling class anytime! Classes are appropriate for all fitness levels. Check out all of our available Indoor Cycling Classes and get a 30 day membership free and you can experience all the amazing indoor cycling benefits for yourself!