We all know the importance of cardiovascular exercise for overall fitness and heart health; it’s also a great way to burn calories and strengthen the lungs and muscles. Using a stationary, often referred to as a “spin bike”, provides and excellent aerobic workout while putting less stress on your joints. Let’s explore some of the benefits.
Boosts cardio fitness:
Cycling provides a great cardiovascular (aerobic) workout. In addition to the benefits above, doing aerobic exercise also improves the flow of blood and oxygen through the whole body. This has a number of health benefits:
- more energy
- better mood
- helps lower stress
- better sleep
- improved blood sugar levels
- helps build a stronger immune system
- helps lower blood pressure
- improves memory and overall brain functioning
Reaching your weight loss goals:
When indoor cycling you can burn calories quickly and depending on the level of intensity it’s possible to burn around 600 calories in an hour. Since burning more calories than we consume equates to weight loss; cycling is an effective exercise to help you reach your weight loss goals or to maintain your current weight.
Burns body fat:
In a recent study doctors found that indoor cycling and eating a low-calorie diet not only helped with weight loss and reducing body fat, but also, helped control serum lipids. They also noted it was effective in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The studies’ participants cycled for 45 minutes three times per week. If you would like to read more you can check out the study here.
Strengthens leg and lower body muscles:
When exercising on a spin bike you can build stronger legs and lower body muscle, especially if you use higher resistance. Pedaling helps to strengthen the calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps while also working muscles in the core, back and glutes. When cycling with handles you’re also working your biceps, triceps and shoulders.
Safety tips when cycling:
Its important to always be safe when performing any exercise and while indoor cycling is safer than outdoor road bikes due to the risk of riding in traffic areas, there are still a few things to keep in mind:
- First, always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program and if you have any concerns about balance, blood pressure or heart health, make sure your doctor agrees that cycling is safe for you.
- Be careful to start out slowly, especially if you are a beginner. Don’t exert yourself too quickly or beyond your limits. Pushing yourself too hard can be dangerous so take it slow and work your way up as you get stronger.
- Be sure to take time to recover if your are feeling any muscle soreness or pain.
- Make sure you consult with a personal trainer or someone with experience in cycling so they can show you the correct body position and use good form. Riding with bad form can lead to injuries or unnecessary pain.
Indoor cycling is a great way to help you with your overall fitness goals and you can ride in good or bad weather since you’ll always be indoors. The many cardiovascular benefits make cycling an effective exercise as well as a great way to maintain good heart health. Lastly, there are a number of apps available if you would like to use them; they will guide you through a warm-up, main workout set and a cool down session.
Please be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program. Your doctor can help you determine an individualized plan that’s best for you.