Get on your (exercise) bike
Is the wintery weather putting a damper on your outdoor exercise plans? Head to the gym for a spot of indoor cycling instead.
Here are just 5 reasons to incorporate an exercise bike into your gym routine:
1. Low impact exercise
Some types of aerobic activity, such as jogging, can be tough on your joints. A stationary bike is kinder to your joints, and puts less mechanical stress on your back, knees, hips and ankles. This also makes indoor cycling a good workout for people who are overweight or recovering from an injury.
2. Improve cardiovascular fitness
Riding an indoor bike goes towards the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Regular cardio helps your heart become more efficient at pumping blood, increases your good cholesterol levels (while lowering the bad) and can help lower high blood pressure. It may also decrease your risk of developing heart disease.
3. Increase muscular endurance
Pedalling against resistance increases the endurance of certain muscles, including your quads, hamstrings, gluteus and calf muscles. Working these muscles also helps to strengthen the surrounding bones, tendons and ligaments which boosts overall strength – making everyday activities easier to perform.
4. Happy hormones
Exercise releases feel-good neurotransmitters, including endorphins, which can result in ‘exercise-induced euphoria’. As well as lifting your mood, endorphins also lower stress levels and enhance the body’s immune response. According to sports psychologist J. Kip Matthews, PhD, you’ll need to exercise intensely for 30-45 minutes to get the first hit (which comes from two neurotransmitters, serotonin and norphenylephrine) and for an hour or more to experience a rise in endorphins.
5. Calorie burn
Indoor cycling helps boost your daily calorie burn and helps you towards your FitPoints™ target. Someone weighing 145lbs can expect to burn around 230 calories cycling at a moderate pace for 30 minutes, and about 375 calories pedalling vigorously for the same amount of time. If you weigh more or exercise for longer, you’ll burn even more.
Whether you cycle solo, with a friend or in a spin class, an exercise bike is a great addition to your workout regime.