Nostalgia strikes the moment someone says the world cycling. During childhood, evenings were about bike rides with friends. Those were the days of outdoor fun! Now the traffic and air pollution scare many people like me. And that’s where indoor cycling can come to your rescue. On World Bicycle Day, let us introduce you to the health benefits of indoor cycling and some of the best stationary bicycles for fitness!
Indoor cycling, like cycling outdoors, is beneficial for physical and mental health. According to a 2019 review published by PubMed, when indoor cycling is combined with a healthy diet, it can have a positive effect on a person’s lipid profile, weight management and blood pressure levelsl. It could also enhance aerobic capacity.
Several fitness centers across the world offer this spinning exercise experience, and you can bring it home too! Nowadays, technology is such that the market has bluetooth-enabled spin bikes.
Key health benefits of indoor cycling
1. Improves cardiovascular health
Indoor cycling involves pedalling, which is a good cardiovascular workout. As you pedal your way to fitness at an intensity that suits your stamina, the increase in heart rate helps to strengthen your heart muscles and pump blood into the body effectively. Doing this exercise consistently helps to improve blood circulation, endurance and lung capacity, thereby reducing the risk of blood pressure issues and heart diseases.
2. Indoor cycling can boost weight loss and tone the muscles
Any form of movement is good for the body. Cycling – whether indoors or outdoors – is an effective calorie-burning workout. You may end up reducing belly fat with cycling! According to Harvard Medical School, a 70 kg person can burn around 250 calories within 30 minutes of riding an exercise bike indoors. So, if you prefer to stay home instead of going to the gym to lose weight, getting an indoor cycle may be your smartest move.
Besides, your leg movements on a stationary bike will ensure that the muscle groups in your legs – the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves, become stronger and more toned with time.
3. Indoor cycling is good for your joints
An exercise is always more effective when it complements your body structure and health problems. When it comes to the benefits of indoor cycling, you must know that it is considered an effective low-impact exercise. This makes it a win-win for older adults as well as for those dealing with knee and joint pains or recuperating from orthopedic conditions. Who complains about a workout that places less stress on the joints, right? Having said that, people with a knee problem or back issue should consult a doctor before taking up this activity. Meanwhile, check out this air bike with handles for support!
4. Reduces stress
The mental health benefits of indoor cycling cannot be understated. Being physically active in one form or another helps your body to release the feel-good hormones known as endorphins. According to studies, cycling also boosts dopamine and serotonin, helping a person to relax. The result is an enhanced mood, reduced stress levels and a positive outlook in life! Need we say more?
5. Indoor cycling can improve stamina
Regular sessions of using a spin bike or air bike at home can help you improve levels of endurance and stamina. Over a few weeks, you may notice that you will feel less fatigued. This will help you with greater energy and capacity to perform daily activities as well as indulge in other more intense forms of exercise.
Well, all said and done, before you begin any exercise, it is best to consult your healthcare expert. This is especially important for people with pre-existing health conditions.
How is indoor cycling different from outdoor cycling?
Well, apart from the immediate difference of surroundings and environment, the benefits of indoor cycling and outdoor cycling are unique. It depends on an individual to make a choice, driven by multiple factors. Here are some of the key things that set these exercises apart and you may consider if your mind is playing ping-pong between indoor cycling vs outdoor cycling.
* Convenience: Indoor cycling is an extremely convenient exercise that you can choose to do whenever from the comfort of your home. There are no concerns about traffic and pedestrians. A cosy corner at home is enough. Whereas, outdoor cycling is best done early morning for road safety reasons unless there is a separate cycling track in your area.
* Environment: If you like the freedom of steering a bicycle in a direction or terrain of your choice, while feeling the wind in your hair, indoor cycling may not be as thrilling. It is done in a room. That also limits the choices it offers in terms of cycling on inclines and tougher terrains, which can make you push your fitness limits further.
* Weather changes: Whether it rains, hails, snows or the sun blazes on, indoor cycling is always possible! But that convenience is limited with outdoor cycling.
* Social engagement: Unless indoor cycling is done in a group, it can be an isolating exercise for you at home. Outdoor cycling, like good ol’ times, not just helps you build strength, but friendships too!
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