Summer is winding down and all our activities are starting to move indoors once more. While there is nothing better than spending all your time outside, you can still reap health benefits moving some of your favorite activities indoors too. One such activity is cycling. Whether you are a religious cycler or a novice, you can attain the benefits for a healthy and happy fall and winter season all from the comfort of your home. There are few cardio exercises that are better than cycling—especially in the long term, however, make sure you talk to your doctor first to avoid triggering any underlying problems. Once you get the all clear there are a few things you can expect from your indoor cycling workouts.
What You Can Expect
Burn, baby, burn! Every time you exercise you burn calories and cycling indoors is no different. The more consistently you hop on your bike, the more your body composition changes, slowly replacing fat with lean muscle. In fact, just a 30 minute session can burn between 200 and 450 calories (or more depending on your weight and speed). The best part? Cycling is low impact so as you make gains with this exercise it is not coming at the cost of your joints—particularly the knees.
Reduction in certain diseases. Cycling can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL) keeping your heart healthy. Hoping on your indoor bike can also improve your glucose tolerance by making your less insulin resistant, protecting your from type II diabetes.
Increased oxygen intake. Regular cycling is a great way to help your body better supply your muscles with oxygen and nutrients. Essentially you are upping the blood flow to your muscles which also means greater all-around gains for your body.
Straight as an arrow. Believe it or not, cycling is good for your posture. Just make sure your bike is properly adjusted. (Your seat should hit at about your hip-bone when standing next to your bike and your handle bars should be even or slightly higher.)
Free your mind. Yes, cycling can have powerful effects on your mental health too. That is because exercise has been proven time and again to help alleviate long-term depression. That rush you feel after a good sweat sesh? Endorphins, lots and lots of endorphins.