Good to Your Guf: Just You & The Bike
Just You & The Bike: 5 Physical Benefits of Indoor Cycling
Here are 5 incredible benefits happening to your body while you pedal away:
- Cardiovascular: ACSM (American Council of Sports Medicine) recommends that healthy adults aged 18-65 years old should participate in aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days per week or vigorous intensity, aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes, 3 days per week.
A well-directed indoor cycling class will steadily keep your heart rate well within a likely vigorous range for approximately 45-60 minutes. Over time, continuous cardiovascular activity (including interval training often practiced in indoor cycling) can help lower your risk of coronary artery disease, can help lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, and can help lower your overall resting heart rate.
- Lowered Stress Levels: You’ve probably heard of the elusive “runner’s high”. It’s not uncommon to see many runners in indoor cycling classes. That’s because you get the same rush in an indoor cycling class: a release of those happy-mood inducing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Endorphins are known to create feelings of euphoria, lower your stress level, and enhance the body’s immune response.
- Increased Muscular Endurance: This refers to the ability of a muscle to continually and repeatedly exert force over an extended period of time. In an indoor cycling class, this happens when you pedal against resistance, which can greatly increase the endurance of the muscles in the legs: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus, and even the calf muscles. Working out these muscles will also help to strengthen the surrounding bones, tendons, and ligaments. Outside the indoor cycling room, this increased strength means you’ll be able to perform your daily activities with greater ease.
- Major Calorie Burn: If your fitness goals include weight and/or fat loss, you’ve come to the right place. According to spinning.com, individuals can burn anywhere between 400-600 calories per average 45-minute class. Since it takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound of fat, just 5-8 indoor cycling classes, combined with a healthy diet can help you whittle down your body fat.
- Low Impact: For such a high-intensity workout, indoor cycling is surprisingly low impact. Many people who have recently recovered from orthopedic injuries (and who have been cleared by their physician) turn to indoor cycling to help them get back on track. When done correctly, there is minimal impact on the hip, knee, and ankle joints. When your bike is set up properly and you have appropriate footwear, you’ll never have to worry about leaving an indoor cycling class with throbbing knee pain or stiffness in the hip joints. The circular motion allows for proper flexion and extension, while avoiding the pounding often brought on by other activities such as running or traditional aerobics classes.
Not convinced that indoor cycling may be for you? I challenge you to try any of the JCC’s FIVE Cycle classes a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30 am or Tuesday and Thursday at 6pm in the Training Studio. Get to class early and ask the instructor to help you set up your bike if you’re unsure and let him or her know if you are recovering from any injuries so they can help you modify when necessary.
Source: ACSM Certification