Great for improving your fitness and losing weight, regular cycling can also help to relieve stress and tone that lower body
Cycling is a fun way to get fit. It’s low impact exercise, meaning it’s easier on the bones and joints than running or any other high impact aerobic activities. You can burn up to 600 calories on an hour’s ride while also soaking up the sun and taking in those countryside views.
Alongside all of the health benefits, cycling is easy to fit into your daily routine because it is also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment – now who can argue with that? Cycling gives a great opportunity to exercise at the same time as a good natter. And don’t forget the coffee and cake stops to fuel up! There’s no better feeling after conquering your furthest, hardest ride.
If you were an avid cyclist and it’s been a while since you’ve ventured into the saddle don’t worry, the saying is true: “You never forget how to ride a bike.” Your body has a fantastic memory and you will be able to adapt really quickly to getting your balance and picking up some speed. However it is always good to prepare yourself by making sure you stretch your main muscles and get your fitness levels up to speed.
JOYS OF FLEX
The main muscles used while pedalling are the gluteal muscles (your bum), your hamstrings, quadriceps and calves. Your hip flexors will also become tight if you begin cycling on a regular basis so it would be good practice to give these a good stretch before and after your ride.
Weight training can play a part to help you become bike-fit so focusing on your main muscles is a wise move. Exercises such as squats and lunges will target a big section of the lower body while also engaging the core muscles which are your main focus when working on your balance. With weights, try and stick with higher reps – this will boost your endurance allowing you to cycle for longer and further.
SPIN TO WIN
One of the best ways to get in shape is taking part in a spinning class or two per week. Spinning is based purely on stationary bikes which run on a chain (just like outdoor bikes) and will take you through different phases of a ride such as steady pace, hill climbs, sprints and double time resistance.
Alongside motivational music and with an energetic coach in front of you, the 45 minute sessions will fly by and you will have fun as well as burning anywhere between 600 and 800 calories (and getting super fit!)
Just some of the benefits of indoor cycling:
1. Burn calories: spinning is long known to decrease fat and help people drop pounds
2. Improves cardio for a healthy heart
3. Strengthen body and mind: enhances both your core and your mental strength
4. Breathe properly: as you become more experienced, you’ll learn to work on controlled breathing. This can also help with anxiety and help lower the heart rate
5. It’s for everyone: regardless of age, gender or experience there’s a level and class to suit
6. Weather non-dependent: who cares if it’s raining outside? And as you’re unaffected by the climate it’s easy to set a schedule and stick to it
7. Make friends: regardless of your fitness level, you’re in it together. You become part of a team and it’s a great way to meet people.