Your Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Cycling

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Spring is the perfect time to dust off your gym shoes and recharge your workouts!  Whether you are new to or coming back to cycling, it is an excellent way to build cardiovascular endurance and strength with minimal impact to your joints.  But there are a few important tips you should know before getting started.  Here’s what you need to know:

Tips for Indoor Cycling

Indoor Cycling

Cycling indoors on a recumbent or spin bike is an excellent workout that’s also extremely user-friendly.  But, unlike cardio machines like the treadmill or the elliptical, it requires a more individualized set-up.  Once you get the drill down, indoor cycling can burn up to 600 calories an hour!

1) A great rule of thumb for setting up your seat is to raise it so high, that when you sit down on it, your hips rock from side-to-side.  From there, take the seat down until your hips no longer rock.  That is your ideal seat height to get a full extension in your stride.

2) The next step is to make sure your seat from front to back is set so that your hands comfortably rest on the handlebars.  The handlebars themselves should be a little higher than the seat.  However, more professional riders have their handlebars level to their seat.

3) And lastly, when deciding on an exact workout to complete, think first of what your goals are and how much time you have.  Programs on the recumbent bike range from long endurance rides, to climbing intense hills, to interval training.  While you are led through a spin class, if you choose to train solo on a spin bike, try downloading an app like Global Cycle Coach, or a high intensity interval training app that allows you to set up timed intervals for your ride.

Tips for outdoor cycling

Outdoor Cycling

With the sun shining, the wind in your face, and the child-like rush from speeding along, taking your bike outside can have many health benefits.

1) Unlike indoor cycling, biking outside requires you to stabilize with your core and upper body.  With the wind resistance and having to veer in different directions, you’re working more than just your legs.

2) Cycling outside benefits not just your physical health, but your mental health as well.  Exercise boosts endorphins and even improves your cognitive function. Feel better and get smarter, all by riding a bike!

3) Ride safely.  It is important that regardless of your route, you wear a bike helmet and practice proper road safety.  Signal when turning and be mindful of vehicles near you-including parked cars.  You never know when someone might open their car door into your bike!

Lisa Payne, Fabletics Master

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