Cyclists and triathletes are increasingly turning to indoor cycling (aka “spinning”), with many now doing the majority of their training indoors, preferring to head outdoors only for races. Even for those who find cycling on a stationary bike dull compared to mountain biking or spending time out on the road, indoor cycling is often a necessity during the off-season, when the weather is bad and darkness comes early.
Beyond mere convenience, there are numerous advantages to indoor cycling that encompass all the benefits of cycling outdoors. Following are the most important:
1. You can use indoor cycling as a warm-up exercise.
Even if you end up focusing on a workout other than cycling as your main exercise for the day, you still need a warm-up. Spinning is used by athletes of all sports, as it helps increasing mental and physical energy levels in addition to warming up muscles.
2. You can use it as a recovery activity.
After a difficult day or week of training, indoor cycling can help with your recovery. Many athletes consider 20 minutes of gentle spinning at 55 percent of their maximum heart rate a better way to reduce stiffness and soreness than a massage, says Cycling Performance Tips.
3. You dictate your training.
When utilized properly, you will find that spinning is much more physically challenging than outdoor cycling. Rather than being forced to coast or stop when the traffic and road conditions demand it, you can create your own training consisting of exactly what you need. Indoor cycling provides you with a flat training course if you live in an area with many hills, the ability to do high-intensity intervals when you choose, and an easy means of ending your training session when you want, not just when the route finishes.
4. It is a great way to improve your technique.
You can improve various aspects of your cycling technique, such as pedal stroke, when spinning with one leg. This will help you find flaws in your technique and help you to see where you need to improve. You can then implement the changes while working with the stationary bike to create a smoother and more complete pedal cycle.
5. It can help you sleep better.
If you suffer from insomnia or another sleep problem, indoor cycling is one of the best exercises to help you get a good night sleep. Getting enough rest is essential to ensure you will be able to exercise the next day.
6. You avoid distractions.
The lack of traffic, potholes, red lights, and other distractions allow you to give your full attention to your indoor cycling workout. This also enables you to increase intensity whenever you wish without any risk of danger.
7. Save time in your workout.
For many people, cycling indoors means saving time, as there is no need to set up a bike and head out to a specific training spot. Having a stationary bike at home is the best timesaver of all.
8. Cycling is a great way to increase bone density.
It is especially important for non-athletes, such as children and elderly people, to develop and maintain healthy bone density. Indoor cycling is an activity that can be done by people of any age and fitness level, one reason why the exercise has gained so much popularity in the last two decades.
9. You will stay fit.
Many non-athletes find spinning fun, rewarding, and easier than other cardio exercises, but it has the same health benefits; for example, the average person burns 700 to 800 calories during a 60-minute indoor cycling session, which is the equivalent to 15 or 20 miles of cycling, reports Indoor Cycling Benefits.
Whether or not you’re heading into the long winter months, the numerous benefits of indoor cycling make it a worthy consideration for any workout regimen.