Cycling is an excellent cardiorespiratory activity. It is a great option for those who do not enjoy running or jogging or need an alternative training mode to weight-bearing exercise. Check out the lists below to be reminded of the many different benefits of cardiorespiratory activities such as indoor cycling.
- Improved cardiorespiratory endurance
- Increased muscular strength
- Increased muscular endurance
- Decreased body fat and increased lean body mass
- Effective weight management tool when used in conjunction with a healthy diet
- Decreased blood pressure
- Increased quality of sleep
- Decreased pressure on the joints (non-load bearing mode of exercise)
- Decreased anxiety and stress
- Improvement in mood
- Decreased depression
- Increased level of confidence and self-efficacy
- Enjoyment from participating in a fun, social activity
- Safe training environment. On a stationary bike the workout is no longer weather dependent.
- Decreased chance of falling. The chance of falling on a road bike is very high due to the width of the tires and unpredictable elements of the outdoors (traffic, stop lights, weather, road conditions, etc.). Stationary cycling significantly reduces the risk of falling and is a perfect option for those who have trouble balancing.
- Decreased training time. Did you know the number one reported reason people do not workout is due to a lack of time? Indoor cycling is the perfect solution to this problem, as 45 minutes on a bike trainer = 1 hour on a road bike due to uninterrupted cycle time (i.e., no stop lights, traffic, stop signs, etc.).
- Opportunity to practice and improve cycling form. Due to the decreased risk of falling, cyclists have the ability to perfect form on a trainer. Additionally, cyclists are also able to perform conditioning drills that are not safe to execute on the road (such as single leg drills).
- Ability to plan strategic training workouts personalized to the rider. Creating a personalized workout when cycling outdoors is difficult to do because one cannot always control the terrain and geographical location the rider/athlete is training in. Utilizing a stationary bike makes customizing a workout easy.
- Personalize a workout while participating in a group setting. Participants are able to modify the gear/resistance to suit individual needs without anyone else knowing. For example: by changing the gear/resistance, cadence, and/or body position (sitting vs. standing), the rider is able to modify the workout without anyone around them noticing. This is especially useful for new riders who are intimidated to come to a cycle class because “they won’t be able to keep up.”
It is difficult for people to adhere to exercise programs. One way to enhance exercise adherence is to find an activity the participant is comfortable with and enjoys doing. If this occurs during a cycling class it is highly likely the participant will return for another workout session in the future. The reality is indoor bike seats (formally known as the saddle) are tiny and novice riders find them uncomfortable. This deters many people from ever attending a cycling class. The discomfort caused by the saddle also prevents many first time users from coming to a second class.Therefore, novice cyclists are encouraged to wear biking shorts, pants, or capris with a padded lining. This can help make riders slightly more comfortable. Additionally, padded seat covers are relatively inexpensive and often fit any type of indoor saddle. With time, riders do become accustomed to the saddle, and discomfort is rarely an issue.