Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Why Indoor Cycling?

Indoor cycling is an excellent way of supplementing your outdoor rides and a great discipline we rely on for focused exercise. You might choose this activity when the weather is bad, class times are at a premium, sheer convenience, monitoring performance, or need an uninterrupted specific workout.

Cycling outdoors is great and if you get the chance, you should get out there! You get the fresh air and beautiful Seattle scenery, what could be better? But in order to have the beautiful Seattle scenery, we endure many months of rain and cold so getting your outdoor rides in can often be more challenging and sometimes more miserable than they are worth. Then there is the other extreme, the stationary cycle. Again another excellent form of exercise but do you ever find yourself pedaling along and wondering if you are working hard enough?

Indoor cycling classes are a great compliment to your outdoor rides and stationary biking. What makes them different? The visual imagery and technique provided by the instructors. Motivational music to help push you up the “hill” or to finish hard on a sprint. The camaraderie of a group who is working fluidly with the common challenge and drills that an instructor throws at them. Cycling classes are structured so that riders can elevate their fitness levels to new heights. Whether you are looking for higher intensities, building your endurance, cycling classes have also been proven to increase cruising speeds if you are an avid outdoor cyclist. And don’t forget about how many calories you can burn. A 150 pound individual can burn on average 630 calories in a single fifty minute class!

Yes the cycling classes can look intimidating because of the large class size, “regulars” who opt to use their own cycling shoes and the sheer sweatiness of riders afterward. First off, you don’t need special shoes to take the class, but they do help if in the end you find the classes to be enjoyable. All you need is your workout clothes, tennis shoes, a water bottle and towel. The nice thing about taking a cycling class is that if you feel like you are about to hit the wall, simply bring down the level you are working at. Take an extra rest rather than doing the last sprint. Your fitness level might not be at its highest when you first start, but you can always build it up by taking it slow and listening to your body.

When you do decide to venture into the cycling room, be sure to get there a few minutes early so you can ask the instructor to help you set up your bike. Proper set up makes a big difference for your experience in the class and also helps you from injuring to yourself.

Written by Dana Hansen
Fitness Director, Seattle Athletic Club Northgate

No comments:

Post a Comment