Getting fit is a lot more than simply toning your body, studies show that cardio-based workouts can increase your lifespan 5x. Cycling is one of the best exercises for cardiovascular health. It also helps with agility as we age, muscle strength, and flexibility. As winter approaches, hopping on your bike isn’t the most appealing option, so here are a few tips to take your cycling indoors.
Maintain Proper Form
The first mistake beginners make when investing in a spin or exercise bike is that they just hop on without thinking about their posture. It’s so important to research what the proper form is to avoid injuries. If you cannot hire a trainer, consider getting a full-length mirror to check your form yourself.
First, check the bend of your knees once your feet are on the pedals. There shouldn’t be a significant bend nor should your legs be completely straight in the downstroke. Adjust your seat so that you can comfortably cycle with a slightly bended knee. Then you want to make sure your weight and hands are not on the handlebars. Try to avoid leaning on them and instead keep your hips back and let your legs do the work. This is essential to protect your shoulders and wrists as your weight will be supported by your lower body and core. Last, keep your feet flat to increase your performance.
Pick Appropriate Seat Height
Another way to ensure good posture is to pick the right seat height. You don’t want to be too high or too low and end up straining yourself. To check your seat height, stand beside your bike, and bend the knee closest to the bike at a 90-degree angle. Once your thigh is parallel to the floor, you can determine the right height for your seat based on where your hip joint reaches.
Adjusting your seat to your hip joint will definitely make your cycling session more comfortable as you get your heart rate up. However, there are many things that can improve your indoor workout. One of the main features found on spin bikes for cardio fitness is a heart rate strap. This is why it’s important to look into reviews on different kinds of bikes to understand their features and design. This will help you pick one that suits you best. Purchasing a spin bike with a monitor is going to help you measure and record your heart rate in real-time. So you can make sure you’re still fitting in a solid workout even during the UK’s winter months where it’s too cold to go outside.
Create a Motivating Environment
One of the benefits of cycling outdoors is the scenery. The beautiful views you see will make you forget all about physical activity. However, when you’re cycling indoors, you don’t have that distraction. Therefore, it’s vital to create the right atmosphere in your home gym or studio. Choose a large space that gets enough sunlight and clear it out. Add a full-length mirror and perhaps some plants for better air quality. If possible, keep the walls a light colour and make sure to add motivational music when you work out. You can even have a TV in there if you want a good distraction while cycling indoors.
Cycling, like most exercises, has many benefits aside from physical health. It is a great way to decrease stress and help prevent or manage diseases. So whether you’re aiming to improve your posture, decrease body fat levels, improve joint mobility, or strengthen your bones, cycling is a great way to go. Before you get started, however, refer to this guide to improve your experience.