Life in big city is very fast. For men and women living and working in big cities, every day is a struggle. They struggle to go to work, earn a living, spend time with their families and friends. Society expects so much from them and there are only twenty-four hours to accomplish all these. This high stress, coupled with poor health choices of the city people often lead to many long-term health problems such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease. The good thing is more people are now becoming health conscious. They are now eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
Outdoor exercise yields the best result because you are exercising in natural environment. Research shows that exercising in the open decreases tension, confusion, anger, and depression granting greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement.
However, it is not possible for city dwellers to exercise outside all the time for a whole host of reasons. For example, job-holders can get caught in work or remain in a meeting for long hours. City traffic is another big problem. Nature is another big factor. Rain, cold, or snow can affect your outdoor exercise schedule. For these reasons, indoor exercise is very popular these days. According to a person’s need, he or she can take indoor fitness classes or train with a trainer.
What is Indoor Cycling:
Before getting into detailed discussion, let us start with- what is indoor cycling? It is clear from the name itself. ‘Indoor’ means a close and controlled environment. It can be your house or a gym or studio. ‘Cycling’ means to cycle. Indoor cycling is a very popular form of exercise where you ride a static bike and gain all the health benefits of “real-life bike riding.”
Electronic treadmills and static bikes are very popular. Walk into any gym and you will notice these two equipment immediately. People all over the world could not go to the gym during the Covid-19 pandemic, they had to make alternative arrangements to stay fit and stay in shape. As a result, there was a huge spike in indoor cycling all around the world in the last two years. In USA, 34.7 million people got into indoor cycling exercise.
Benefits of Indoor Cycling:
- Indoor cycling does not cause any major strain and injuries.
- By doing indoor cycling regularly, a person uses all his major muscles.
- Indoor cycling is just like riding bikes. After you learn how to ride a bike, you will never forget it. It will come back to you the moment you start riding. You do not need very high level of skill for indoor cycling.
- Indoor cycling will help you to increase your stamina and strength.
- If you recently had some kind of injury and you are planning to become active again, then indoor cycling can be a great starting point. You start with low intensity, as you recover, you can change the settings of your indoor cycle and increase the intensity.
- Those who regularly participate in cycling races can also do indoor cycling to improve their speed, strength, and technique. If you are someone who likes to cycle in hilly areas then you can improve your hill-climbing technique with indoor cycling.
- Bad weather, rain, storm, cold would stop you from going outside with your bike but indoor cycling will allow you to maintain your regular fitness routine. This regularity and consistent, the biggest advantage of indoor cycling.
- When you take your cycle for a spin outside it gets dirty but that is not the case for indoor cycling. Yes, you would sweat and you would have to clean your indoor bike but that requires less time and effort.
Tips for Indoor Cycling beginners :
Whatever your age, unless you have some serious health issues, indoor cycling can be a great exercise for you. Indoor cycling is a head-to-toe workout. If you just purchased your first indoor bike or joined a cycling studio, here are few things to keep in mind. These tips will help you to reap all the benefits of this great exercise sans injuries.
Table Chart of Page Contents
Adjust your seat height:
If your seat is too high or too low it could cause injury. Proper form is key for any workout. Before you start cycling, you must make sure that you are properly set up on the bike.
Stand on the bar behind the bike or side of the bike and see where the seat is located. The seat should be where your pelvic bone is located. If it is too low or too high then turn the seat screw to adjust seat height. Use your best guess.
Distance between your sit and bike handlebar:
Now, many bikes come with seats that can be moved forward and backward to adjust the distance between the seat and handlebar. If you happened to purchase such a bike or use such a bike in your cycling studio, you better adjust the seat. Put your elbow at the tip of the seat and stretch out your arm to see if your fingertips barely touch the handlebar.
Another way to measure the distance between your seat and handlebar is to see the positions of your knee and big toe while pedaling. During upward stroke, your knee and big toe should be right in line. If the knee is too far back then you are too far away from the handlebar. If your knee comes over your toe while pedaling then you are too close.
Keep your back straight:
Keep your chest lifted and back nice and straight while you are cycling. As a beginner, you should not apply much pressure on your lower back. For this reason, set the handlebar high to keep pressure off your back. As your become more used to cycling, you can lower the handlebar. In this way, you will apply more pressure on your core (core consists of the hips, pelvis, abdominals, lower back, mid-back, and neck regions of the body).
The Knee should be bend:
Notice the bend of your leg during downward stroke. As your feet reach the lowest point while pedaling, they should not be completely straight but slightly bent. According to fitness experts, there should be a 25 to 30 percent bend of the knee. If your knee is too bent while you are pedaling then your seat is low.
Take care of your shoulders:
While riding the bike, keep your shoulders are straight and relaxed.
Your shoulders should be in depression or “Hunch” They should not be in “shrug” where the joints move up and close to your ears. Your upper body should be relaxed and easy.
Always keep your upper body straight:
When you start adding resistance, you will apply more strength. This will cause your body sway left to right and this is natural. You should not overdo it. Your upper body should be straight and static.
Do not hold your handlebar tightly:
You should not hold your handlebar tightly. Your grip should be nice and loose. Pedaling while holding your handlebar you should be able to wiggle your fingers.
Bend your elbow:
You make sure that there is a slight bend in your elbow while riding the bike. Do not keep them too straight, just a slightly comfortable bend.
Dress is very important:
Indoor cycling will generate a lot of sweat. Hence, you should not wear heavy sweatshirts. Fitted bike shorts are a good option.
Toe clips and straps:
Toe clips and straps might look useless to you but they are very important. When you start adding resistance to imitate riding in a hilly area where you have to apply more strength, there is a greater chance that your feet might slip off the pedal causing injury. Toe clips and straps allow your feet to stay attached to the pedal and cycle better.