Spin class (or indoor cycling as most of us know it), is one of the latest fitness trends, taking the world by storm. To many it seems like a fancy dance sesh on a stationary bike – and that’s kind of true! But there are actually a lot of benefits to indoor cycling that you might not know about. Like traditional outdoor cycling, indoor cycling can benefit your body and mind. But, it has an edge to it—you don’t need to worry about the weather, cycling on an uneven surface, or being exposed to dangerous areas. In other words, it’s the perfect way to get your fitness fix in a safe and controlled environment. Here are 10 benefits of indoor cycling to make you sign up for a class ASAP.
Burn Calories To Get Rid Of Unwanted Fat
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a 155-pound person can burn up to 450 calories per hour while spinning (5).
That said, there’s no denying that consistently spinning will help you burn fat, tone and shape your body, and get those results you’ve been dreaming of.
Improve Cardio Health
Do you get winded after a flight of stairs? Is your resting heart rate higher than it should be?
Indoor cycling can help with that. Just like any other form of cardio, spinning will get your blood flowing. This helps improve circulation in your body, so you can have better oxygen levels and better overall cardiovascular health (6).
Increase Energy Levels
Trudging through the day without enough energy? Indoor cycling can help with that too. First off, it gets your blood pumping, which helps get oxygen to all of your organs and cells (6).
Secondly, it triggers a surge of endorphins, which helps you feel energized and uplifted (6). That means that after an early morning spin class, you may just find yourself feeling more energized and ready to take on the day.
Improve Strength & Stamina
When it comes to strength training, most people forget about endurance (how long you can do something) as opposed to power (how strong you are). That’s why you’ll find many weight lifters who can bench press a lot of weight but are winded after 10 minutes on the treadmill.
Indoor cycling helps increase your endurance by using your entire body in a continuous exercise session. This helps you build strength and stamina over time, so you can work out longer without getting fatigued (2).
Boost Focus & Mental Clarity
It’s no secret that regular exercise can help improve your mental health.
Research shows a link between cognitive performance and exercise, as well as an improvement in focus and mental clarity following regular, intense physical activity (3).
The increased blood flow to the brain that comes with indoor cycling can help you stay focused on tasks and maintain a positive mental attitude. And as you age, this can be especially beneficial for staying sharp.
Boost Your Immune System
Exercise is one of the best things you can do to boost your immune system. Not only does it give your body’s natural systems a chance to get stronger, it also increases your white blood cell count which helps you fight off infection and disease (4).
Plus, the endorphins released during exercise help you feel better and ward off depression, which can further strengthen your body’s natural defenses (1).
Build Your Lower Body Muscles
Do squats and lunges not do it for you? Indoor cycling can help with that. During a spin class, your lower body gets a great workout, helping to build strength and tone your legs.
Stronger legs translate to better balance, more agility, and less fatigue. Plus, the repetitive motion of cycling helps to increase the blood flow to your lower body muscles which can help them recover faster after a workout session.
Low Impact Exercise
For people with joint issues or those who are just getting back into physical activity, the low-impact nature of indoor cycling may be ideal.
Unlike running, jumping and other high impact exercises, cycling is a gentle form of exercise that won’t put too much strain on your joints.
So whether you’re in rehab for an injury or just making sure you don’t overdo it, indoor cycling may be a great way to get your heart pumping without putting too much stress on your body.
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No matter what the weather is like, you can always jump on a spin bike and get your workout in. This makes indoor cycling an ideal activity for all seasons.
Whether it’s too hot or too cold outside, or you just don’t want to leave the house, indoor cycling ensures you can get your workout in no matter what.
Expert Tips For Beginners To Indoor Cycling
If you’re just getting started with indoor cycling, there are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your workout.
Always Start With A Beginner’s Class
This applies to anyone who is new to indoor cycling.
Start out with a beginner’s class so you can learn the proper technique and form and become familiar with the bike. Gradually increase your intensity and duration as your fitness level improves.
If you’re tempted to go all-out right away you should be aware that you could be putting yourself at greater risk for injury.
For one, you may not be familiar with the terms and cues used in a class, or you may not know how to properly adjust the bike for your body. In addition, you could be pushing yourself too hard and putting too much stress on your body.
Get The Right Gear
Is there ever a time you don’t want to be comfortable while you’re working out? Nope. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right gear for indoor cycling. Make sure your shoes have a stiff sole, as this will help keep your feet and legs in the correct position on the bike.
You should also wear bottoms that won’t restrict your movement and a moisture-wicking top to help keep you cool and comfortable. A sturdy sports bra is also a must.
Never forget to hydrate when you’re exercising, especially during an indoor cycling class. You might think that because the class is in a climate-controlled environment, you don’t need to drink as much water. But that’s not true!
Any exercise that makes you sweat, even indoor cycling, means you’ll need to replace the water your body has lost. Drinking water before, during and after a workout is essential to keeping your body healthy.
Check Your Posture
Your posture can make the difference between an effective workout and one that’s ineffective and potentially dangerous. Make sure your back is upright on the bike and your hands are gripping the handlebars lightly, not too tight.
Your arms should be slightly bent and you should be pushing down evenly with both feet. If your bike is properly adjusted for your height, your knees should be slightly bent when the pedals are at their lowest point.
Check Your Diet
Exercise goes hand in hand with diet, regardless of what your goal is. The right food fuels your body and helps you get the most out of your workout. If you’re aiming for weight loss or are just trying to stay in shape, your diet can help you reach those goals.
So, what should you eat before and after a spin class?
Before your workout, eat something light like a piece of fruit or a small snack. This will give you the energy you need to power through your workout.
After the class, make sure you eat something that will help replenish any lost nutrients and fluids. This could mean a protein shake or a meal that contains lean proteins, vegetables and healthy fats.
Take A Moderate Approach
If you’re new to indoor cycling, it’s understandable that you may want to go all-out right away. But if you do this, you’ll be putting yourself at risk for injury and exhaustion. Instead, take a moderate approach to your workouts.
Gradually increase your intensity and duration as you become more comfortable with the bike and classes. This will help ensure that you don’t burn out too quickly or put yourself at risk for an injury.
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The Bottom Line
Indoor cycling can be a great way to get a great workout with minimal stress on your joints. Just make sure you start out with a beginner’s class, have the right gear and keep up with your hydration. With these tips, you’ll be off to a great start with indoor cycling!
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Association Between Physical Exercise and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak in China: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study (2021, frontiersin.org)
- Effectiveness of an Indoor Cycling Program in Improving the Physical Condition of Young Women (2019, researchgate.net)
- Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits (2018, nih.gov)
- Exercise and the Regulation of Immune Functions (2015, pubmed.gov)
- Getting back on the bike (2010, harvard.edu)
- Health Benefits of Indoor Cycling: A Systematic Review (2019, nih.gov)