Is indoor cycling an important part of your overall fitness routine? If so, here are five tips that will help you blast the most fat and banish boredom…
Indoor cycling is one of the best ways to get and remain fit. Almost anyone can do it, and it is ideal for those looking for a low impact workout. However, like many other pieces of cardio exercise equipment, people often hit a wall of boredom, thereby stalling their progress toward fitness goals.
Here are five tips to help you get the most from your indoor cycling workouts and improve your overall fitness level:
Tip #1: Join An Indoor Cycling Class
Most larger gyms and fitness centers offer indoor cycling classes. Normally they are 60 minutes long and include an extended warm up and cool down, along with 45 minutes of challenging cycling.
The general idea behind indoor cycling classes is to motivate you to work harder than you would peddling a bike on your own. The classes are led by a trained instructor and set to music, which is typically lively, energetic, and fun.
The best thing about these classes is the group environment. Studies show conclusively there is a higher motivation level in a group setting. While these classes aren’t competitive by any means, you will find yourself motivated by the presence of other like minded people, along with the music.
Tip #2: Use Proper Form In Your Indoor Cycling Class
If you decide to join in on a class, there a few things to know. Your instructor will help you get acclimated, but in general you will want to know how to set up your bike. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated.
Check the height of your seat. Your leg should have a very slight bend, about 10 degrees, at the bottom of your peddle stroke. If you have too much of a bend in your knee, raise the seat. Conversely, if your leg is totally straight, lower the seat a notch or two.
Second, raise the handle bars to a comfortable level. Your hands should rest comfortably upon them without having to hunch over. Finally, make sure your shoes are snug inside the peddle straps. Tighten the straps if your feet can move around quite a bit. The fit should be snug, but not too tight.
Tip #3: Be Sure To Hydrate
Whether you’re in a class or peddling on your own, make sure you have a bottle of water handy. Sure, you can get off the bike and go over to the water fountain. But having water at your fingertips will help you focus on the task at hand without needing to take a break.
Having water available is especially important in an indoor cycling class. They are usually located in a separate room, so a fountain may not be handy. Plus, once the class gets going, the room may get hot and humid. Plan for at least 20 ounces of water for a one hour class.
Tip #4: Accessorize
There are some handy accessories available to indoor cyclists. These include heart rate monitors, indoor cycling shoes, and gel seat covers. When you first start cycling, it’s likely your tailbone will be a bit sore until you get used to the seat. Gel bike seat covers will help your comfort level. You can buy them at a bike shop or specialty online retailers.
If you plan to cycle a lot, you may want to invest in specialized apparel, like bike shorts which are specially padded for comfort. Indoor cycling shoes are another accessory you may find useful. They are designed to clip onto the pedals, eliminating the need to strap in your gym shoes.
Tip #5: Embrace The Resistance Knob
Whether it is a programmable or manual resistance knob, think of it as your friend. Why? Because it will help you reach your fitness goals. If you’re in a class, there is one sure way to tell if you have enough resistance on your bike. Take a look in the mirror. Are you bouncing up and down in your seat? If so, you need to add resistance.
This is another reason why we are such big fans of cycling classes. Your instructor will coach and guide you in terms of how hard you should be working. Remember, the more you challenge yourself, the better your results.
Indoor cycling is one of the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals, particularly if you are looking for a low impact workout. Consider joining an indoor cycling class and be sure to follow proper bike set up procedures.
If you plan to cycle consistently, certain accessories may help you, like indoor cycling shoes and gel seat covers. Finally, be sure to have plenty of water handy and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself!