Cycling has many benefits for you as an individual, for our community, and for our planet. It is a low-impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. Adding regular cycling classes to your fitness routine can help shape a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.
Although indoor cycling is typically not as intimidating as outdoor cycling if you find yourself intimidated or nervous to jump on a bike and take an indoor cycling class you’re not alone! We asked our long-time MINT cycling instructor Chuck Harney for some tips for those who are new to indoor cycling to help make their ride more effective and comfortable:
- Wear bike shorts with padding, they are formed to fit the contour of the bike seat which makes the ride much more comfortable than wearing gym shorts. In addition, the shorts are fitted tight to your leg to avoid chafing.
- Get bike shoes with cleats that clip into the pedals. This addition will change your life on the bike. By being clipped in, you are literally one with the bike. Your pedal stroke is perfectly circular, avoiding the mashing of the pedals, especially on a climb. You are also in a fixed position on the pedal, which means your foot is not moving around as you pedal, which means you are much less likely to have a knee injury as a result.
- Get a proper fit before you ride. What do we mean by that? Unless you know the exact position of your saddle and handlebars to your body, you’ll want to ask your instructor to fit you on your bike. The most important parts of bike fit are your saddle height and your handlebar height.
- Training on an indoor bike can benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally by improving the overall function in your lower body and strengthening your leg muscles without overstressing your joints. It targets your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
- Cycling improves your endurance for any type of physical activity and is great for all levels and experiences.
- It increases your anaerobic capacity and peak power while strengthening your core which helps to improve posture.
- Increased production of endorphins can help boost your mood.
- This type of aerobic exercise can Increase mental toughness while decreasing stress levels.
- It helps to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels
Cycling is a really versatile form of exercise that can be scaled to different fitness levels, lifestyles, and goals. You can go all-out for an intense ride and really challenge yourself, or you can pull back, and go at a pace that works for you. However you choose to ride, know that you’ll be doing your body—and your mind—some serious good.
We encourage you to join Chuck and sign up for his classes on Sundays at 11am.